Staff Augmentation for your Digital Health Projects

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In the age of “the great resignation” and the developer shortage, staffing for IT projects is a challenge. In fact, the tech industry is one of the hardest hit by the volatile job market. 

As a result, digital health organizations have had to find a new way to organize their projects. In such a fast-paced market, it’s critical that deadlines are met, with as few hurdles as possible. Digital health development projects don’t have time to address the lack of engineers. 

Outside of large, expensive and time-consuming recruitment drives, outsourcing is the most common way that digital health companies staff their projects. IT staff augmentation is a flexible and accessible outsourcing method. 

Staff augmentation means the outsourcing of engineers and other IT team members to meet individual requirements. The method allows you to extend and cut your development teams, as required by the project. This takes advantage of various skills over the lifespan of a digital health project. 

IT staff augmentation agencies fit to your requirements, to save you time and provide skilled engineers. In digital health development, experts are key for a controlled and compliant architecture.

Staff augmentation

Staff Augmentation and Outsourcing Methods

Staff augmentation is a type of outsourcing. Typically, outsourcing means sourcing an entire development team to build your project, from outside of your organization. In IT augmentation, individual staff members are sourced from an augmentation agency. 

IT staff augmentation agencies can supplement your teams internationally or locally, depending on your requirements. It’s important to bear in mind budget restraints and deadlines when assessing your project architecture.


Nearshore agencies operate in countries close to the host country of your organization. You hire team members from the agency as per your requirements. Typically, they are based within the same or similar time zones. They ideally speak the same language. 

Nearshore augmentation can potentially reduce the budget required for the building work on a project. Often, nearshore countries can offer reduced rates for development work. However, this may not be as reduced as offshore agencies. 

As they work within the same time zone, communication is much simpler between in-house teams and nearshore teams. There are less likely to be language barriers, too. 


Offshore outsourcing works very similarly to nearshore outsourcing. The primary difference is that the teams are based in countries that are far away, or even on the other side of the globe. Again, offshore team augmentation agencies can supplement your existing teams based on your requirements. 

Offshore IT staff augmentation does present challenges, however. Due to the distance between the development country and the agencies country, time zones vary. Operating in different time zones can make communication challenging. Waiting for responses or communication on the project can be a poor use of time. 

However, offshore staff augmentation is typically more budget-friendly. Labour costs can be kept low by outsourcing from further afield. It’s important to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages to thoroughly understand the best method for your project. Whatever suits your organization, the key is to form a real partnership with any outsourced company. 

Onshore and Freelancing

Traditional “staff augmentation” is still an option. Agencies can supplement your teams from locally available talent pools, or consider searching freelance. 

It’s important to note that freelance sourcing in the current market is extremely time-consuming. Whether this is a viable option will depend on the number of skilled engineers required by your project. They will need to integrate well into your existing local teams, and pick up your area of expertise quickly. For smaller digital health projects, this could be a great way to staff your project with digital health experienced staff. 

Freelance and onshore agencies are likely to cost more upfront. However, they do eliminate the challenges presented by language barriers and time zones. There is also no guarantee that an onshore agency can provide the full numbers required for your project. Chances are, if your agency is struggling to fill positions during the developer shortage, local agencies are too. 

Follow the Sun Partnership Model 

The “follow the sun” model offers the best of nearshore, offshore and local sourcing. This architecture provides a full 24 hours of development work per day. Teams are based in countries around the globe, to hand off to the next time zone once their 8-hour workday is completed. 

Outsourcing can be a great way to drive your development projects forward. However, ensure that you can build a partnership with your outsourcing company. Many outsourcing relationships are contractual. In digital health, it’s important that both partners can work together to achieve the best quality solutions. Staff augmentation is a great way to build a partnership, as teams integrate with each other for the improvement of a project. 

The “follow the sun” model facilitates real partnership. Digital health IT teams need to hand over to the following time zones regularly. Therefore, communication and best practices are key. 

The global development model offers the benefits in communication that nearshore and onshore sourcing offers. It can also help to cut labour costs, like offshore sourcing. Consider augmenting your teams using the “follow the sun” architecture. 

