Digital modernization is on the mind of company leaders in most industries today, as they embrace new ways to handle change management and leadership. While technology is not the only factor, the exciting and meaningful innovation process definitely includes software development - and that’s often a critical need you have to address in order to push forward the digitization efforts.
There are a few ways you can go about fulfilling the technical necessities of your company. Many businesses struggle to handle all tasks in house, as their development teams simply cannot handle the workload, or don’t have the necessary expertise. That’s why they seek third party software development and consulting services.
If you’re considering this option, you’re about to embark on an exciting quest. There is a vast sea of companies out there that offer custom software development. You have to sift through the huge list and find the service provider that will best suit your needs - and will deliver the quality that you need.
While the task is not for the faint of heart, there are certain criteria that can guide you in the process of choosing. In order to follow them, you have to conduct detailed research of your prospective service provider. Equipped with this knowledge, you can make sure that you team up with the right partner for the creation of your custom software solution.
#1. It’s all about the expertise
When weighing the options for bespoke software development, you need to analyze the knowhow of the service providers. The team that you choose to vet with the important task of innovating your business should have the necessary in-depth expertise. It’s usually better to work with people who already have some knowledge in your specific field, as they’ll be better suited to address your pain points.
Yet it’s not only about checking whether the development company offers a specific technology. You also have to verify the actual and full experience of the consultants. This is how you can ensure they will not only deliver a piece of code, but will take a holistic approach towards your business and its needs. A dedicated service provider will go further and will engage in teaching you the best practices, while offering you top quality services.
#2. Check the quality of service beforehand
Another important factor that you should consider when choosing a software development partner is the quality of the work they can provide. After having identified your goals and the technologies that can serve them, you have to check whether the consultant can deliver what you need. You can verify the quality and appropriateness of their solutions by examining the company’s case studies and testimonials, as well as direct referrals you’ve received.
A good factor to pay attention to is whether the service provider is thinking for the long run when choosing the right technology for you. The solution you will get should be as future-proof as possible - meaning that it should work irrespectively of how technology evolves. It should also be bug-free, and the consultant should offer some level of support and maintenance after delivering the code.
#3. Get to know their internal processes
Doing your due diligence before hiring a partner for your custom software solution includes digging deeper into the candidates’ way of working. Understanding how they operate will give you a good idea of what to expect once you start working together. This spans everything from how the company takes decisions and how forward-looking it is to how well they can integrate into your business processes. You should also check the team composition, such as development experts, project and account managers, and quality assurance specialists.
A significant criterion to consider, for example, is the project management methodology that the service provider is employing. Development teams that use agile approaches usually embrace solid guiding principles such as transparency and efficiency. They would also be more likely to be open with you about their internal processes, instead of just delivering an end product to you without much explanation.
#4. Make your conclusions about leadership
It’s important to inform yourself who is at the head of the company and how they’re taking it forward. It’s important to choose a software development partner with strong leadership. If the company knows its own goals and strives towards them, the team will know how to achieve yours as well.
Most software service providers would publish information about their management on their websites. You can check the background of the leaders in order to learn about their previous experience and personal characteristics. Their choice of team members can also tell you a lot about their leadership approach. If they’re handpicking their development team rather than hiring en gros, you can count on a similar approach in the company’s exchange with clients.
#5. Assess their communication with customers
Communication is essential for good collaboration, so that’s a factor that you need to assess when choosing software services. Before you sign a contract, you have plenty of opportunities to interact with the provider. This is not a stage to underestimate, as you can make your conclusions on the basis of response times, level of engagement, and style of communication. The way they are interacting with you now is what you can expect to get once you start working together officially.
Some of the criteria to consider in terms of communication include transparency and timely flow of information. It’s important that the service provider has regular communication with you, such as recurring sync-up calls to keep you updated. If issues arise while implementing a project, such as challenges to the scope or budget, you’d want to count on your software partner to bring them to your attention immediately. Make sure that you’ve also agreed how you will handle time zone differences, as they can be an obstacle to effective exchange.
#6. Don’t underestimate the importance of team culture and values
While it may seem as a side matter, the team culture and values of a software provider have a huge impact on how well they’ll be able to serve you. If transparency and focus on quality are among the company’s guiding principles, it will be a part of how the team works - both internally and with clients like you. You can learn about these aspects from their website and social media channels, as well as from personal referrals.
Forward-looking businesses have come to realize that they need to take care of their employees, so that they can satisfy their customers’ needs adequately. Simply put, happy employees are a prerequisite to happy customers. If your software provider invests in team members’ development and in creating a healthy and supportive environment for work, you can count that the services they’ll deliver for you will be of the highest quality.
#7. Verify they focus on confidentiality, privacy and security
When seeking software services, you need to first establish the levels of privacy and security that you require. Then you have to check if your potential partner can meet them. An obvious point is to verify that their software development practices are GDPR-compliant and that you sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), but you need to inform yourself further.
The service provider needs to take your security and privacy requirements seriously, both for communication and the actual development. This entails sticking to the latest standards in employee and end-customer data privacy protection, platform access and data encryption. You also have to settle from the start how the intellectual property will be handled, especially the ownership of the proprietary data, as well as any other potential legal issues.
#8. Rate their dedication to customer success
While the idea of customer success may seem like an elusive one, it is still crucial to explore it when looking for a custom software development partner. That’s how you can establish if the company is focused on delivering what you truly need for your digital innovation, or if it simply aims to create the wanted code and finalize the process with you.
Software development providers that are dedicated to customer success seek long-term partnerships. They avoid working on single projects one after the other, as this approach doesn’t allow to go in-depth with a client. A good potential partner is a company that aims to understand your business thoroughly, so that it can provide you with tailor-made software solutions that improve your bottom line.
Seeking the right partner for your next project?
When evaluating which service provider to use for your custom software development needs, it’s essential to create and go through your own list of criteria. However, the main requirements that your partner should meet include proven experience, strong leadership, internal transparency, and a powerful dedication to quality and customer satisfaction.
If you’re looking for the right bespoke software development company to take advantage of new technologies for your business, explore the opportunities we offer at Resolute Software.