How to choose a Vendor for Custom Software Development?

Thursday, September 17, 2020

In the age where no industries are left untouched by innovations, automation and customization of tools, standing still to change in technology is a challenging task. Rarely we see days passing without innovation in technology space for optimizing business across various domains. Specifically, in the software development business, every business has bespoke requirements that demand the need for customized tools and technologies. Businesses are reliant on software technology for streamlining business processes, optimizing workflows and driving growth. For most businesses, it is difficult to manage everything in the house and concurrently address critical business challenges. 

Table of Content

  1. Align business needs with Service offerings
  2. Business Portfolio Analysis
  3. Domain expertise & Technology proficiency
  4. Enterprise Scalability
  5. Security and IP Policies
  6. Hiring policies
  7. Support & Maintenance
  8. Online Reviews and References
  9. Performance Metrics
  10. Vendor Financials
  11. Before drilling down to one company

In an ideal world, enterprises would prefer to collaborate with a custom software development company to meet this ever-growing demands of businesses. As not one size fits all, we decided to demonstrate our experience in software outsourcing by preparing a quick checklist that businesses should consider while they look for a custom software company. 

  1. Align business needs with Service offerings

The first and foremost check for any business owner is to understand their business objectives and form a strategy on how to achieve it. When you consider a vendor for custom software outsourcing it is imperative to check if the business demands meet the outsourcing company service offerings. Start with defining your software development needs and then discover if the contracted vendor can stand up to your expectations or not.

Explore deeper into the service offerings like the technology stack, tools they use, the current or latest version of the software, or framework used. If your business is looking for end-to-end development, ask for what all services their application development encompasses from front-end, UI/UX, DevOps, QA, backend services and other application development needs. Simply comprehending the required services in end-to-end development will give the business a bigger and better picture of the vendor’s service offerings. If your needs are to employ a team of proficient developers who would take care of everything from ideation to deployment then this should be efficiently conveyed to your potential vendor.

The initial and primary step is to enlist all the custom software development needs and communicate efficiently to the vendor. In case, it is something that the vendor has not done in the past but ensures to know about practically implementing it, go ahead and ask for similar work portfolios where they have tried new technologies and have successfully implemented. 

  1. Business Portfolio Analysis

When a business is outsourcing its work to another business, it is the trust that keeps them moving. To establish trust between two businesses it is important to showcase demonstrated work and achievements. It is always advisable for businesses to see past work which could add some brownie points in selecting a vendor partner for your custom outsourcing business. Checking on the credibility of work is another perspective of looking into business portfolios. During this analysis of selecting a software outsourcing company, you can look for contributing aspects such as

  • Geographies areas covered by the vendor company 
  • Type of businesses the company has worked for like small, medium, or enterprise level
  • Offshoring experience
  • Industries they cater their business services 
  • Employee strength and business expertise
  • Customer testimonials

These are some of the essential factors which will help businesses analyze a good vendor for their custom software development needs. For more clarity on the service offering, you can contact past clients and ask them to share their experience about how the service was, quality of service and timeliness. 

  1. Domain expertise & Technology proficiency

A shift in technology is occurring at an alarming speed and every business has to adapt these changes. While you search for a custom software outsourcing partner, it is immensely important to consider their domain expertise and technology proficiency in mind. With countless options available in the market to sieve out the best company, you must consider their technical proficiency while deciding to outsource your work to them. 

When you approach a custom software development company, they have a variety of services to cater to your needs and if you identify their potential and area of expertise then some of the unforeseen barriers in the development phase can be easily avoided. Learn and understand your potential vendor, to which industries it offers services and gauge from their past works whether they will be able to fulfill your requirements or not.

  1. Enterprise Scalability

The flexibility of outsourcing business is one of the major aspects when you consider a custom software development company for your needs. Considering the development of tailor-made products for business is vital to support the needs of various industries and streamline most of their business workflows. Custom software development enables businesses to expand and boost profitability while focusing on the fundamentals of business. No business would ever invest in a software solution that is not scalable and sustainable in the fullness of time. Thus, during the search of a custom software development company, look for a scalable business partner who would appreciate a change in ideas as per changing technologies and would foresee the upcoming acceptability of the developed software.

  1. Security and IP Policies

The developed software comes with specific user rights. In the software development industry, it is called intellectual property rights which is a heart for the software development business. Every associated property right is an asset on its own and shares ownership for the complete software development project. The laws might change based on different rules of ownership and type. For any developed software, you can always demand four types of intellectual property rights ranging from patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. 

When choosing a software outsourcing partner, inquire about the underlying security rights, like IP address or software user rights. If you put across this point during the vendor selection then after development disputes on the security and property rights can be settled beforehand. 

  1. Hiring policies

This point of consideration in selecting a custom software development company may seem vague at first but is effective and significant. Not all companies would consider this in the recruitment process while deciding to outsource to a custom software company. The recruitment policy directly impacts the quality of work. You might be wondering how? Your requirements for software development are in the hands of the developers hired by the contracted custom software development company. So if the hiring policies are strict and they hire top-notch software developers then high productivity and qualitative apps are guaranteed. 

  1. Support & Maintenance

Not all businesses are the same but some can stick to specific rules that say no special service offering after the contract is over. It is always advisable to discuss all the aspects of business initially while you decide to partner with a custom software development company. For any issues prevailing after software deployment, the contracted custom software development company should cater to all business needs for the developed software even after the contract expires. The in-house team uses the software but the expertise lies in the hands of the contracted software development company so it is necessary to provide support and maintenance service post-sales.

  1. Online Reviews and References

Can you boil down to a single company without viewing the given options? No, until you see all the options, you cannot select one company from the countless choices available. One of the essential parameters is to check online reviews and ratings from trusted websites like the clutch, design rush, tech reviewer, and similar. These websites will provide a holistic view to businesses on rates and reviews and will also testify with the client’s recommendation statements.

  1. Performance Metrics

Undoubtedly, the developed application performance is the prime focus of development but meeting the performance benchmarks is equally significant. Defining KPIs and aligning them to what custom software development companies offer will be a sure-shot method to measure the performance of the business. Businesses must check whether the features and functions developed are as per the requirements or not. If a custom software development outsourcing company has developed your product, most of the businesses provide a live demo of developed software or application to testify and do a small Proof Of Concept (POC).

  1. Vendor Financials

Last but very essential factor that can influence the decision of collaborating with a better custom software development company. It is the financial stature of a business that is equally important while selecting a custom software development firm. Check for the past financial records of the custom software company. Their business should be stable with minimum debts and progressive outlook. The financial stability of any business is extremely important while contracting with a company for business.

Before drilling down to one company

Apart from budgetary reasons, the other major influential factors responsible for choosing a custom software outsourcing company are explained in this blog. Do not partner with a low-budgeted software outsourcing company just to save a few dollars, this might turn your business upside down, instead choose wisely. If the above-mentioned points are taken into account, businesses can easily screen out the best from the lot. Partnering with a reliable and high-skilled custom software service provider can help you develop a multi-functional application at an affordable cost with quality services and expected outcomes.

Read More about Custom Software Development:
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Custom Software Development: A Complete Guide