Staff augmentation

Benefits of Staff Augmentation

However you source the additions to your teams, team augmentation can really help to drive your projects forward. Ultimately, your project needs skilled developers to meet deadlines. IT staff augmentation can help you to beat the developer shortage.


Staff augmentation is critical for digital health as it offers the ability to scale your teams. IT development is a constantly evolving industry. Your projects will need different skilled workers at different stages of the project. 

An IT staff augmentation agency can offer skilled team members depending on your requirements. Your teams can be filled almost overnight. 

Also, teams can be reduced just as quickly. Even if your project needs change, team augmentation agencies can support you. They offer the flexibility of increasing and reducing team numbers.

The alternative is hiring en-masse and making large scale redundancies. Needless to say, this would lead to poor company culture. You’re likely to lose even more skilled workers in the process.

Varied Skillsets

Outsourcing to a staff augmentation agency widens your talent pool. Hiring locally is great if you can. However, due to the developer shortage, this is becoming more and more challenging. 

Outsourced teams have access to a wider range of talent within the digital health development space. A wider range of experiences and skills within your teams drives innovation. This is particularly important in the evolving and growing health tech industry.

It’s also critical that development teams are supplemented with digital health experts. Healthcare is a challenging industry, and it is highly regulated. As a result, not having a firm understanding of healthcare and health tech could be detrimental. 

Staff augmentation provides the opportunity to supplement your current staff with experts, where needed. For example, business analysts can help to contextualize your digital health development, and keep your important IT projects on track for success. 

Experienced project managers are a necessity in digital healthcare, too. It’s challenging to recruit these individually for singular projects. Augmenting your teams allows you to scalably introduce the necessary experts.

Save Valuable Recruitment Time

Skilled temporary workers are available immediately with IT staff augmentation. As mentioned, the recruitment process can be lengthy.

It takes time to find the right engineer for your organization. Even when you do, there’s no guarantee that they will stay at your organization in the current market. If not, you need to start the recruitment process all over again.

It’s also important to bear in mind the costs associated with recruitment. Once recruited, your newest staff members will require a guaranteed salary. Overall, permanent hiring can cost significantly more time and money than a team augmentation contract.

Clean Code and Clean Handovers

Staff augmentation offers the scalability of full outsourcing, without the communication and handover difficulties. 

Once your project is finished with fully outsourced development, your project is returned to your organization. The primary challenge is that there is limited quality control for your organization. Once an outsourcing contract is signed, there’s no specification around how the work is carried out. 

Staff augmentation provides improved quality control. Instead of the entire project being in the hands of an outsourced team, augmented staff must integrate into your organization. Therefore, they learn to follow your coding requirements, quality standards and methods of communication. 

Once completed, the project is still manageable by your existing team members. Code should be standardized to suit your organization, and engineers feel confident to make any necessary adaptations further down the line.

Staff augmentation

Remote Staff Augmentation

In today’s job market, more employees are working remotely than ever before. This is true in digital health development, too. 

Thankfully, tech development doesn’t need to be done in-office. Despite this, many tech companies still look to source skilled workers locally. It’s critical to widen your search, and access more of the developer talent pool. 

It’s critical to note that during this developer shortage, skilled workers are demanding more from their roles. They expect flexibility, and a varied workload to keep them engaged. Staff augmentation agencies can offer this. Their teams can work remotely, as they are able to integrate with their partners in-house or remote teams. Therefore, they have good staff retention. 

Remote team augmentation allows your organization to take advantage of skilled temporary workers further afield, providing increased expertise. Your next big project can be driven by the very best project managers, engineers, business analysts and more that digital health has to offer.

At Vertrical, we have teams of experts available to supplement a number of IT projects. We can offer compliance experts, software engineers, project managers, and more and help companies leverage staff augmentation. We know the digital healthcare space, and have teams based around the globe to meet your requirements. 

Our dedicated team of experts utilize a “follow the sun” methodology. This provides all the benefits of outsourcing, while producing 24 hours of development work per day on your projects. Get in touch with us to discuss your digital health project and in-house team expansion.


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