Role of IT Staff Augmentation in Digital Transformation
Digital transformation (DT or DX) refers to the utilization of technology to enhance business processes in order to promote growth in both new and established markets. However, it is important to note the recent increase in investment in IT staff augmentation. The shift toward a digital-first approach has opened up opportunities for employees to work from anywhere, resulting in growing demands for infrastructure and exposing further requirements and inadequacies surrounding access, cybersecurity, backup and recovery, storage, solutions, skills, and staffing. As remote work gains more prominence, it is projected that over 40% of IT workloads will be handled externally, which is why 82% of CIOs consider IT staff augmentation as a new priority for their enterprise. In this article, we shall discuss how IT staff augmentation can help achieve digital transformation, along with its benefits, best practices, and examples.
Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation for Digital Transformation
Staff augmentation is an outsourcing technique that involves the temporary integration of proficient change management and learning and development professionals into a company's infrastructure. This approach removes the need to hire new full-time employees. Equipped with specialized tools and expertise, these professionals concentrate on promoting user adoption of your technology investment to optimize return on investment (ROI). Staff augmentation for digital transformations differs from managed services or consulting since temporary staff members seamlessly integrate into your organization's culture, just like any other team member. Having established this premise, let us examine some of the numerous benefits of using staff augmentation for digital transformations.
Precise expertise for your unique staffing needs: By utilizing staff augmentation, you have the ability to choose from a pool of pre-screened consultants at all levels, ranging from leadership and strategy to project management and support. Depending on the specific skill set required, you could enhance your digital transformation team with consultants filling roles such as instructional designer, learning and development manager, eLearning developer, video producer, change associate, or project manager.
Cost-effective alternative to investing in new full-time employees: A multitude of companies appreciate the convenience that staff augmentation offers, as it enables them to access accomplished change management and learning and development professionals without the need to recruit new personnel. This implies no employee benefits, onboarding, or concerns. These temporary team members represent your company and fully assimilate into your culture, becoming an essential part of the team - without any associated HR complications.
Works with your unique timetable: Staff augmentation offers an additional benefit, namely the flexibility to select the duration that suits your digital transformation timeline. Whether you require short- or long-term staffing assistance with change management or learning and development initiatives, staff augmentation can accommodate any scheduling demand.
Can be used with other services or on its own: You have the option to select whether you wish to use staff augmentation as a standalone service or in conjunction with another service. For instance, staff augmentation can be combined with any of the change management or learning and development services, or utilized as a standalone service. It is a fully customizable resource created to facilitate a smooth technology implementation.
Faster path to meet your goals: Last but not least, staff augmentation for digital transformations aids in achieving your change management and learning and development objectives more efficiently. By having immediate access to proficient consultants who are ready to start working from the first day, your team will receive exceptionally effective resources to acquire the knowledge required to adopt the new technology, enabling you to achieve your goals and enhance your return on investment (ROI).
How IT Staff Augmentation Supports Digital Transformation
Understanding the specific personnel needs of your enterprise is crucial for the success of your digital transformation initiatives. Without the right expertise, digitalization cannot be achieved. However, acquiring and retaining qualified IT talent to meet business objectives has become highly challenging due to fierce competition. The traditional approach of creating and filling full-time positions within an organization has become too slow and reactionary in the face of the increasing skills gap in IT.
To address these challenges, IT organizations are turning to IT staff augmentation as a necessary and critical task. This approach provides an agile way of hiring and enables enterprises to supplement their internal IT teams with specialized experts from outside vendors. It's like creating an on-demand workforce that can quickly fill personnel voids within your enterprise. There are several reasons to consider IT staff augmentation, including increased labor capacity to meet temporary workloads, access to specific and highly specialized skills, creating a bridge to hire as you assemble a permanent team, and right-sizing your workforce for opportunities or obstacles.
As enterprises move forward with their digital transformation journey, IT staff augmentation is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the areas of security, cloud, and emerging technologies. These categories require a much higher level of expertise and are therefore more competitive. However, other areas such as data analytics, networking, mobile technology, and data center development tools can also benefit from implementing IT staff augmentation as part of their digital transformation strategy.
As technology continues to evolve, businesses must become more dynamic. These changes require new strategies that use emerging technologies and a skilled workforce to implement them. To achieve your desired business goals, it's essential to gain the experience of outside experts who have the solutions and personnel to reach them.
Best Practices for IT Staff Augmentation in Digital Transformation
Carefully Select Development Talent: To scale your digital transformation, you will require a strategic mindset and the appropriate technology partners. Engaging a vendor for your development should be a pragmatic and step-by-step process, and the following advice offers a great roadmap for making effective decisions. When it comes to talent selection, keep your transformation efforts at the forefront of your mind. What skills and behaviors will you need to achieve your current and future objectives? These capabilities may not be the skills you possess today, so it's essential to evaluate a development professional's capacity to adapt to your ongoing initiatives. Do not allow your new vendor to assign anyone to your project as they lack the necessary understanding of your transformation objectives. Choosing the appropriate talent must be your decision after assessing their technical and cultural fit. You already conduct this evaluation internally and should apply it to staff augmentation experts as well. If you are currently working with a trusted nearshore team, have them pre-screen candidates for a fit before presenting them for internal interviews. Provide your outsourcing partners with a comprehensive job description, and a corresponding description of the work to be performed, and engage the candidates in a detailed discussion about their experience. Ensure that they are effective communicators and that you will have direct access to them. The ability to communicate candidly is a crucial distinction to make, supporting daily productivity and ensuring communication during high-pressure situations. Whoever you select must be willing to learn about technological advances and be adaptable to change.
