Staff Augmentation vs. Managed Services

Marina Svitlyk
Talent Acquisition Manager, RemotelyTalents

In the whirlwind world of modern business, where change is the only constant, staying agile isn’t just helpful—it’s crucial. Companies everywhere are constantly on the lookout for ways to flex and scale their teams to keep pace with new technologies, market shifts, and customer needs. That's precisely where staff augmentation and managed services come into the spotlight, offering a lifeline for businesses eager to adapt and thrive.

So, what's this article about?

Think of it as your go-to guide for demystifying these two game-changing strategies. Whether you’re at the helm of a buzzing startup or navigating the complexities of a well-established enterprise, understanding staff augmentation and managed services could be your secret sauce to staying competitive. Let’s break down the pros, the cons, and everything in-between to help you pinpoint which path might just be the perfect fit for your company’s journey.

Ready to dive in?

Let’s get started and explore how these options can turbocharge your team's flexibility and readiness for whatever lies ahead.

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is your go-to move for keeping your team agile and ready to tackle any project that comes your way. It's a smart strategy that lets you fill in the gaps with skilled professionals, precisely when and where you need them. This approach is all about flexibility—bringing in the right talent for specific projects without the long-term commitment.

The beauty of staff augmentation lies in its benefits. First off, it opens the door to a pool of top-notch talent. You're not limited to your local job market; you can tap into a global network of experts ready to jump into action. Then there's scalability. As your project demands shift, so can your team size, allowing you to scale up or down effortlessly.

And let's not forget control.

You get to pick the exact skills and expertise needed for your project, ensuring a perfect fit every time. Staff augmentation isn't just about filling positions; it's about enhancing your team's capabilities with precision and ease.

What are Managed Services?

Managed services mean you're bringing in a team of pros to not just join your project, but to take the lead on it. It’s when a third-party provider takes the wheel on managing a project or a suite of services, staffing included, all on your company’s behalf. Think of it as entrusting the keys to someone who knows exactly how to drive your project home, safely and efficiently.

This approach packs a punch with its benefits. You’re tapping into a deep well of expertise in project management, something that can turn the tide in your favor, especially for those projects that seem like a labyrinth. It’s about having a seasoned navigator at the helm, someone who’s adept at sidestepping risks before they even become issues. And when it comes to complex or specialized projects, managed services are like having a Swiss Army knife — incredibly efficient and ready for anything.

Essentially, it’s about ensuring your projects aren’t just completed, but are done so with finesse and expertise, freeing you to focus on the broader vision of your business.

Comparing Staff Augmentation and Managed Services

When choosing between staff augmentation and managed services, it's like deciding between hiring a superstar player for your team or bringing in a seasoned coach to guide the whole squad. Each has its strengths and plays a unique role.

Here’s a breakdown to help you see how they stack up against each other across key aspects:


  • Staff Augmentation: Can be cost-effective for short-term needs, as you pay for the talent you need, when you need it.
  • Managed Services: Might seem pricier upfront due to comprehensive service coverage, but can lead to cost savings through efficiency and expertise over the long haul.


  • Staff Augmentation: Offers high control, letting you direct the augmented staff just as you would your in-house team.
  • Managed Services: Less direct control over day-to-day activities, as the provider takes charge of how services are delivered.


  • Staff Augmentation: Provides access to specific expertise needed for the project, but requires your management.
  • Managed Services: Brings a whole team’s expertise to bear on your project, with seasoned management included.


  • Staff Augmentation: Highly scalable, allowing you to adjust the team size quickly based on project demands.
  • Managed Services: Scalability is managed by the provider, offering you flexibility without the need to manage team changes directly.

Risk Management:

  • Staff Augmentation: Requires your team to manage project risks and integration of new staff.
  • Managed Services: The provider handles risk management, using their experience to navigate and mitigate potential pitfalls.

In a nutshell, staff augmentation is your go-to when you need that extra talent boost while keeping the reins firmly in your hands. On the flip side, managed services are perfect for when you’re looking for someone to take complete care of a segment or project, bringing their expertise to the forefront and allowing you to focus on other strategic areas of your business.

How to Choose Between Staff Augmentation and Managed Services

Choosing between staff augmentation and managed services is like picking the right tool for a job. It's all about what you need, when you need it, and how best to get it done. Here are a few guidelines to help you make that call, tailored to your business's unique landscape:

Understand Your Project Scope and Duration:

  • If your project is short-term or you need specific skills for a limited time, staff augmentation can fill those gaps neatly.
  • For long-term projects or those requiring a comprehensive, hands-off approach, managed services might be the way to go.

Assess Your Internal Capabilities:

  • Do you have the management bandwidth and expertise to oversee additional staff effectively? If yes, augmentation could work well.
  • If you're stretched thin or lack specific expertise, a managed services provider can take the load off, managing the project end-to-end.

Consider Your Budget:

  • Staff augmentation can be cost-effective for short bursts, allowing you to optimize your spend on talent as needed.
  • Managed services, while potentially higher in initial costs, can offer predictable pricing and potentially save money through efficiencies and reduced overhead in the long run.

Evaluate Your Control Preferences:

  • If maintaining direct control over every aspect of the project and team is important, augmentation keeps you in the driver's seat.
  • If you're open to delegating control for the sake of efficiency and expertise, managed services give you the freedom to focus elsewhere.

Reflect on Your Risk Management Capacity:

  • Are you equipped to handle the integration and management risks of augmented staff? If so, augmentation offers flexibility.
  • Prefer to mitigate risks through expert management? Managed services providers bring experience in navigating challenges effectively.

Understanding your business model and the specific requirements of your project is crucial. Each model has its strengths, and the best choice often hinges on the nuances of your situation. Take the time to weigh these factors carefully. The right strategy can not only address your immediate needs but also set the stage for future success, aligning closely with your business's overarching goals and challenges. Remember, it’s not just about filling a gap—it’s about empowering your business to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between staff augmentation and managed services is about matching the solution to your specific needs, not picking the 'best' one overall. If you're looking to quickly enhance your team with specific skills while keeping project control, staff augmentation is your go-to. But if you're aiming to fully entrust a project or service area to experts outside your company, managed services offer a comprehensive, hands-off approach.

The key is to consider what your business and projects really need—think about your internal capabilities, project specifics, and how you prefer to balance control, cost, and expertise. A clear understanding of these aspects will guide you to the right choice, ensuring your projects don't just get done, but excel.

For those intrigued by the flexibility and skill enhancement staff augmentation offers, RemotelyTalents’ services are worth exploring.

Discover how our Staff Augmentation Services can cater to your unique demands, helping your team not just grow, but thrive.

Let’s explore the possibilities together.

Marina Svitlyk
Talent Acquisition Manager, RemotelyTalents

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