Are you struggling to find the right software development company for your project? With so many options available, knowing which one to choose can be difficult. But fear not, because in this article we will explore the factors that make a great software company.
These are important questions to consider when selecting a software company: have you ever wondered what sets top-performing software companies apart from the rest? How do you ensure that your project is delivered with the highest quality and security standards? And what are the benefits of working with a development team that is based in a particular location? We will provide you with the answers you need to make an informed decision.
So, let's dive in and discover what makes a company stand out in the world of software development.
Table of Contents
What to consider when researching a software development company
How to choose a software development company?
➤ 1. Measure expertise
➤ 2. Tech stack
➤ 3. Check out the process and communication routine
➤ 4. Rule of similar-sized company
➤ 5. Think beyond the project price
➤ 6. Partner chemistry
➤ 7. Frequent deployment
➤ 8. A partner who understands the business
➤ 9. Geography
➤ 10. Flexibility vs inflexibility
➤ 11. Avoid demonetisation
Other factors to consider
➤ Onshoring, offshoring, or nearshoring?
➤ Pricing model
Before starting your search, define your project requirements and expectations. Consider factors like what type of app you want to build, whether you're starting from scratch or need an extension, your existing roles and tech stack, and your budget.
Then, you'll want to do your research. Check out sites like Clutch, Techreviewer, and Google for reliable client reviews. Make sure to analyse both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded understanding of the company.
Next, consider the business angle. Does the company understand your business needs and the context of your tech project? Before diving in, you'll want to ensure you're on the same page.
Take a look at the company's previous work to measure its expertise. Visit their portfolio and website to get a feel for their capabilities. You'll also want to assess the number of technologies they use and look for experts in those areas.
Organisation skills are also crucial. Check how the company organises projects and which tools they use to ensure they fit your needs well.
When making the decision, ensure there's a clear contract in place and that you'll own the source code with IP rights transferred to you. Additionally, ensure the company takes security measures to protect your intellectual property and user data.
Partner chemistry is also essential. Pay attention to the company's polite and professional behaviour, commitment, and mutual understanding.
And, of course, there are some things to avoid:
- Don't cooperate with partners much bigger than your company;
- Go for the cheapest options;
- Work with all-knowing experts with extreme tech stacks;
- Companies with poor-quality websites;
- Generic testimonials;
- Vague portfolios.
Here are 11 crucial aspects to keep in mind when choosing a software development company:
First things first, take a look at the company's previous work. Check out their portfolio and look for case studies similar to yours or experience in the market. If possible, test the websites and applications listed in their portfolio.
Check their reviews once you have a good understanding of what the company can do for you. You can also check out their app's rating in stores like Apple Store or Google Play to better understand their expertise. However, don't rely on reviews/testimonials alone, as they might be fake.
Try to contact your network or find reviews on sites like Clutch to get an honest opinion.
When it comes to technology, usually, the less, the better. You want to work with experts with experience in the technology they specialise in.
Be careful if you see a software development company's landing page with many logos of different technologies. For example, find a company working mainly in React to build a front-end in React or at least some adjacent technologies. You want to have a focused software development partner.
A great process and tools lead to a better product. Find a company that values retrospective meetings and puts pressure on constantly improving its development process.
Choosing a company similar to yours has a few advantages. The most important of them is that you want to be treated as a very important customer.
They may not give you enough attention if the company is too big. If they are too small, they may need more experience to work on such a scale.
It's easy to get caught up in comparing rates and trying to discover the cheapest choice while looking for a software company to work with. However, it is critical to think about the long-term repercussions of your selection in addition to the project cost.
Choosing a company only on pricing may result in a software solution with significant technical debt, resulting in additional costs and hassles in the future. So, think about the true cost of low-cost software and how it can affect your organisation in the long term.
Great relationships are built on chemistry. Since companies work closely with partners, discussing every aspect of the project is important to ensure everyone is on the same page.
By maintaining transparency and open communication, you can avoid pitfalls and focus on your partner's business success.
We understand the importance of keeping partners updated on the progress. Partners play a crucial role in this process, providing the necessary information and specifications for the sprints. Making constant demos a part of the development process ensures the delivery of high-quality work on time.
Success is more than just the technology behind a product. That's why development partners must understand the business side of tech projects.
A team of experts challenges new features and helps our partners prioritise and advise them from a technical perspective. It's important to build strong partnerships and offer cross-functional teams with Business Analysts and Project Managers. We also emphasise close cooperation between business and tech, shortening the feedback loop and ensuring our partners are always updated.
Communication is critical in any partnership, so you must ensure that language is never a barrier. English is a must in today's global market and you should rely on a team of creative problem-solvers with excellent language skills.
We also recommend that you think twice before outsourcing to a country with a completely different culture. This can lead to miscommunication and potential roadblocks.
So, when selecting a software company to work with, it is critical to confirm the location of the development team. Some companies may say that they are United States or Europe based, but in reality, the development team is in Asia. This can compromise the project's security, efficiency and intellectual property. To ensure that you are getting the quality and security you expect, do your homework and confirm the actual location of the development team by looking at the company's Linkedin profile, where you can see the employees' location.
