How Remote Engineering Staff Supports Digital Transformation

While the economic shock and aftershocks of the global pandemic continue to ripple through the economy, there are pockets of growth in some sectors. In software engineering, the need for “remote everything” is driving demand for senior developers that can step in and help companies build great digital products in a hurry.

According to the job posting site Indeed, the demand for software engineers with specific skills is growing by as much as 138 percent. 

Need for Speed

“If the pace of the pre-coronavirus world was already fast, the luxury of time now seems to have disappeared completely,” analysts at McKinsey wrote. “Businesses that once mapped digital strategy in one- to three-year phases must now scale their initiatives in a matter of days or weeks.”

As a result of the need to move quickly, many companies are turning to remote engineering staff augmentation firms to get the skills they need, when and where they need them. These businesses maintain networks of qualified senior developers that are experienced at joining teams mid-project or jump-starting new initiatives.

Remote Engineering Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation firms “help organizations reallocate their labor resources quickly when priorities and directions shift,” McKinsey said. There are multiple advantages to this distributed engineering staffing model as companies need to change gears:

  1. They “get” remote work. Engineers that work for staff augmentation firms are remote work veterans, and companies could learn best practices for helping remote engineering teams improve performance.
  2. Hiring speed. Finding and hiring new engineers is still extremely challenging especially for companies that don’t have experience or processes in place to recruit, interview, and qualify candidates without an office. The staff augmentation firm also shoulders local taxes, employment laws, payroll, and benefits. 
  3. Onboarding expertise. Engineering staff augmentation firms have refined the art of onboarding new developers and getting them up to speed and contributing.
  4. Flexibility without risk. Staff augmentation matches needs with skills. When your needs change, you can tap into, add, or switch resources to always be right-skilled--all without the obligations associated with a permanent hire. 
  5. Help your team learn new skills. McKinsey also points out that staff augmentation can help your teams learn by working side-by-side with more experienced developers. 
  6. Create geographic diversity. Access to developers in other regions of the world improves resilience for future crises that are unique to a specific location. 
  7. Accountability. Unlike traditional project outsourcing where you hand-off a product to a third party and hope for the best, engineers from staff augmentation firms are part of your team and are accountable to you. 

Driving Transformation

Remote software engineering staff augmentation provides an opportunity to capitalize on the global shift to remote work, rather than merely adapt to it. “Another common theme emerging is the widely held desire to build on the flexibility and diversity brought through remote working,” McKinsey said, which “will be critical to capturing the most value from this real-world experiment.” 

Andela has provided remote staff augmentation services for hundreds of businesses, helping them accelerate development with experienced senior engineers. To learn more about how to implement high-performing distributed teams, download the e-book, "Making the Shift: Experts Share How to Rapidly Build and Scale Distributed Teams.”

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