Finding a software development firm is part of a broader outsourced IT strategy that can pay off in terms of increased efficiency and lowered costs. Outsourcing also allows internal IT to focus on revenue-generating projects that are crucial to the core business, and to utilize their knowledge of the industry and company.
Leveraging the benefits of a software development company can only be attained if you pick the right partner. Here are some tips for finding the software development firm with the right methodologies and experience:
Are your Requirements Clear?
Before searching for a software development firm, you want to be sure your project needs are clearly established. Answer the basic questions: Is this a long-term or one-time project? Do you have it mapped out, or do you need to work with other internal departments? Are your web properties and teams as dynamic as your business?
Having a specific application in mind helps the software development firms to ask pertinent questions.
Do they Ask the Right Questions?
Remember that every business has unique requirements and its very own culture and customer base. When you’re looking for a software development partner, you want a firm that will be very curious about your business and the broader industry. Pay attention to the types of questions they ask. Are they looking to understand your company and then develop a detailed IT Roadmap, or are they pushing out a quick proposal without considering your true needs?
A quality firm will ask many in-depth questions and will also provide counsel on the types of applications they recommend for your situation. You want a partner that proposes new ideas and new directions to help you plan, be ready and pilot.
Communication is Crucial
Software development requires consistent, open, and seamless communication between the development firm and your company. Start judging the company’s communication practices immediately in your RFP stage. You want transparency and expediency from the development firm, where they answer your questions directly without providing “spin” filled with industry jargon. Remember that the software that is created is built based on communication, through requirements documents, changes, and other direction.
Judge their “Body of Work”
The IT portfolio of the software development company is important to understand the type of applications they have completed in the past. While you want to find the right management and a competent team of developers, it’s crucial to see some previous projects that align with your goals. A more experienced company is also going to have software development methodologies in place for development that are designed to overcome any roadblocks. Working with a firm that proactively manages issues can save time and money.
Quality Work Delivered on Time
Do some leg work and talk to other satisfied clients about the delivery timeframes for the software development firm. Delays means an increase in cost, so be sure your chosen firm will discuss the details, and will “bake in” time for testing and debugging.
Many firms offer solution delivery that will meet some of your needs, but the quality of their work will quickly be apparent. You want a development firm that produces bug-free code and applications that don’t pull too many resources. Updates should also be simple to complete, ideally through automation. They should utilize a sound software development life cycle to guide projects from planning to completion.
Review their Technical Expertise
Developing robust and streamlined software requires the right technology tools in the hands of people that know how to use it. Discuss the project’s technical requirements with internal IT staff who understand the challenges involved, and then ensure the development firm can match those requirements. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions about why they recommend using a certain environment or platform if it seems outside the norm. A trusted firm will take the time to explain their recommendations fully, instead of giving you a “just because” answer.
You need a software development and outsourcing firm that listens to your needs and understands the customer expectations. Our expert staff members can guide you on the software development process so you can gain a competitive edge, and reach your goals on time and on budget.
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