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Tips and tricks to identify the right custom software development company


Published on: 15 Dec 2020

By Rahul Jain

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A quick search on google for a custom software development firm will show you results in the hundreds. Partnering with a custom software development firm that can help your company with business integration solutions, productivity solutions, security and more will require you to do a good bit of due diligence first.

This article is a step-by-step guide on how to choose the right company that will be a good fit to offer you custom software development services.

BEFORE TAKING THE LEAP

Though finding the best software development company is pivotal to create an ideal product, there is another important area you need to focus on, prior to that. That is, having a clarity about the custom software itself and the rationale behind it. You can use the following checklist to determine if you in fact need a custom software solution.

  • What business goals will the software help you achieve?
  • What problems will it solve?
  • How is it going to increase your company’s revenue?
  • What features will the software have?
  • What will be the time frame for development?
  • How much resources (both financial and time)are you willing to give for the custom software?

According to a survey conducted by GoodFirms in eight countries and across 150+ software development companies, a whopping 53.8% have said that adapting to changing client requirements is a major challenge in software development. Though projects do undergo changes during development, lack of clarity before project start, and frequent changes in the middle of the project will lead to new development or redevelopment that is bound to impact software completion time.

FINDING THE BEST SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT FIRM

Do your research

Get to know the company well by taking a closer look at the team and their experience. This will give a holistic view of their portfolio and their work culture. The technology expertise is important as well because it will throw light on their capabilities.

Second – check their social media presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and others. This is highly beneficial because you can read customer feedback first hand. Company blogs are also helpful as it showcases their technical knowledge.

Use your network

Talk to your counterparts to get referrals of some reliable software companies they know of. This is one of the reliable ways to get honest feedback before you engage with a company.

Pro tip:

Here are some pointers you can use while talking to someone in your network about their experience with the software firm they are referring to you:

  • Did the software development manager ensure clear communication?
  • Was there any delay in the software delivery time?
  • Did the project undergo changes?
  • Did the company stick to the timelines?
  • Did they overshoot the budget?
  • How was the after sales support?

Ensure communication without roadblocks

In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Get to know the team you are going to work with. Convey your thoughts and listen to their ideas. Do not hold back a viewpoint, however trivial you think it may sound.

Review the company’s technology stacks and know your best fit

There are abundant software development technologies and well-defined industry-standard coding best practices. Based on discussions with your vendor/partner, ensure that they are able to build the software in the technology stack that suits your needs. Always give preference to tools that are cutting edge, robust, and secure. Be clear on the technology stack you want to be used for the development of your product. Ensure that the custom software development company has innovative ideas and substantial experience in using the technology you prefer.

Pro tip:

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) document outlines all the phases/stages involved in the development of your product. Choosing the appropriate SDLC holds the key to a successful product and is a non-negotiable step. An experienced company offering custom software development services will emphasize Agile best practices or Test Driven development methods.

Money matters 

Although a cost-effective solution is an important consideration while choosing a custom software development company, do not let that limit your choices. Cost, as it corresponds to quality, is a better way to shortlist the firms that offer the best bang for the buck. Remember that while a higher price does not always mean the best quality product, a suspiciously low price compared to the market almost always means that there will be compromises in quality even though you may not be made aware of them early on.

Timely delivery of your application is fundamental alto creating a custom software solution that meets business demands. Keep in mind to include not just the development phase but also testing, debugging (if any), and inducting employees to use the software while drawing up timelines.

Find a partner, not service provider

Choose a software development firm that is fully vested in your business. A team that cares about your business success is sure to work out well in the long term.

Ask for a prototype where appropriate

You should choose a custom software development agency that is willing to provide a prototype or proof of concept free of charge. It is always a better option to sample a company’s quality of work rather than take their word for it.

THE NON-NEGOTIABLES

There are certain things you should confirm ahead of time with your vendor/partner as non-negotiable when it comes to custom software development.

  • After sales service – have a clear agreement on the support services that the software development firm would provide post the initial development of the software.
  • Security and Confidentiality– no matter what, the confidentiality clauses should notbe breached by the company offering custom software development services. Security vulnerability testing should be done prior to handing over the custom software to you.
  • Licensing – the software completely belongs to you, who is paying for it and there is no compromise on this. Ensure you have user licensing and all the rights when it comes to your software without any hidden fees such as lock in fees and exit fees. 

Bill Gates once said “Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.” In this day and age, it can’t be more true and that is inevitable.

Rahul Jain