The Axes of Staffing

  • In several recent discussions we've been talking about benefits and challenges of different means of acquiring or organizing IT work. I think laying out the axes for this might be beneficial as the discussion of one axis always seems to lead to confusion and looking at an unrelated axis.

    What's important is that all of these axes are unrelated to one another, each operates totally independently. None are tied together.

    Axis 1: Sourcing / Employment Structure

    This is insourced employee (W2 in US terms) vs. outsourced MSP / ITSP (C2C 1099 in US terms.) This is purely an employment and tax structuring question at the base level, with the fact that the outsourced model allows for an additional scaling option. Nothing more is implied.

    Axis 2: On Premises vs. Remote

    Whether an individual IT resources sits at the customer premises or does not.

    Axis 3: Shoring

    Whether an individual IT resources is on shore (same country) or off shore (different country.) A middle ground called near shoring exists and is literally just offshoring, but in a country that is close so things like timezones are similar.

    All combinations are possible. Example...

    FTE, On Prem, On Shore
    FTE, On Prem, Off Shore
    FTE, Off Prem, On Shore
    FTE, Off Prem, Off Shore
    MSP, On Prem, On Shore
    MSP, On Prem, Off Shore
    MSP, Off Prem, On Shore
    MSP, Off Prem, Off Shore

    Too often these axes are confused with one another and a discussion of one is manged by discussing one of the unrelated axes. If we are talking about a single FTE, only one of these can be chosen from the list. If an MSP, it is possible that multiple resources may be involved and so one or more may be chosen. A single MSP, in a single engagement, could have all four MSP modes in use, or only one, etc.

  • Just found this on our website, forgot that I had written it.