Software is at the core of business operations. You can get by with off-the-rack solutions but if you want to win the race then you want a fine-tuned race car and this is what it means when you opt for custom software from a software development company capable of coming up with the goods. The trouble is how to distinguish grain from the chaff. These tips should help.
Software is good business and there are millions to choose from
Picking the right software development services is no easy task. Evans Data Corporation reports that there are 26 million software developers while IDC puts the number at 22 million. It is easy to start a software development company website and offer software development services because you have access to a large number of developers. However, you have to learn to distinguish between genuine software development services and websites that claim to offer such services, only to pass on the project to someone else, acting as middlemen. Your first thought would be to separate such developers from genuine companies.
Developing on the above theme, one way to distinguish genuine software Development Company from another that offers software development is this way:
- If the developers claim expertise in all possible platforms under the sun, then this could be a red herring. It is likely that they are simply offering such services on platforms without possessing in-house talent. In all likelihood, if they get a project they will pass it on to a third party. Genuine software developers tend to focus on only a few related platforms.
- The website does not contain detailed information about services, teams, projects are undertaken, or any testimonials.
- Evasive answers when you contact them and wish to verify credentials. They are likely to fob you off with “Do not worry; we will take care of everything.” Or something similar.
Software development has various touchpoints. You may want a core database-driven software for business operations. However, lateral touchpoints include communication, artificial intelligence, mobility, and websites. Take Oracle. The company is best known for its relational database development platform but you will be surprised to know that it also touches upon communication capabilities and networking. The reason is simple. Today you have a database software application that works in-house or in a networked environment. Tomorrow you want it to work as a web app and include VoIP. You may want smart features in which case ML and AI capabilities in the software developer are not only desirable but necessary.
Key takeaway: Not just expertise in key software but also lateral capabilities are important capabilities to look for in your software development company.
The outsourced model works great in software development. This is fine in most cases provided the software development company assumes full responsibility for maintenance, troubleshooting, and upgrades. Otherwise, you are up the creek when it is time to upgrade. Then, you will have to find another company to develop your software from the ground up.
Key takeaway: Select software development services that specialize in a few segments relevant to your project and make sure they have in-house teams of developers. Your work will proceed fast, your final project will be thoroughly tested prior to deployment and you can expect solid support.
Retaining a software consultant
Business executives may not know what software development entails. You are likely to be “taken in” by glib talk and, once the project is complete, your employees will point out lacks. This could create problems for the software developer and for you. A better way could be to enlist the services of a software consultant. Such a consultant will:
- Examine your way of working and what the software hopes to achieve
- Find out what employee-users expect in the software
- Evaluate software developers and discuss projects with them, outlining everything from architecture to SLA.
- Oversees the project as it proceeds.
Key takeaway: Consultants are good but add to the cost and complexity and will complicate matters if they do not familiarize themselves with your requirements and way of working. The better option is to pick a software Development Company that offers consulting services as part of its overall project development service.
You can be assured of quality in the software provided the software development services you hire have some form of quality structure and process in place. Look for companies that use modern platforms such as Jira and processes such as Six Sigma, especially for large software projects. Otherwise, make sure software developers have in-house software testing set up.
Key takeaway: Quality processes assure timely completion to certain standards and processes that keep you in the loop. In-house testing is a must to make sure the software deployed is as free of bugs as possible.
Finally, there are mundane matters like price and communication capability to look at. The cheapest is not always the best nor the most expensive the finest money can buy. Look at how they communicate and pick software development companies with the above in mind as well as an evaluation of how “people-oriented” they are.