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The Difference Between Managed Services and Staff Augmentation

Managed services and staff augmentation are terms that sound similar but have very different meanings. This article will explore each type of service and discuss how they are used and the differences between them!

What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff augmentation is when there is a short-term need for personnel. This type of temporary staff is usually found in the service industry, such as contracting out for project work on a new software system. Another place you might find temporary staff is in an office that needs more people to run their business at certain times of the year. From outsourcing software development, you can find more information.

What is Managed Service?

A managed service is committed to providing service over a certain period of time-usually 12 months-and will often include various benefits that are not found in other service types, such as training or assistance with recruiting.

Managed Services v. Staff Augmentation: What are the Differences?

The difference between staff augmentation and managed services are:

1.      Length of Time Services: Managed services are committed to providing service over a certain period of time usually 12 months, where Staff augmentation is typically for shorter periods, usually 3 – 6 months;

2.      Length of the Contract Agreement: Managed services often include various benefits such as training or assistance with recruiting. Staff augmentation is typical without long term commitment;

3.      Cost: Managed services are significantly more costly than staff augmentation but have many added benefits to justify the cost. Staff augmentation offers a cheaper service with the ability to change easily without loss of continuity;

4.      Client Interaction: Managed services come with a project coordinator responsible for communication between the client and service provider, whereas staff augmentation typically does not offer this level of direct communication;

5.      Focus: Staff augmentation is focused on maintaining staffing levels and does not typically focus on the quality of hires, but Managed services is focused more on the quality and matching the right person to the right position;

6.      Quality: Staff augmentation is less focused on quality of hire, whereas managed service providers are ruled by the contract set forth between them and their clients, which excels pressure for high performance;

7.      Skills Required: Managed services require a more specialized need in terms of skill sets required to perform tasks. Staff augmentation is less specific in need for skills and focuses more on availability and quick turn-around time.

How do you determine which Service to Use?

The best way to determine which service is best for you is to reach out and talk with both companies. You can chat online, schedule a phone call or in-person meeting, and see when they’re available. Or, reach out to your Human Resources department, and they can provide you with the company’s contact information that provides each service.

When should you Use Each Type of Services?

The decision to use one type of service over the other is usually determined by cost and the ability to scale rapidly if necessary. Staff augmentation may be used for smaller tasks requiring long-term commitments and scaling and reliance on outside providers for jobs requiring more work and specialization.


Staff augmentation and managed services are both ways to hire your business, but they have some important differences. With a staff augmentation contract, you hire people who work remotely or on the job site at their own pace. Managed service providers are often full-time employees who have set hours to complete tasks assigned by the company’s management team. This article has given you an overview of these two hiring methods outside help for your business enterprise.