Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Services: What’s the Difference?

Staff augmentation is usually a short-term engagement where a company temporarily adds extra team members for a busy period or project. Managed services are a long-term engagement where a company outsources IT tasks to a third-party. However, this is only one way to compare managed services vs. staff augmentation.

The best choice for your organization is largely dependent on what you need to accomplish. Neither service is “better” than the other overall, each one is better for specific needs or organizational structures.

For this reason, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each service. So, this article will provide an introduction to each service model and highlight the benefits of each to help you make a more informed decision.


Staff Augmentation and Managed Services: An Overview

Managed IT Services Staff Augmentation
Cost Most managed IT services charge a fixed monthly fee, which is more cost-effective than an in-house team. May be more cost-effective for larger businesses with fluctuating needs. This is because they would only pay for the additional staff as needed.
Control Managed IT providers have full control over IT systems. Although, you can specify needs and expectations. Your company retains full control over IT systems.
Expertise Providers often have a broad range of expertise, allowing them to handle a wide variety of IT tasks. The company can select individuals with specific skills that match their needs.
Risk management Managed IT service providers assume and manage risks for you. Risk management remains largely the responsibility of your company.


What is Staff Augmentation?

As its name implies, staff augmentation involves adding additional staff to your team. This helps you save time on training, particularly when you only need their skills for a short period. Additionally, augmented staff usually make an hourly wage which is comparatively more affordable than a full-time salary.


Pros of Staff Augmentation


There’s little to no training or onboarding involved in the staff augmentation model. Once you’ve picked your experts, they can start working almost immediately. However, there may be some legal or financial red tape involved if you’re working with professionals from other countries.



It’s easy for companies to add or remove augmented staff whenever needed. This flexibility can be especially beneficial during periods of uncertainty or fluctuating workloads.



Business owners have just as much control over augmented staff as they do over regular staff. This makes it an appealing option for people who are hesitant to outsource to someone who answers to a third-party.


Cons of Staff Augmentation


Due to the nature of staff augmentation, it comes with high turnover rates. Therefore, it’s not the best option if you’re looking for a high-level of commitment or company loyalty.


Costs Over Time

Staff augmentation is cheaper in the short-term, but it can add up. Rehiring augmented staff every time you need them may end up costing more than a long-term contract.

What to Consider When Outsourcing IT



Be careful not to become overly reliant on augmented staff. Doing so may cause you to neglect internal upskilling which can hinder your company’s growth. It can also lead to mismanaged internal processes during periods without your augmented staff.


What are Managed Services?

Managed services take full control of a company’s day-to-day IT tasks. Businesses usually turn to this option as a way to save time and/or money. A managed services provider (MSP) is the term for businesses that offer this service. MSPs typically cover all IT functions but some focus on specific aspects, such as cybersecurity.


Pros of Managed Services

Reduced Costs

MSPs help you transform your fixed IT expenses into more adaptable ones. This is because you pay only for the services you use when you use them. For example, instead of investing in costly servers, you can use an MSP’s cloud services and pay based on usage.


Access to the Latest Technology

MSPs stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry standards. This means you can benefit from cutting-edge technology without the need for constant upgrades or training.


Cyber Risk Reduction

Most MSPs are knowledgeable when it comes to cybersecurity and compliance. This helps you fill any gaps that you may not have known were there. Additionally, an MSP partnership is required to qualify for cyber insurance in the US.

Looking for an MSP in the Chicagoland Area?

Here’s an Option


Cons of Managed Services

Hidden Costs

While MSPs often provide cost savings, there might be hidden charges for services not covered in your contract. Be sure to ask about this possibility during discovery.


Inflexible Contracts

Some MSPs may lock you into long-term contracts that are difficult or costly to exit. This can be an issue if your business needs change or if you’re unhappy with the service.


Single Point-of-Failure

Relying heavily on a single MSP may introduce a single point-of-failure to your operations. For instance, your business continuity could take a dramatic hit if your MSP experiences a system-wide outage.


When Do You Need Managed Services & Where to Look?

Staff augmentation is a good option for temporary help. For example, if you need an extra software developer for a big project. However, if you’re finding that you need these additional tech skills on a longer-term basis, it’s time to consider managed services instead.

Outsource Solutions Group is an award-winning, Chicago-based managed services provider. Our team offers comprehensive support for cybersecurity, network management, cloud migrations, and so much more.

We always start with a thorough onboarding process so we can be sure that we’ll have all your needs covered. No need to augment extra staff when we can do it all.

Reach out to learn more about our services and request a quote.

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