As a small business owner, you face constant technology changes while balancing limited resources. Expanding in-house IT expertise with a trusted augmentation provider grants strategic advantages – from cost efficiencies to competitive agility.
Why Augmentation Services Matter for Today‘s Small Business
Technology now sits at the heart of operations, customer reach, and growth for companies of all sizes. An IBM survey found 76% of mid-market firms feel digital technologies are vital to their success. However, rapid release cycles create resource challenges:
- 71% find it difficult to keep pace with new IT
- 58% lack complete visibility of existing IT systems
- 51% struggle with skills gaps around emerging tech like AI
This technology treadmill strains small business budgets and available talent. Augmentation services deliver flexible access to expertise without high fixed employment costs:
"The flexibility of augmentation services allows us to keep pace with new innovations that impact our product roadmap without inflating headcount costs." – Founder of SaaS startup
Now let‘s examine key advantages of augmentation and how to select the right partner.
Benefits of Augmentation Services For Your Small Business
1. Mitigate Project Risk
Bringing in an outside firm transfers delivery risk – if deadlines slip or problems emerge, responsibility falls to them rather than your core staff. Their experience navigating complex initiatives minimizes budget/timeline overruns.
2. Scale to Changing Needs
Cloud-based augmentation through staffing platforms readily aligns labor to your current workloads without delays from HR and onboarding. A Deloitte survey found 77% of executives rate on-demand talent access as imperative.
EXAMPLE: A retailer entering peak season could temporarily double online customer service reps through an augmentation partner.
3. Control Costs
Augmenting with flexible specialized support converts fixed payroll expenses into variable costs in line with revenue. This VentureBeat article shared companies utilizing contract IT talent reduced overall technology spending by 42%.
* In-house backend developer - $100,000 salary + $30,000 benefits = $130,000
* Augmented contractor 20 hours/week - $80/hr x 20 hrs x 52 weeks = $83,200
Further Strategic Upsides
- Focus internal efforts on competitive differentiation rather than commoditized IT activities through augmentation
- Access better talent on niche emerging skills like AI application development
- Free up budget to fund innovation pilots generating future growth
The numbers showcase why a blended internal/external resourcing strategy boosts small business IT productivity.
Choosing Your Augmentation Services Partner
As with any vendor, careful provider selection ensures you maximize benefits from augmentation arrangements.
1. Proven Technical Expertise
Nail down exact skills and experience required for your projects and validate the provider mastered them through past client work. Ask for examples and assess if their teams showcase necessary capabilities.
Also request client references to verify satisfactory delivery. Peer testimonials provide the best indicator of achieving collaboration, performance and cultural alignment.
2. Look Beyond Resumes
Make sure your operating approaches synchronize. Examine communication rhythms, transparency expectations, tooling and processes. Mismatched methods lead to friction despite sound technical pedigrees.
"We ultimately chose Company XYZ because their agile ceremonies and cloud platforms aligned seamlessly aside from impressed resumes." – VP Engineering, Fintech Startup
3. Scope Project Interdependencies
Break down all touch points between your staff and augmented resources to size integration dependencies. Heavy back-and-forth could slow velocity if not coordinated correctly.
Clearly delineate responsibilities between both sides and how work travels across groups. Managing hand-offs drives results.
Conclusion – Augmentation Creates Strategic Leverage
Small businesses no longer need to solely rely on constrained internal IT capabilities. Augmentation services provide access to enterprise-grade technical resources in a variable cost model attuned to market fluidity.
As long as you validate cultural fit and scope dependencies, they enrich your agility, expertise and risk management required in increasingly digital business environments.
The bottom line? An adaptable blended talent strategy helps focus energy toward product differentiation and innovations that matter most to customers. That‘s how small firms stay relevant in the face of larger competitors.
What questions or thoughts do you have around IT augmentation? Feel free to share them with me!