Take Advantage of Ongoing Education: To stay adaptable to new technologies, it's crucial to have a reliable development team that consistently delivers quality work. Ongoing education is an effective way to achieve this, and development talent should follow a learning curriculum for their career development. They can choose their path or listen to client partners for insights on where to focus their learning. Collaborating with your augmentation partner to chart your team's learning path is a proactive approach to prepare for upcoming tech advancements in your digital transformation. As work changes, so must training and incentives to motivate team members to work with new technologies. Guided support of ongoing education keeps team members excited about the future and develops new skills that benefit their careers and keep them engaged. Investing in the collective future of your extended team helps with talent retention for the long haul. Ensure that your near-shore or off-shore partner invests in their team members' career development and extra-curricular learning if you work with them. Show interest in their progress and ask for the results of their learning. This engagement will support their ongoing development and help you stay up-to-date with the latest technologies.
Share your Digital Transformation Roadmap: Consider sharing your technology vision with your team to keep them engaged and motivated. If you have already invested in proactive self-starters and their ongoing education, it would be beneficial to let them know about the upcoming developments in your digital transformation roadmap. This will not only raise their interest in the project but also encourage them to start working towards the goal with their own initiative. Additionally, working with development talent from different parts of the world provides you with access to a treasure trove of experiences. Consulting with highly experienced team members about your roadmap can prove to be an advantageous exercise.
Adhere to Agile Software Development Capabilities: If you're considering outsourcing your software development, it's important to evaluate whether your potential partners have a proven track record of successful delivery, and experience in applying Agile project management processes and ceremonies to guide delivery. They should also possess the ability to provide developers, QA professionals, Business Analysts, Scrum Masters, and other roles that can help you develop Agile processes if your team is not currently following them.
Implementing Agile delivery can help shorten development time and create a collaborative environment for your internal stakeholders to stay in contact with your remote team members. If you're already an Agile shop or following a form of Scrum, it's crucial to ensure that the augmented team you're building can adapt to that structure. When a team is built for a client and has an understanding of Scrum, Kanban, or a combination of the two, their project management processes are more likely to be successful. Therefore, it's important to assess your nearshore development partner's adherence to these principles or their ability to build them, which sets the team up for a strong start.
Effective Change Management: To successfully manage change, it's important to find and nurture the right talent, share your digital roadmap, and identify your Change Agents. Change Agents are individuals or groups who facilitate the change process in an organization, motivating others to be receptive to new ideas and helping to overcome resistance. To drive change effectively during a digital transformation, it's helpful to identify Change Agents within your internal team and distributed workforce. When selecting an augmented partner, look for individuals with an adaptive and positive personality who are receptive to change. If you're in the midst of a significant transformation, take the time to evaluate all team members for this aptitude and select the best fit to lead the change you envision.
Examples of Fields Where IT Staff Augmentation Enhances Digital Transformation
Digital transformation in banking: By utilizing staff augmentation to acquire skilled personnel, banking and financial services companies can free up their most senior, strategic, and fee-earning staff to focus on customers and clients. IT staff augmentation can provide BPO or business process outsourcing services, which can include traditional as well as new technology roles such as AI, IT, and software development. Virtual assistants can assist with various tasks such as retirement planning, estate planning, insurance and tax planning, client onboarding, meeting summaries, CRM, data management, form filing, and reporting. Additionally, they can handle client communications and act as a representative for the principal. Paraplanners can also perform tasks like risk analysis, cash flow analysis, and debt consolidation and restructuring.
Digital transformation in insurance: The task of staffing presents a unique challenge for insurance companies as finding suitable talent within budget constraints can be difficult. Moreover, retention of staff has also become increasingly challenging. Developed countries are facing a talent drain in the insurance industry, with university graduates choosing to start their careers in other business segments. Another challenge for the insurance sector is to improve back-office efficiency to boost profitability. Although digital transformation can help in some instances, it may not always be feasible to automate tasks using RPA, especially those with lower frequency. Staff augmentation can help insurance companies address this challenge when RPA is not a viable solution.
Digital transformation in manufacturing: Industrial manufacturing companies can benefit from staff augmentation by allowing them to focus on technology and providing employees with opportunities to learn more about the digital environment. This outsourcing strategy allows companies to hire staff on a temporary basis, acting as strategic partners and avoiding the high costs of traditional models. With the flexibility of remote work, physical office space is not always necessary, supporting digital transformation. Additionally, staff augmentation can quickly cover temporary needs without waiting for internal HR processes. By complementing their workforce without full-time hiring processes, manufacturers can strengthen their digital transformation strategy.
Digital transformation has emerged as a significant point of focus for enterprises worldwide. For organizations seeking to embark on their own digital transformation journey, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of DT principles and methodologies. Doing so can have a beneficial effect on business performance. We have discussed how IT staff augmentation is a reliable method to achieve digital transformation effectively. Consider reaching out to Vofox for your IT staff augmentation needs. Our IT staff augmentation services are the best in class, taking into consideration your unique staffing needs to offer your organization the perfect solution.