Highlight for busy users

  • Although IT staff augmentation and software outsourcing have much in common, they are designed to solve different business problems.
  • IT staff augmentation primarily helps you flexibly scale your internal team while maintaining a high degree of control over the process.
  • Software outsourcing, on the other hand, offers complex solutions developed externally by the supplier, which is associated with a lower level of risk and control. 
Diffrences between staff augmentation

Today, IT professionals are in demand more than ever. We are all fighting for their innovative solutions. We want them to adapt our business to the relentlessly changing expectations of users. 

This leaves many companies unable (or unwilling) to hire IT talent full-time. So they are considering more flexible models of cooperation, such as for example staff augmentation or software outsourcing. What is the difference between those two? Which one will be a better choice FOR YOU?

If you struggle with finding the answer on the spot, here is a brief comparison from us. Enjoy!

What software outsourcing and IT staff augmentation have in common?

Differences are better understood when you know the similarities. If you’ve reached this point, you probably already know that both software outsourcing and staff augmentation (also known as body leasing) are ways to get additional hands on IT projects and processes. What else?


Both models save money and bypass the need to hire IT professionals internally. In both cases, the outsourcing company is not the formal employer. It is neither responsible for payment of salaries, nor for employee development or leave of absence. 

Access to new skills

Likewise, software outsourcing and staff augmentation are also great ways to acquire skills not available in-house. Instead of conducting time-consuming recruitment, you can take advantage of companies that already have access to those specialists.

Flexibility in scaling

And last, but not the least, both methods help maintain flexibility in scaling process. Scaling an organization is easier when we can focus on the core of the business and outsource IT operations. 

IT staff augmentation vs. software outsourcing – main differences

The list of similarities was short. The list of differences, on the other hand, will take us a few scrolls. Below, you find a table that illustrates all the differences between software outsourcing and IT staff augmentation. Further below, you can read a brief explanation for some of them.

The table shows differences between IT staff augmentation and software outsourcing.

What is a problem to solve and need to meet?

While choosing between staff augmentation and software outsourcing, you need to consider what your real need is. For instance, if you are looking for an end-to-end, tailor-made solution that can be developed and deployed alongside your core business, you should consider software outsourcing. While this doesn’t give you full control over resources, it does allow you to devote more energy to the core of your business. 

On the other hand, if your need is only to supplement the competencies you already have within the company, a staff augmentation model may be a better idea. In such cooperation, a separate team is not created as an independent entity, but external specialists join the team (e.g. Java Developers). And you, as the manager or owner, remain the person who manages the work and remains responsible for the end results. 

Software outsourcing provides solution to business issue by creating an end tech. Staff augmentation mainly solves the problem of team scalability with flexibility in mind. 

How much responsibility to maintain?

Speaking of which, there are many differences between the two models when it comes to the issue of responsibility. With software outsourcing, the vendor is fully responsible for assembling a skilled team and the right tools, and for developing the product from the ground up to final delivery – and is held accountable for that work. You, on the other hand, provide definitions, guidelines and a vision of the final result. This division of responsibilities, of course, also means less risk for your company.

In contrast, in the staff augmentation model, you remain fully responsible for the process and its outcome. Developing the idea, managing the team, implementing and executing the project are on you. On the one hand, this can be risky. On the other hand, it means more control over all the elements. Not only can you shape policy and process, but you can also choose the right people for the project and react quickly when something doesn’t go your way. 

In software outsourcing, you avoid risk and additional responsibilities for the price of the control. In staff augmentation, you maintain control and flexibility, but you also have to watch over the entire process. 

Flexibility issue

Admittedly, both models are inherently more flexible than team hiring, but they are not equal in this regard. Staff augmentation allows a very high degree of flexibility both in the layer of shaping the relations, the scope of cooperation and decision making. By contrast, software outsourcing allows you to flexibly adapt the solution to the needs of the business, but after the start of the cooperation you can only move within a strictly defined framework.

You must keep this in mind when choosing a solution for your business. 


Another differentiating factor is the method of communication. When external specialists power your team, you can communicate with them on a daily basis as with any other employee. The transfer of information is fast and there are no intermediaries. 

With software outsourcing the matter is not so easy. Communication with the supplier is rather cyclical and has a strictly defined framework. You usually discuss the implementation of provisions or necessary changes. You also do not have direct contact with developers here. The supplier is responsible for that. 

IT staff augmenation vs. software outsourcing. What is better?

Final gauntlet. IT staff augmentation or software outsourcing?

Finally, once we know the difference between software outsourcing and IT staff augmentation, it’s time for the final answer. Which one is better?

Of course, the answer is „it depends.” If you want to develop complex IT solutions outside your company and are ok with handing over responsibility, software outsourcing may be better. On the other hand, if you want to scale your team quickly and flexibly, while maintaining control over the process and working directly with external developers, IT staff augmentation makes more sense. 

We hope we have cleared your doubts and thanks to this article you now know what kind of support you really need. In case you still have questions, feel free to put it in a comment section below. 

If you would like to discuss possibilities of cooperation with Polish software houses or IT talents, write to us. We will find a solution tailored to the needs of your business. 

Leave a comment