Like many business owners you might have come to understand the benefits that bespoke software can bring to your business and have decided that it’s time to commission a customised solution. This might be because you can’t find an appropriate off-the-shelf product, or you might want the added value that only custom-made company software can give.
If you’ve decided that bespoke software is right for your business how do you go about deciding which software development company to commission?
When you opt to hire the services of a software development company you gain the benefit of a skilled, experienced workforce that can deliver transformative solutions at a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house team.
Check their reputation
When you’re choosing a company it’s important to ensure that they’re reputable. Most software development companies worth their salt will be more than happy to provide you with examples of their work. Ask to see their portfolios and check out what the businesses they worked with have to say about the service they received.
Are they a good fit?
Does the software development company understand your business and what you’re trying to achieve? Have they worked with other businesses in your industry and if they haven’t, do they seem versatile enough to get up to speed quickly? Do they have a strong business background and understand the commercial priorities of your business?
Then you can draw up a shortlist. The length of your shortlist is down to you, but if it’s too long it might be that you’re not being discerning enough.
Now is the time to approach different companies for a quote. They will require as full a brief as possible to give you an accurate quote so be cautious if a quote arrives without asking for much information. It suggests that the company might be offering off-the-shelf generic solutions rather than truly bespoke software for every new client. Also, don’t go purely on price. It’s true that some software development companies can offer very competitive prices without compromising quality, but it’s important to find out what’s included and see how it compares to what competitors are offering.
Talk to the company
It may seem inconsequential but if you find you can easily get along with the people at the company it can make all the difference. Software development may be a technological discipline, but its aim is to deliver real world benefits to companies and their clients. Good communication helps the software development process. You should feel able to raise any concerns and offer ideas for possible improvements and the software development company should be happy to take on board your ideas and requirements.
Do they have an agile, adaptable creation process that allows you to feedback on the progress of your software feature by feature?
Your software development company should listen closely to your needs, not tell you what they think you want.
Making a decision
If a software company has a good track record and reputation, provides a quote you can afford and have an agile, collaborative approach to software development, then congratulations! You’ve found the perfect software development company for your project.