The trend in outsourcing custom software development has long been established in the modern business world. Usually businesses hire vendors to reduce costs, optimize business processes or develop custom solutions that will work in tandem with corporate software. We have reviewed the benefits of outsourcing software development in our previous article. (We recommend that you read it if you haven’t read it yet). Staffed with professional developers they are able to achieve your specific business goals or solve existing business problems. Year on year, the custom software development outsourcing market is expanding. Such a broad search field gives access to both the best specialists and the latest technologies around the world.
So how do you avoid mistakes with the choice of an outsourcing company for high-quality custom software development? This issue must be approached with due responsibility, because the success of your project is at stake. Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing to outsource your software development.
1. The range of IT-services
A full range of IT-services is a main requirement in the work of software companies today. This guarantees the optimization of the development process of a project at all its stages - from finding the best solution for business problems, its implementation and user training to after-sales service.
CRM, HRM, Workflow, SCM and Project Management systems are the foundation of a modern corporate environment. Each of them allows you to achieve job stability and minimize risks. An integrated approach allows us to talk about the transition to a higher level of work.
Familiarity with previously implemented projects will help you assess the achievement of a service provider in terms of quality and quantity. The portfolio will also help you understand if the development team had experience in implementing projects like yours. If yes - study them, their design and functionality, read reviews and recommendations.
3. Innovation and constant improvement
A successful IT company is always progressing. To maintain customer interest and loyalty, it always seeks to develop new solutions or services, invests in product development, uses modern collaboration tools, business applications, SaaS solutions, mobile platforms and other advanced technologies and software development methods to increase its efficiency.
It is all about qualified specialists. Pay attention to the management team, the number of employees and their specialization in various areas. Often, companies post certifications they or their employees obtained to confirm their specialization and professionalism.
5. Social networks, blog and review sites
A company that is ready for dialogue with customers and values its reputation must have pages on popular social networks (for example Linkedin, GitHub, Facebook). Content posted on company pages, comments and reviews, communication language all of these can give important information about the company's culture.
The company blog can be a very valuable source of information about company activities, level of expertise and even language proficiency. Take a look at articles available in the blog. Having various articles about software development, case studies, useful checklists, researches and etc. can mean that company is trying to deliver value to its potential customers.
Specialized review sites such as
6. Adherence to development standards
Highly qualified outsourcing software development companies always follow structured and clear project management methodologies (Scrum, Kanban, etc.). This allows them not only to streamline the development process, but also ensures effective cooperation between the client and the service provider.
Real-time monitoring and control are very important aspects in the implementation of outsourcing projects. Ask about how you, as a customer, will be involved in the development process and how you can monitor the implementation of your project.
7. Communication plan transparency
Ask your potential vendor to develop a communication plan. It should include communication tools, call frequency, video chatting, reporting, as well as a contact persons on both sides. Additionally include important details like the availability schedule for both sides and the time limits for replying to emails or messages. Responsive feedback is highly valued in the IT business world and a good outsourcing company should be aware of that.
8. Location and time zone
Often companies pick vendors based on location and the difference in time zones. This may not always be the key factor, but for sure it is quite an important one.
If there is time difference, discuss in detail with the vendor how and when it will be convenient for both of you to communicate. This will allow you to quickly resolve issues that might arise. For example, you can define SLA for responding to your emails and resolving issues of different priority within a specific time limit.
9. Language and cultural compatibility
Always consider the vendor’s language skills and cross-cultural differences. Make sure that the partner’s team speaks English or the same language as you to avoid any communication difficulties. Similar values, culture and specialization can also contribute to successful interaction.
10. Privacy and security
Compliance with all development security procedures is crucial nowadays. The easiest way to reduce risks in this area is signing a NDA agreement with your new partner, which should not be a problem with a competent vendor. Additionally, ask what kind of security methods they are using. How do they store and protect data? Expect clear answers - any runaround can mean that the outsourcing company doesn’t follow security standards and it is better not to continue any further discussion.
11. Quality assurance
An extra guarantee of company reliability is having QA engineers for testing, since it is the key to a high-quality product. A good company should have specialists who work on finding and fixing bugs, compatibility, power consumption and performance issues of future products before the release date. Make sure that vendor can provide technical support and subsequent maintenance of the product after deployment.
Choosing the right software development company for your project can be a real challenge. You will most likely have to look through multiple options before finding the right one. We hope that this article will make your life easier and eventually help you to sign a contract with a company that will fit the bill, quality and expectations.
Share your ideas on how you are evaluating outsourcing companies in the comments below.
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