SaaS business models are dominating the business world. Thus, it becomes critical to understand how to outsource a software company.
Although there are exist thousands of custom software development companies, all of them propose different service and standards. Once you come up with an idea and vision for your new software project, you’ll have to find the right software developing company. To avoid a negative outcome, it is recommended to look at multiple factors. It’s indeed a very tricky job and should be done with caution. However, we hope you will find the information given below useful, and you select your right software outsourcing partner.
Shape your idea
Define the scope of the project, invest time on writing specification, diagrams, mockups or at least visual presentation. If creating mockups is a problem, you can write a description of how the user uses the product or User Stories.
Most likely you’ll also need some graphic design and user interface. You can hire a freelance designer, but there is a possibility that collaboration between a freelancer and a development team will be problematic. The best way is to choose a company providing a complete team.
Describe the existing system components and the technologies that used in your company.
Learn about the different software development technologies and choose the appropriate for your project. This is especially applicable if your project required to be built on a specific software system. Of course, you can consult with potential partners, but if you know the technology in advance, it will help you to shortlist prospecting companies.
Describe your ideal partner
It’s just like shopping on eBay or Amazon – with a low price might come a cheap product. You don’t have to compromise on the quality of the software for low costs either. Also don’t forget to look for hidden or additional costs in the contract, like additional fees for maintenance, document management and so on.
Read about the country where the potential development company is located. National holidays, timezone and business culture – everything is important and might be crucial.
In some cases, communication with the project manager is enough. But it’s possible that at some point you’ll want to discuss some technical details with a certain developer. Therefore, you need to know in advance if the developers are fluent in spoken English.
Reality shows that nowadays communication and quality of service become to be more important that price for customers. It’s doesn’t matter what management tool you use (Asana, Trello, Jira or even Taiga) – more important is to know that your external team is accessible. You should feel almost like you’re working in the same office, communicating with them daily on Slack or Mattermost during the working week.
Talk with other folks in your network to get referrals about custom software developers. It will not only fast-track the process of selecting potential software developers but also help you gather honest feedback about them. Check reviews to get some different points of view.
To build a front-end in React, look for a company working with React. If you want to have a backend in Node.js, look for a company working solely in Node.js on the backend. Identify the techniques that can be used to develop your software, and seek developers with a proven knowledge base in that area.
Start the hunt
Research & review portals (Clutch.co, GoodFirms, etc.) are a good option because of useful filters (average hourly rate, location, technology, client focus, industry focus, etc.), detailed references gathered directly from the company’s customers. But keep in mind that many good companies don’t promote their services there so that you may miss a lot.
Job boards for freelancers (Upwork, Toptal, Guru, etc.) are a huge market of freelancers with reviews from their previous clients. But they are created mainly for freelancers, so if you are looking for a company (with a team, project manager, and more developers in case you want to scale), it won’t be easy to find them there.
Obviously, Google is the biggest catalog of all software houses in the world. But the lack of filters (except for choosing the right keywords) will make you visit a website of each software house to find any information about them.
Narrow the list
A blog provides a good insight into the company’s approach to the projects and its particular aspects such as communication, collecting requirements
Sometimes the name and brand is not a guarantee that everything will be the way you expect. Rather often, on the contrary, small companies with sufficient experience in every possible way try to make better service for less money. Communication with them is simpler, and the bureaucracy is minimized.
You can check their technical skills. See what technologies they use besides Java. Try to avoid software companies which claim to work with every possible technology. You cannot be an expert in 10 languages (maybe if you are a huge enterprise). Rather choose those, which are focused only on a few – it’s more likely that they’re genuinely experienced in them.
Do they have any open-source projects in their portfolio? Check if it meets your expectations.
Send an email to the companies from your shortlist. Include in the message a clear call to action. And… Get ready for an interview. See an example of a good interview process.
This is a guest contribution by Andrew Lepkin CMO in Custom software product development company Aligned Code was founded back in 2013 as a high-tech custom software product development company. Today AC’s engineers help different clients open up solid user acquisition channels while positively impact retention by delivering.
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