Dev On Demand vs Team Augmentation
Recently there has been a shift in the industry from the use of the term Team or Staff Augmentation to ‘Development On Demand’. Both terms are still used and are fundamentally one and the same thing.
As a business you may look at your technology roadmap and identify a project that requires a specialist set of technical skills that you do not currently have within your team or, a capacity gap where you want to deliver a strategic solution to achieve your business goals, but you do not want the risk of expanding your team. This is where team augmentation comes in.
Team augmentation is based on fulfilling these needs through a technology partner who can provide resource based on targeted skills and services removing the need for you to commit to recruiting.
With more digital change on the horizon, the on demand Market has changed the way we look at services across numerous industries, from on demand app driven food delivery, online healthcare services and even booking services. The need to be able to deliver quickly to the market to be competitive is ever increasing.
Why consider on demand development?
With such a big shift over the past year to remote working there has been an increase in the options and the range of talent that is available at the drop of a hat. Many outsourcing, nearshore, and onshore companies have identified the industry need for development skills to be available on demand and have set themselves up to make engaging and working with as hassle free as possible.
Here is a list of the pros and cons if you are considering using this approach:
- Available skills and experience – With a wide range of development languages and technologies available and just as many partners who have specialisms and a wealth of experience you can focus in on exactly what you need.
- Shorter term commitment of cost built on a long-term partnership – You can find the right technology partner who you can build a long-term relationship with whilst only paying for the time that is needed for your project.
- Flexibility and scalability – You can scale your team up or down based on project workload within days rather than weeks or months.
- Reduce recruitment costs and scale teams remotely – Remove recruitment costs and make adding development skills to your team as frictionless as possible.
- Highly skilled vetted staff who you can trust – Development staff are already vetted by the technology expert and already have a history of successful project deliveries.
- Time to market – Increase your speed of applications to market without having to take on the initial costs of internal team growth.
There are however some potential risks that you need to consider when taking this route:
- Hidden costs of management – Partners will have to cover costs to manage the resources they are providing to you so do be aware of potential hidden management overheads.
- Onboarding processes – Depending on how you work you may need to induct external staff to your way of working so do consider this time this may take and need.
- Higher cost for long term engagement – For longer term arrangements the costs can be higher depending on the rates you have agreed.
- Lack of industry specific knowledge – External staff may not have knowledge specific to the industry you work in.
- Loss of internal knowledge – When you switch off external resource a certain level of knowledge on the technology and systems that have been built may leave with them.
Despite this list of cons from my experience they are very much points to be aware of and consider during conversations with potential technology partners and it is more likely the positives will outweigh the negatives and enable organisations to be agile and meet strategic goals.
3 things to consider when exploring on demand development.
If you are thinking of using this approach as part of your strategy my top suggestions when starting out would be:
- Understand your skills gap before you engage and research who would best fit your needs from a skill but also cultural level.
- Start small to build confidence. There is nothing stopping you from testing the waters for a month and then growing as confidence builds.
- Make sure you are project ready and understand your requirements. Your technical partner of choice will be able to support you from a consultative perspective, but you want to make sure you get the most value you can for your money.
Take a look at our case study with BearingNet to see an example of how this approach could benefit your business – https://www.softwaresolved.com/blog/case-studies/bearingnet/