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9 Tips for Choosing the Right Software Development Company

Today, organizations both large and small must deliver transformative digital experiences to customers in order to survive. In the wake of mass adoption of software driven solutions in our society and the integration of tools into every aspect of our lives enterprises are forced to split resources away from core operations and pour them into enhancing digital experiences. The sheer convenience and quick support offered by digital platforms has skyrocketed consumer expectations. Now, companies are expected to prioritize their digital transformation to remain competitive.

As a startup entering the digital space or a business looking to make digital services available, the ideas generated from brainstorming can be endless; however, resources are often limited. What if there was a smarter, more efficient way?

Smarter Outsourced Product Development

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In the face of these challenges, outsourcing and choosing the right software development company for product development can help an enterprise get out of these trenches and keep up with market needs.

Outsourcing is an enterprise’s pocket-friendly solution that allows them to tap into a flexible team of creative thinkers, designers, and developers to build the right digital products for their customers and help them stay ahead in the market.

In a report that explored the benefits of outsourcing, Gartner states:

45% of organizations that outsource at least part of their project development process report an improved time-to-market.

What Kind of IT Outsourcing is Right for Businesses?

Software is often mistaken to be just technology but it is much more than that. It is technology, of course, but it is also an art- both intuitively and purposefully. When it comes to choosing an outsourcing service provider, not just any provider will do. The vast majority of custom software development companies only focus on building and delivering products, without any advisory capabilities; these are ‘Follower’ providers. An enterprise that expects uncompromised work quality would instead like to work with a provider who can manage the project end to end, alongside an Advisor or Trusted Partner. The following will help an enterprise ask the right questions during the evaluation phase:

Follower Advisor Trusted Partner
Co-creation process to understand your business and needed X X
Consult on technology strategy and roadmap X X
Deign digital product with UX/UI experts, prototyping, testing, vlidation X
Manage the project resources, costs, timeline X X
Build and deliver digital product X X X
Agile development methodology for dynamic, iterative development X
Quality assurance and control X
Data-driven measurement X
Post launch support X
Rapid, continious innovation X

How to Choose the Right Custom Software Development Company

The most important factor for choosing a custom software development company should be that the partner complements and accentuates the skills and existing knowledge of an organization.

When it comes to product development, coordinators and project leaders will be leveraging a multi-disciplinary team to design and deliver the best possible product for the needs of the enterprise. A team that has a diverse expertise will offer the most transparent and frictionless experience. They have spent countless hours developing skills beyond the basics and an understanding of what it takes to go above and beyond. When business leaders are looking to outsource software development, these are some key skill areas they should keep an eye on:

1. Technical Skills

technical skills for choosing the right software development company

Businesses who are serious about IT outsourcing should stay clear of software development companies that specialize in only one kind of technical architecture; there is no one-size-fits-all solution for product development. Unless the leaders have done thorough research previously and have zeroed down on a technological preference, their discovery phase should weigh all factors in choosing the right technology to support the project. When it comes to selecting IT consulting services, skills and processes are equally as important as technology choices. Look for published technical expertise in a variety of areas relevant to digital product development.

2. Partners Who Understand Business Goals

right software development partner who understand business

It doesn’t take much these days to set up a web presence as a digital product development consultant, but experience is what sets many partners apart. The world of business is much more dynamic these days relative to a decade ago. Simply having product knowledge is no longer enough.

Custom software development companies should understand the goals of the enterprise and how the enterprise wishes to build and grow over the years in order to make the business ascend to new heights.

3. Communication

communication with the right software development company

Going beyond the basics also means good communication skills. Being able to effectively communicate and open dialogue is a win-win for both the enterprise and the outsourcing partner. Good communication puts the point forward much clearly and concisely, helps streamline goals and objectives, and reduces back and forth doubt clearing sessions. Result? Less friction and faster process.

4. UX/UI

ux and ui design

There are many software development agencies focused specifically on design and others that focus primarily on the technical services that can deliver a project. However, choosing one or the other for bringing an idea to life often leaves a lot to be desired at a later stage.

For example, exceptional user experience design makes interactions irresistible and business success inevitable. Therefore, business leaders should look for a web and mobile app development company with experience in designing user experience (UX) in addition to the technical services of product prototyping and clear methodologies for usability testing and validation.

5. Agile and DevOps

agile and devops | choosing the right software development company

In today’s fickle marketplace, lightning-fast digital product releases are a must. The product development mindset will help align an enterprise with the right processes and frameworks to accelerate feedback and time-to-market. Often that is expressed through Agile and DevOps.

As a dynamic, iterative process, an agile development environment streamlines processes and incorporates a customer-centric mindset that pushes the level of innovation at every stage of development.

Average IT companies who have ‘finish the project and move-on’ approach will not implement patches in the most stable manner. When encountered with a bug, they will provide a makeshift fix rather than a maintainable solution.

In design, agile methodology helps create iteratively, informed choices; in UX/UI that results in product architecture and solutions that truly delight end-users.

DevOps is the practice of collaboration among IT and operations, this creates a secondary feedback loop supported by end-to-end processes that quickly and efficiently moves the project toward its intended outcome.

6. Quality Assurance

quality assurance | choosing the right software development company

As noted earlier, the product development mindset is focused on the most efficient path to the desired outcome. Rather than developing within a bubble, concepts such as agile development and DevOps focus on iterative development, thus introducing an ongoing feedback loop to maintain quality of the desired outcome: the optimal product for user needs.

As part of these feedback loops, the project of an enterprise should include ongoing testing and validation stages including prototyping, user testing, and daily scrums to incrementally improve and scale solutions and continue moving the business forward.

7. Certifications and Accreditations

certifications and accreditations

When businesses are ready to allocate considerable resources towards the right software development company for their needs, they would want to validate the claims and performance of any potential partner. As an enterprise, they should ask for certifications with Microsoft, Adobe, et cetera, which are only granted to partners who maintain a high standard. In addition to awards, online ratings, and reviews, accreditations from third parties such as Gartner or Forrester can provide unbiased insight.

8. Security is Indispensable

security is indispensable

If the IT company is serious about its credibility, security will be an indispensable priority. For an enterprise, this is a no-brainer. Enterprises should consider deployment risk factors and data loss in case of the software operating incorrectly. As an entity investing considerable resources, inquiring about the security measures in use by a product development partner is critical.

9. Clarify About After-Development Support

clarify about after-development support

Any software development partner that prides itself on exceptional product development will include post-development support such as regular maintenance and backups. Enterprises should inquire about the scope and extent of the after-development support that is offered. If the software development partner is not offering after-development support, it is best to look for alternative options.

In Closing

The market for global IT service outsourcing is large and growing, anticipated to reach $937.6 billion USD by 2027. This rapid growth makes it increasingly difficult for organizations to choose among the many outsourcing options available. Any and every business leader wants to take their business to new heights and deliver a fruitful experience to their customers.

The luxury to make mistakes is one they cannot afford. Imagine a product development partner who tackles the development process end to end and allows enterprises to focus on core capabilities? A utopian vision. With our pointers, choosing the right software development company to make this vision a reality is within reach.

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Adam Milne

About the Author

Forte:Managing and Leading projects with multi-cultural teams in competitive environments
Likes: Biking around NYC and enjoys Pineapple on Pizza
Dislikes: Micromanaging
Claim to Fame: As Creed in ‘The Office’ says, I was born in the US of A.
Biggest Tech blunder committed: Early in my career, thinking UX and UI are the same things. *Facepalm*
Wannabe: A professional Basketball Player

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