Managed IT Services vs. Staff Augmentation: Cheat Sheet 2022

When your business needs help with your technology, full managed IT services and staff augmentation are two options for outsourced IT support.

Both models have different benefits and advantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs.

What is Staff Augmentation?

When it comes to IT managed services, staff augmentation is often used as a way to supplement an existing staff. This can be helpful when there is a specific task that needs to be completed, but the in-house staff may not have the necessary skills or knowledge to complete it. By outsourcing this task to a company that specializes in IT staff augmentation, you can be sure that the job will be done correctly and efficiently.

You get the benefit of temporary employees without having to go through the hiring process for a job with a predetermined end date.

What Are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services have a much broader scope than staff augmentation. With managed services, you generally have a monthly agreement with your IT provider. This agreement includes ongoing maintenance and support of your IT infrastructure. Managed services can also include project management, network design and implementation, and security monitoring.

Your managed service provider (MSP) can provide your help desk support, device and system monitoring and maintenance, network monitoring, cybersecurity solutions, cloud solutions, hardware procurement, consulting around new products or services, and more depending on your package and agreement.

When it comes to your company’s technology, you want everything to run smoothly. That’s where full managed IT services come in. Managed IT services generally include everything your company needs for its hardware procurement to function smoothly, replacing the need for an internal IT staff.

Pros & Cons of Staff Augmentation

Different companies will choose different models for their IT support needs, depending on the size and scope of their business. 

There are many advantages of staff augmentation, but some of the most notable ones include: 

  • Staff augmentation can be a great solution when you need additional help but don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself. With managed IT services, you can get the expert help you need without having to worry about training or managing them yourself, which can save you time and money in the long run.
  • Because staff augmentation is a temporary, not ongoing, agreement and is limited in the scope of support it provides, it will generally cost less than a managed service agreement.
  • This can be a cost-effective solution when you only require extra support for a short timeframe, as there is no need to go through the process of advertising, interviewing and training new employees.

Some of the drawbacks are:

  • Staff augmentation can have very narrow scope, which means the resource assigned for your specific task or project may not be able to assist with other types of IT projects or needs.
  • Staff augmentation isn’t designed to improve your current processes or project; it merely completes the plan you already have laid out. But, if you already have an in-house team who knows what they’re doing, this may or may not be consequential.

In general, staff augmentation is better for businesses that have specific project needs with limited internal resources, that only need short-term support, that have limited budgets, and that already have an IT department or consultant creating the strategy and heading up the project.

Within that scope, staff augmentation can be extremely useful in providing a simple and cost-effective means to complete projects more efficiently.

Pros & Cons of Full Managed IT Services

Managed IT services have their pros and cons as well. Some of the advantages include:

  • Your MSP will generally provide not only round-the-clock support, but also automated system monitoring so they can catch and resolve issues proactively with your hardware procurement.
  • Part of the responsibility of a Managed IT Services Provider is to fully manage your IT systems by cloud solutions so you don’t have to worry about it at all. That includes expert management in cybersecurity, infrastructure, and much, much more.
  • MSPs have a direct investment in making sure your IT functions smoothly, the more proactively they optimize it, the less time they have to spend fixing it. Your MSP is incentivized to act in your best interest.
  • MSPs typically have experience with a multitude of compliance standards (e.g., SOC, NIST, FINRA, HIPAA, CMMC), and understand how their services map to the standards and controls.

A potential negative point may be:

  • If your business doesn’t actually need that much support, it may not be worth the price. However, if you do need full support and your alternatives are between hiring an MSP or an internal IT department, you’ll find managed services to be quite a cost saver.

Managed IT services can serve a different role than staff augmentation does. Instead of providing only temporary support, it can effectively replace your hardware procurement. Managed services can provide the same level of support and expertise as staff augmentation, but at a fraction of the cost. With managed services, you can get the same high level support without having to hire and train additional staff with accessible cloud solutions.

It is important to note that there are different levels of managed IT support; if you don’t need the full package of managed IT services, you can staff augmentation to supplement your in-house team.

How Staff Augmentation Helps Businesses

As businesses face the challenges of cloud migration, setup of all new IT infrastructure, and a rapid influx of support requests, they are turning to staff augmentation and managed services to help them manage these complex projects. By partnering with a team of experts who can provide hardware and software support, as well as project management and implementation services, businesses can focus on their core business goals while ensuring that their IT infrastructure is up and running smoothly.

Choosing Your IT Support Model

SoftHQ is a staffing firm that can provide flexible, cost-effective workforce management solutions, risk management experience, and the agility to respond at your company’s pace. We provide workforce solutions for the future, and we are eager to go the extra mile for you.