Custom software development is so popular nowadays, especially among small businesses and enterprises. Naturally, the demand for software development firms have also increased in the recent years, as the need for custom software that addresses the needs of individual businesses becomes more necessary.
But, what is it about custom software applications that make entrepreneurs and small business owners frantically want to develop their own software? The truth is, when done correctly, custom applications can improve business efficiency and productivity. And when it is designed for the consumers, it can really make a difference in ensuring a high level of customer experience.
However, not all software applications are created equal. Just because you invested in custom-designed software doesn’t mean it’s going to have a positive effect on your bottom line. The key is finding the right software development firm that you can trust and work with during the design and development process of your custom software.
Here are a few important pointers to keep in mind when choosing a software development company.
Key Factors to Remember When Choosing a Software Development Team
1. Determine your needs as an enterprise.
Why do you need to have a custom software application? Do you have a specific need that can’t be addressed by off-the-shelf software solutions? You have to realize that custom software design is expensive compared to mass-produced standard applications, therefore you need to carefully identify your needs before you start scouting for software development firms.
By knowing exactly what you want and need, you will have a better idea of how to approach the process of selecting the best team for your company. Additionally, once you have chosen the right software company to partner with, you can easily connect with the team of developers since you already know what functions you want to be incorporated with your software.
2. Don’t be afraid to be picky.
Being picky isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, hiring a third party firm to develop a custom software solution for your business is a serious investment. Bear in mind that you will be using that software in the years to come. So, choosing a software development team that is capable of providing the necessary support, updates, and enhancements is absolutely crucial. This is not a one-time deal; it’s a partnership. You should remember that when in the process of choosing a software design company.
One way to gather as many viable prospects as possible is to get recommendations from colleagues and friends. Do some online research and visit the company’s website to see what they have to offer. Also, try to read customer comments in the message boards and see what they have to say about the firm’s process, end-product quality, and service quality. Don’t hesitate to confirm the information you find in the company website. As a potential customer, it’s your responsibility to validate every claim and customer reference.
3. Value experience over the technological aspects.
Don’t get impressed too quickly on the technology being used to develop the software. Instead, you should focus more on the experience of the developers working on your project. When it comes to custom software development, experience has more weight than the type of software design platform or system the company is using.
Think about it this way; any capable individual can easily make an espresso using a top-of-the-line espresso machine by simply following the instructions on the owner’s manual. However, it will take a truly experienced barista to create premium-quality espresso. There is simply no substitute for experience. Experience teaches you to troubleshoot problems and figure out lasting solutions to potential issues. And when it comes to custom software development, there’s bound to be at least a handful of problems that will be encountered along the way.
4. Don’t hesitate to negotiate rates and prices.
Although custom software development is quite costly compared to its packaged counterparts, one of the main reasons why most companies would rather outsource the software design process, instead of setting up a development team internally, is to save money. Keep in mind that you will have to allocate a significant amount of your resources just to be able to form a competent team of IT experts and software engineers to work on your custom project. It takes time, effort, and a lot of overhead expenses. So, obviously the best choice is to outsource the development process.
When it comes to outsourcing, the best case scenario is finding the best quality service provider for the least amount of money. In the real world, however, it’s a lot more difficult than that. To get the best value for your investment, try shopping around. Don’t stick to a few prospects. Check out several different software development firms before you make a decision. Compare prices and service quality. Once you’ve narrowed down your options to two or three, try negotiating the rates and let each of the firms know that they are competing with other software solutions providers.