In this digitally connected world, where humans are more dependent on their computers than their better halves, having the correct software running your business is essential for its success.
Right from order booking to acquiring customers to handling customer complaints, businesses are increasingly involving various softwares today to improve their processes. Your business will be at a significant disadvantage if you do not have a software working perfectly based on your processes.
To build the most appropriate custom software that will take your business to new heights, you will need to select an ideal software development partner first.
Factors you won’t regret looking into before finalizing your Custom Software Development Company
Software is the heart of the new-age businesses and if the heart is not functioning correctly, then how can you expect the entire body to function smoothly?
Assuming that you have understood the importance of developing custom software, it is equally essential to select a service provider who is adept at the art of software development. Here the issue is that there are a wide range of developers with different expertise which makes the selection very critical to get it right. To help you out with this, we at TopDevelopersco have created a list of the top custom software development companies to select the best one that that suits your requirements. To help you in your journey, we have come up with five core criteria that you just cannot afford to ignore while selecting your customized software development company.
Define your Software Development Needs
Before you approach a software development company, you must be clear regarding the features and functionalities that you want in your software.
First, make a detailed list of all the software development requirements before you have that first meeting with your development partner.
Get viewpoints of all the stakeholders, which will include your bottom level employees, your managers, your top management, people from various departments like marketing, production, HR, IT, and understand about their requirements. By doing so, you will be able to make software development as a participatory process where everyone will have a say. It will ensure that once the software is built, there are no complaints from your employees and people can get on-board quickly.
Do not forget to conduct thorough market research and understand the requirements of the customers. Because if your software is not aligned with the needs of customers, then say goodbye to that fast-growing bottom line that you had always dreamt of.
By being clear about your goals, you will help your software development team in understanding your vision in a better manner, and they will ultimately develop custom software that will meet all your needs.
The good idea is to build user stories; these stories are vivid descriptions of how a user will use the software product.
Quality of the company
How do you decide that a software development company is worth its salt? Well, there are specific criteria at which you can look and get a better idea.
Experience and technical expertise
Have a look at the work experience of the software development firm. An excellent way to gauge the work experience of the company is to look at the combined work experience of the team working there. See how many projects the company has worked upon.
The certifications that the developers have acquired would be an excellent yardstick to ascertain the technical expertise of the developers. Software development is a continually evolving profession, hence the developers who are at the top of their game always put in efforts to acquire new skills.
Before the final development begins we recommend that you have a conversation with the team members with whom you are going to work. You can ask some basic questions and get a feel whether it will be easy to work with this team or not.
Check the Company Portfolio
Have a look at their previously completed projects. The website of the software development firm will be an excellent place to start, as usually the best Software Developers proudly present their work.
Before you call the company to have the initial discussion, it would be a great idea to have a look at their previously completed projects and zero-down on the projects that are most similar to yours. Ask the company for the contact details of a few clients with whom you can talk. When you speak with these company, ask about their experience of working on the project. How they communicated and wat were the processes followed? How did they go about their work? Did they keep the clients abreast regarding the progress of the project? Ask them if there is some visual proof they can show to have a better insight. These are some basic questions that you need to ask to get an idea of whether the company delivers on its promises or not.
Another criterion to evaluate the quality of a software development company is to have a look at their after-sales support policy. Understand that once the vendor delivers the software product to you, the job is not over. You will require constant support from your software development partner even after the sale of software has been completed. The software needs to be updated regularly so that it can fulfil your changing needs and for updating the software, you will require the support of your software vendor.
You can ask in detail about the kind of after-sales support that your software development company will provide. Ensure that everything is written down on the contract papers. Leading Software Development Companies will be more than willing to provide you with robust post-development support because they know that clients require their help most after the software has been installed.
Many bugs which have not been filtered out in the development process will raise their ugly head, once the software interacts with the user. Many times the user will find the software to be difficult to use. It mainly happens with those users who are accustomed to using particular software, and the new software is significantly different than their previous one. In such cases, you will require the support of your software development vendor.
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Of course, price plays a vital role in deciding the software development company that you will work with eventually. But ensure that you do not get trapped by the lure of the low cost.
Understand that as in all cases in life, in the software also you get what you pay for. We are not saying that you should opt for the most costly option either. It’s just that if you are hiring a company much below the average market rate, then it is highly likely that there will be a huge difference between your expectation and what you are actually delivered.
You can have a look at the average pricing levels in the industry and then decide a suitable company.
Discuss with the company the pricing structure that they will follow for your project. Here are a few pricing structures usually observed in the industry.
Fixed price model
The specifications, date of delivery and budget of the project are fixed in this pricing model, and there is little room for changes.
In this model, price is usually given after the specifications are frozen. As the model is less flexible, managing risk is difficult in the fixed price pricing model. If the specs are changed mid-way, then there will be modifications in the contract and terms will need to be discussed again. Frequent changes will delay the project and make the time-to-market longer.
When to use the fixed price pricing model?
This model is suitable for shorter and smaller projects where the specifications can be frozen before-hand. There should be clear that the project requirements are not going to change significantly in the foreseeable future.
Time and material model
In this model, the software developers charge you for the number of hours that are spent on developing your project. The cost includes the cost of materials and third-party plug-ins which are required while developing your plan.
In this model, you can change the scope of the project (within certain limits) mid-way. Flexibility and shorter time to market are the advantages that this model offers. By adopting Agile and Scrum software development methodologies, you can get continuous delivery of the software product.
By getting continuous delivery, you will always be in control of the process, as at every stage, you will know whether you are getting the exact solution that you wanted or not.
When to choose the time and material pricing model?
The time and material model is frequently opted for when the product is complex, and it is expected that the project will take more time to complete. If you do not have clearly defined project specifications and there are continually evolving requirements in your project, then also you should go for the time and material pricing model.
The dedicated team pricing model
It is a model in which the development company provides you with a dedicated team. This team will work only on your project, and you will need to pay for hiring the team as well as the administrative and material expenses incurred while building your project. The advantage is that you will get an in-house team without having to go through the hassle of selecting all the team members. You will also have the flexibility to scale your team up or down according to your requirements and budget.
When should you go for dedicated team pricing model?
You should go for this kind of model if you want total control over your project. By hiring a dedicated team, you are in essence, managing the project yourself, and hence you will be involved in the process in a much more profound manner than the previous models.
This model is also preferable when you have a small in-house team yourself, but they lack in terms of experience and expertise, and you want to supplement the team with hired software development experts.
After having a look at your project’s requirements, discuss with your software development partner about the ideal pricing structure that you should follow for your project. Once you fix the pricing model, then you can iron-out the pricing details and then sign on the dotted line.
Location & Time Zone
In this digitally connected world, location is not anymore a barrier while selecting your software development company. It is perfectly ok if you choose to choose a company which is located nearby if you have time zone issues although many software outsourcing companies will provide you with a team which can work in your time zone.
While selecting a company which is offshore, you need to ensure that there is no communication barrier. You and your software development team should be able to communicate in a universal language that you both are comfortable with.
If you are a western nation, then you will find that giving your software development project to a company based in a developing country like Indonesia, India or Ukraine will have significant cost benefits. This is the primary reason why many western companies prefer to outsource their software development work to these developing nations.
One of the primary reasons why many companies are stuck with an underperforming software product is that they did not give the requisite attention in selecting an efficient software development partner. We assure you that if you put in some effort and pay heed to the factors mentioned above, then you will be able to select an efficient custom software development company to build your software that will cater to all your requirements.