Managed Services vs. Staff Augmentation: A Closer Look

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Frequently, staff augmentation and managed services are used interchangeably. Yet, the two services offer something quite different. Both expand your in-house IT team, but with entirely different approaches. Let’s compare staff augmentation vs. managed services.

Many companies view staff augmentation as an alternative to full IT outsourcing. IT remains in-house, but additional workers are temporarily added to the team during high-volume periods. Typically, augmented staff work on an hourly wage. 

On the other hand, managed services provide ongoing support for a fixed price. 

To learn more about staff augmentation vs. managed services, read on. This article will discuss what each one is, their different service models, and which one you should choose. 

Why Should I Extend My IT Department?

Managed services and staff augmentation are both ways to extend your IT department. But, what are the benefits of doing so? In 2019, iCIMS discovered that, on average, American employers were only able to fill 6 out of every 10 open IT positions. 

Throughout the 2020s, this statistic has only gotten worse. By 2023, 95% of businesses were dealing with an IT skill shortage. That’s a drastic increase in a short amount of time. 

Managed IT and augmentation both help companies combat this shortage. You can also gain new insights from a fresh perspective and expedite project launches by adding more hands to your development teams. 

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is when a company extends their IT team for a short period. However, augmentation is not technically IT outsourcing. Instead, it’s classified as “out-tasking.” 

The difference is that out-tasking is micro-focused. Businesses out-task singular duties and outsource entire roles. For example, you could outsource all of your software development, or you may only out-task minor bug fixes.

With the staff augmentation model, you contact a provider and hire your augmented team through them. The staff augmentation services provider is responsible for all the administrative and legal paperwork. All you need to do is choose who you want and pay their hourly wage.

What are Managed IT Services?

Comparatively, you work with a managed service provider (MSP) to get managed IT services. Each MSP includes a team of expert consultants who can meet almost any need. Popular services include:

  • Technical support
  • Cloud services
  • Strategic planning
  • IT consulting
  • Managed cybersecurity

With the managed services model, your provider presents a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This document showcases their pricing and service scope. It’s easy to scale services up or down as your information technology needs change.

What Does KDIT Offer in their Managed Service Agreements?

Which One Should I Choose?

Some people swear by one or the other, but the correct choice depends upon your business needs. 

The following table highlights their pros and cons so you can get a feel for what’s best for you.

Pros and Cons of Managed Services and Staff Augmentation


Managed IT

Staff Augmentation


  • You can guarantee outcomes through their SLAs.
  • You get long-term support for all future projects.
  • Service costs are predictable and consistent. 
  • Save time on recruitment.
  • MSP consultants represent their company. They’re more reliable to preserve their organization’s reputation. 
  • You maintain full control of your IT department.
  • It’s a short-term commitment.
  • You can pick and choose anyone from anywhere in the world.
  • It’s less risky than hiring a full-time employee because there are no employee contracts.
  • Hourly wages are generally more affordable than an annual salary.


  • Some MSPs lock you into long-term contracts.
  • You could partner with an MSP that doesn’t align with your business.
  • You may lose some autonomy over your IT operations.
  • An MSP’s regular fee may be more expensive than someone who works for a low hourly wage.
  • There could be added workflow processes, especially if you’re working with people from different time zones.
  • There are no SLAs, so you may not get a clear picture of what your augmented staff members are doing.
  • Augmented staff may be unreliable.
  • Maybe less cost-effective in the long run due to increased management and overhead costs.

When To Choose Which

There are situations when one might be the better option. Here is a list of examples when you may choose one or the other.

When You Might Choose Staff Augmentation

  • You need extra help with a large project
  • You’re temporarily short on staff
  • You need someone to spot-check a new product
  • You’re fully staffed but need to temporarily save your team’s time

When You Might Choose a Managed Service Provider

  • You want to offload day-to-day tasks and let your team focus on projects
  • You need a reliable project manager with a deep understanding of your needs
  • When you don’t have time to train a new staff member for a job
  • If you’re a growing business whose needs will frequently change
Managed Services vs Staff Augmentation

Interested in Trying Managed IT Services?

After reading this article, perhaps you decided that managed IT services are best for you. If so, KDIT offers a comprehensive managed IT solution with tailored packages, 24/7/365 support, and predictable costs.

Every contract comes with a clear SLA, so you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get. We’ll start you on a 12-month contract and transition to a convenient monthly model so you’ll never feel “locked in.” As long as you give us 30 days’ notice, we’ll cancel if necessary.

Enjoy the flexibility of staff augmentation and the quality of managed services. Contact us to request a quote and get started.