• John Galligan

How IT Staff Augmentation Can Help You Survive a Recession

With the world facing unprecedented challenges, there is a lot of uncertainty and market volatility. Both enterprise and small businesses are preparing for the impact COVID-19 will have on the world economy. As a result, companies that adapt and get creative when it comes to hiring will create more stability. So what can business leaders do today to prepare to survive the current downturn?

The answer is somewhat related to your IT strategy, like the rest of business success today.

Maintaining business-critical technology in the face of budget cutbacks is one IT challenge in a recession. The second is executing on new IT projects that drive the business and keep you from going under. In both cases, staff augmentation lets you bring on experts when you need them without the expense of a full hire. But is your business agile enough to take advantage of this benefit when it’s needed? Or will you be like the Titanic, trying to turn too late?

Staff augmentation lets you bring on experts when you need them without the expense of a full hire.

Two Benefits of IT Staff Augmentation During Downturn

Last recession, we saw businesses succeed by using IT staff augmentation for two types of operations. The first was making sure the current IT infrastructure was maintained and functional. IT staff augmentation allows for support services rightsizing. This might mean a few people on staff as full-time employees, with the option to supplement through staff augmentation on-demand. Employees get help they need, and when they no longer need it, the expense goes away. Here's a case study on how it works.

One new IT project investment a business might make even in the middle of a recession is data analytics software. But bringing in an expert to set up the software and train the in-house staff is going to be more efficient and make more of the investment.

A closer look at the bottom line during a time of crisis helps reveal where to make cuts and other valuable business insights. Plus, the technology is an investment that can keep benefitting the business even during times of plenty.

This means even during a slow period, it’s essential to keep these projects moving. The flexibility to hire the right experts to get the job done is going to make a better investment overall. Hiring someone on-staff means a longer onboarding period and more expenses before they can get to work.

How to Plan Budget for IT Staff Augmentation

Time is of the essence. Using contractors and staff augmentation is something businesses need to start thinking about now. Start conversations with executives today about IT staff augmentation. On one hand, you risk not completing a priority project, and on the other hand, businesses are reluctant to place full-time hires in times of uncertainty. IT staff augmentation provides a low risk, high expertise solution to meeting business needs. These expenses should also be viewed as operating expenses, not capital expenses. That might mean some changes in thinking before the fiscal year starts.

IT Staff Augmentation should be viewed as operating expenses, not capital expenses.

For instance, some IT departments get a capital budget each year to bring in a certain number of people. But the time is right to consider sacrificing full-time employee chairs for the flexibility to staff temporary support. Not only will this help your existing team stay lean, it will mean you have more ability to pull off a wider variety of projects throughout the year.

How to Set Up a Successful IT Staff Augmentation Program & Onboarding

Starting with a plan to share with leadership is the first step. Lucid has worked with companies that have existing staff augmentation programs, and companies that are new to the concept. As a guide, we've created the below IT Staff Augmentation Roadmap to the Do's and Don'ts when it comes to hiring contractors.

Below is an infographic and roadmap to use whether you're just getting started or finessing your staff aug program:

Take action today and download our IT Staff Augmentation Hiring Checklist

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