Every project is unique, so you must find flexible pricing options that suit our partners' needs. If you don't have exact mockups, specifications, or user stories, we recommend a time and material-based project. This allows for more flexibility and ensures that you're only paying for the work that's actually done.
On the other hand, if you have a well-documented product with a few years of experience building similar products, a fixed-price model may be more suitable. However, it's important to note that most software development companies will add 25% or more to cover the risk of not knowing the exact scope of the project.
We understand the importance of protecting our partners' intellectual property (IP). With proper security measures in place, a company's well-being can be saved.
You should do your research when outsourcing to ensure that their rights are protected. Not all providers include IP protection in their contracts, so watching for that is essential. We also recommend having your contracts or asking to send one for review and consultation with your legal department.
Of course, there are other documents and measures that you should take to ensure a successful partnership. These include:
- Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to protect trade secrets and confidential information,
- Non-Compete Agreement (NCA) to prevent the outsourced company from revealing ideas/innovations to competitors,
- API access to connect to the ready-made part of the secure software, data access to share only anonymised versions of the database,
- Server access to limit access to data,
- SSL certificates to authenticate our outsourced developers.
They can save you a lot of trouble down the road, so here are a few things that should concern you when evaluating a potential software development partner:
- Ownership of source code,
- Poor website or content quality,
- Vague portfolio descriptions,
- Generic endorsements,
- Negative reviews.
Based on geography, there are at least four outsourcing models, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Onshore software development entails working with companies in your home country.
The main benefit is that you can collaborate with skilled teams in your country and language.
However, this option has one major drawback: the cost is typically much higher than other options.
In a nutshell, offshore software development entails hiring a team from outside the country to complete the work remotely and virtually.
The main benefit? It is reasonably priced.
Nearshore software development is the middle ground between the two options discussed above. These businesses are located in countries with similar time zones to yours.
This solution strikes an appealing balance between natural, efficient communication and significant cost savings.
Hybrid software development outsourcing combines onsite (in your region) management and offshore development.
You can communicate with the management team in your native language and during the same working hours while they deal with developers from other countries and deal with time zone differences.
Which pricing model do you prefer: fixed price or time and materials?
For many people, fixed-price pricing is the best pricing model. It should reduce the risk of overspending while ensuring complete and timely delivery.
All business and product decisions and the scope of work must be decided upon, declared, and contracted before the project begins in a fixed-price model (typically used in conjunction with Waterfall project management).
In contrast, the time and materials model (commonly used in conjunction with the Agile methodology) bases the cost on actual time spent on a project and an hourly or person-day rate.
The scope is adaptable and changes as business, design, and software teams test and determine the best solutions for users' current needs.
Let us compare the key features of these two solutions side by side:
Low fixed price - the exact scope and requirements are determined before development begins.
Time and materials: increased - project requirements and shape may change regularly in response to business circumstances.
The speed with which a working product can be launched:
Fixed price - the development speed is determined by the quality of the specifications and the project scope. The process can be completed quickly if there is no temptation to change the scope and expertise is readily available. It is difficult to precisely evaluate the capacity of long-term projects, which increases the risk of complicating and prolonging the project.
Time and materials - vary; there is no simple answer. The quality of the specification determines the speed; however, the team can deal with changes more easily and quickly.
Product-to-market fit is determined by the scope of the project and the quality of its verification.
Time and materials: it is more likely that the product's new value will be discovered during the process and used in the developed application.
Fixed price - defined upfront but negotiable in some cases
Time and materials: challenging to estimate, less specific; development will be cheaper in some cases, more expensive in others. However, because of the process's agility, the ROI may be higher, and the product may provide more value per dollar spent).
Which option is best for you?
If you want to build a minor feature and the requirements and solution are very clear - both will work.
If you want to build a complete product for a market that doesn't change much, have all requirements detailed, and have no uncertainties at the start of the project - both may work well.
However, the truth is that changing requirements can never be avoided (at least not with reasonable effort/cost). Suppose the project's time-to-market is critical and/or has a limited runway. In that case, the requirements analysis will never be perfect.
As a result, if you opt for a fixed-price model, be prepared for contract/scope renegotiations.
If you want to build a complete product for a rapidly changing market or are unsure how it works precisely, time and materials are the way to go.
You don't know how much it will cost, but the likelihood of getting what you need increases significantly, even if it is higher than expected. If there is a runway, ensure everyone understands the budget.
Choosing the right company to make software for your project can make all the difference. But keep in mind the important points in this post, like measuring expertise, evaluating tech stack, evaluating the company's process and communication routine, thinking about the connection with the company, and making sure you both understand the business, you can confidently make a decision that meets your needs and expectations.
Don't fall into common traps like working with partners that are much bigger than your business or choosing the cheapest choice. By working with a software development company that knows your needs and cares about your success, you can make your vision come to life and reach your business goals.