Having a good product idea for building a custom application or software is the first step towards achieving your organization’s desired business goals. However, the path to success will be determined by the skill and experience of your software company that develops the application.
You will have several software development companies to select from. You can decide based on cost, size, experience, location, and several other parameters. Hence, choosing the right company is difficult and confusing.
How to identify the best-suited software development vendor is an important question. Here are a few important considerations that will help you make the right choice. We have also compiled ten important questions later in this article to help you make the right decision.
The software development vendor is an extension of your organization, not only for your current needs but also for future requirements. They need to act like a long-term partner and be aligned with your objectives. Your vendor should understand your business requirements, help focus on priorities, advise from a technical perspective, and execute work efficiently. Selection of the vendor should be done keeping in mind both organizational alignment and project alignment. Additionally, alignment is the most crucial factor to consider while going forward with a software development company or with freelancers.
While the software development company specializing in a certain domain and technology is crucial, it should also have expertise across the wider technology spectrum – front-end, UI/UX design, back-end, server, security, et al. For complex and bigger projects, having a team with diverse understanding and experience across technologies allows the vendor to understand the functional requirements holistically and to come up with cost-effective solutions.
For offshore partners, leveraging the knowledge of your vendor is more cost-effective than developing all technology expertise in-house. This is because developing all technology expertise in-house is expensive, as it would involve hiring several employees with specialized technology expertise, training them, and making sure that they are utilized efficiently for the long term even after the project is completed.
3. Best Practices
A gap in understanding of the requirements can cause the complete failure of your project. Hence, the software development company must follow best industry practices across communications, execution, documentation, budgeting, quality assurance, security, etc. Project management methods can vary greatly between companies and for a successful engagement with a software development company, it is crucial that they follow a process that is organized, consistent, and supports quality control. For offshore partners, good communication is a must to understand requirements correctly and efficiently coordinate for smooth and timely execution.
Cheapest isn’t the best option while selecting a software development vendor, so always look at the bigger picture. Typically, the hourly rates are very standard based on regions –
- Asia/Eastern Europe: $15-$30
- South America: $30-$45
- North America: $80+
We recommend that you do not choose a vendor purely based on their rate. Rather look at the approach they came to the pricing. The best way is to review a few proposals and compare the project plans and time estimates for each phase. Understand the # of hours, resources each vendor is proposing, and then compare their total costs.
Additionally, most vendors provide support/maintenance services, and their pricing can vary. Look at the monthly support hours each vendor is proposing and at what cost. Usually, it’s a good idea to pick a lower-cost vendor for support for smaller enhancements.
10 questions to help you decide the right vendor
Based on the above considerations, here are ten important questions for which you need clarity to select the right software development company.
- Who are the key management personnel behind the software company and how long have they been in business?
(Tip: Ask about the top management and their vision. Also, ask them how they differentiate themselves vs competition.)
- Do they have expertise across the technology spectrum – front-end, back-end, server, security, etc?
(Tip: Ask about the projects completed across the spectrum. Also, have a Zoom/Skype with a few tech leads to understand their backgrounds.)
- Do they have experience with similar projects?
(Tip: Ask about a few sample project overviews including the broad scope of work. Also, discuss the challenges faced during the execution of these projects.)
- Can they provide some references from their earlier clients as they can provide valuable inputs about the team, technical expertise as well as project handling capabilities?
(Tip: Check clutch.co or Have a Zoom/Skype call with the references.)
- In the case of outsourcing, have they worked with clients from your location?
(Tip: Ask them about a few clients that they worked within your timezone so that you become comfortable with issues such as time difference, cultural and linguistic barriers.)
- What communications processes do they follow to efficiently coordinate with you for smooth and timely execution?
(Tip: Ask about their external and internal communications processes for project tracking, feedback, and coordination.)
- What industry best practices do they follow?
(Tip: Ask them about their best practices around documentation, security, quality assurance, budgeting, communications, execution, etc.)
- What kind of security measures will be used during communication and development, including the safeguarding of the data and intellectual property?
(Tip: Ask them about their NDA and Confidentiality policies. Also, try to understand how the multiple team members coordinate across a single project.)
- Do they provide software ownership to you, so that the same application cannot be used by any other organizations?
(Tip: Ask them about their policies around copyright and whether code ownership is mentioned in their contracts.)
- Will there be continued support after the project is complete?
(Tip: Ask them about their support and maintenance offerings post project completion.)
A careful selection of the software development company is crucial for realizing your company’s vision and we know how important it is for you to get things right as your business is in question. If you’ve any doubts related to software development and if you need assistance developing one then feel free to talk to us here.
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We specialize in delivering end-to-end software design & development services and have hands-on experience with software development tools. We have expertise in developing custom software and system applications for multiple business requirements, be it IoT, enterprise application, or a customized machine learning platform. Contact us for your project discussion today.