Digital Agency

The Indispensable Virtues of Agencies in Today’s Economy

Sam Hannah

September 12, 2023

With lots of economic instability in the air at the moment, it may make sense to many companies looking to begin their digital journeys, or improve upon their existing offerings, to build up their in-house teams, rather than outsourcing work to external partners.

The perception is that directly hiring internally is the cheaper way of achieving their goals in this area, and that any compromise on the quality and breadth of work is made up for by the cost savings.

However, in actual fact, the opposite is true, so here is the practical and economic case for agencies.

In essence, agencies serve as the supplementary layer that clients require for tasks beyond the capacity of their in-house teams due to resource constraints. Unlike in-house teams, agencies are well-equipped with the necessary resources to singularly concentrate on the task at hand.

On a macroeconomic scale, the existence of this extra layer means more wealth creating companies in an economy, which any economist will tell you is a good thing, as it means more jobs are created resulting in lower unemployment and more consumers having disposable income. Additionally, it also translates to higher tax revenues for the government as there is a larger pool from which to collect.

Economic growth (aggregate demand in particular) is driven mainly by consumer spending, and with more wealth creating companies in existence, that only feeds into an increase in consumption which in turn drives economic growth. Effectively, in layman’s terms, more private enterprises means higher economic growth.

In a more micro sense, the benefits agencies can offer to companies are vast. Given that they work on similar projects for a variety of companies, they have the resources on hand to fulfil the work in a more timely and cost-effective manner than an in-house team alone could achieve.

In the micro sense, here is why agencies are always useful partners:

Expertise and Experience: Agencies have a deep knowledge across various industries, clients can tap into their expertise and leverage the agency’s knowledge to accelerate their digital transformation efforts.

This also means that the end result is likely to be a much better thought-out product than what a singularly focused in-house team could build.

Strategic Guidance: Agencies can provide strategic guidance about technology adoption, process optimisation, customer experience and organisational change, helping clients develop a roadmap for their digital journey from a perspective that isn’t dogged by insular mindsets.

They can assess the client’s current state, identify opportunities for improvement, and recommend the latest technologies and approaches to best achieve their digital goals together.

Resource Augmentation: Agencies can offer specialised skills and resources that may not be available in-house. Clients and their external partners can augment their internal teams with the necessary talent and capacity from the agency to execute their projects more effectively.

It’s important to remember that when you engage with an agency, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re paying for all the resources that the agency has to offer — they will only add the necessary team members to ensure a balance of productivity and cost-effectiveness.

Cost Efficiency: Building an in-house digital team can be costly, time-consuming, and may require ongoing training and infrastructure investments. Working with an agency allows clients to access a ready-made team of professionals without the need for long-term commitments.

Faster Time to Market: By leveraging an agency’s expertise and resources, clients can accelerate their initiatives and gain a competitive edge by getting their products or services to market faster.

Objectivity and Fresh Perspective: Sometimes, internal teams can be constrained by existing processes, biases, or organisational politics. Agencies bring an external perspective and offer unbiased insights. They can challenge existing assumptions, identify blind spots, and provide objective recommendations.

This fresh perspective is invaluable in driving innovation and helping clients overcome internal barriers to change.

Continuous Support and Adaptation: Digital transformation, or any ongoing digital process, is a journey rather than a one-time project. Agencies can provide ongoing support and adaptation as clients navigate through different phases of their transformation.

They can monitor performance, gather data-driven insights, and recommend iterative improvements to ensure that clients stay on track and achieve their long-term digital goals.

All told, the mastery of various technologies and the breadth of knowledge and experience across industries that an agency brings is invaluable to a company, if nothing else. As long as the agency is receptive to the wishes of the client and operates collaboratively, the finished article will always be a better product than those built solely by in-house teams.