64% of IT leaders globally outsourced their software development needs to a third party in 2017.
Many companies today seek to tap into the experience of third-party developers especially if development is not their core competency.
However, the quality of the final product depends in part upon whether you engage a skilled developer or not.
If you are in the market for a developer, here are some factors to help you narrow down on the most suitable vendor for your needs.
1. Examine Their Software Development Track Record
Before you hire a software developer, you need to take a look at their track record to determine if they can suitably serve your needs.
If you have any colleagues, friends, or family who has used the developer’s services, talk to them to get first-hand information concerning the developer.
Find out what their experience was regarding service delivery, level of collaboration, communication, among other issues.
You should also check out online reviews to see what other past clients have to say about the developer.
2. Make Sure They Understand Your Business
Your company software is a mission-critical asset. It needs to fit into your firm’s overall design strategy for it to achieve its objectives.
The vendor you select to develop software for you must understand that your business is more than the technology driving it.
A developer who grasps this will guide you on the most suitable functions and features you require. Through their knowledge of your model, they can suggest new and suitable approaches.
3. Inspect Their Project Delivery Process
The process a vendor uses in developing software will have an impact on how quickly your firm gets up and running with the new asset.
It is therefore essential that you inspect how the developer you want to work with will handle the delivery.
Before your selected vendor embarks on execution, you need to ask for project-specific information to aid your assessment. Such information includes:
● Costing and budget projections
● Scope analysis
● Estimated deadline
● Project reporting and analysis
4. Regular Updates
A desirable developer is one who is eager and willing to regularly demonstrate the current state of the product at regular intervals.
When they enter each stage of development, they ought to finish that particular sprint with a demo. Doing so will help you analyze the product through its various stages and offer timely feedback.
It is much harder to be in the weeds and have the vendor do one final demo. Any necessary alterations can delay the final product unnecessarily.
5. Excellent Communication
Communication during project collaboration is a valuable tool. So precious is it that your project manager coordinating the development will likely spend 75%-90% of their time on communication.
Find out what project management tools the developer uses and settle on what you will use as the communication channel to streamline information transmission.
A useful tool should make you feel like you’re almost in the same office.
Clear communication will reduce friction during development and help you create a perfect product.
6. Inquire About Intellectual Property Ownership
Custom-made software that you order is an asset and therefore has an owner. The party with ownership rights to it will be the one to derive the revenue it generates.
Just because you order custom software doesn’t automatically make you its owner. One critical question to answer when vetting vendors to develop software for you is Intellectual Property (IP) ownership.
If the developer is willing to assign IP ownership to you make sure that the contract stipulates that.
7. After-Sales Support and Service Quality
No matter how good a developer’s expertise is, there is never a product that will be 100% functional without any bugs or down times.
Any issues the software might have will invariably mean that your firm’s operations are interrupted and ultimately cost you money.
Your vendor should guarantee direct access to the after-sales technical team for expedited troubleshooting turn around times. The developer should also offer cloud-based updates for a reasonable period after the sale.
8. Secure a Free Trial
In today’s software market, many vendors now offer free trials as a way to help their clients take the software for a test drive.
Your vendor should offer a limited period where you can assess the quality, usability, and benefits of the software before purchasing it.
At this stage, you will be able to identify any potential tweaks via real-world usage that will add value to you upon purchase.
9. Resist Jumping for the Cheapest Option
Every business looks to make cost savings in as many areas as possible. But seeking cheaper options at the expense of quality for such a critical asset as software can have a debilitating effect.
If your primary driver for picking a vendor is the cheapest quote, you may end up paying more in the end. Chances are huge that you may not end up owning the source code or have to pay extra for its license.
Balance cost-effectiveness with quality for the best product.
10. Go for a Similar-Sized Vendor
While we all hope to be treated equally by a vendor the truth is that that’s hardly the case. To get the best product for your company, you must make this work to your advantage.
Look for a developer that is at a similar level of operational scale as your firm. A much bigger vendor might not consider you as a key client, and the quality might slip a bit.
A vendor who is about your size will treat you as a key client, and that will help them ship a superior product for you.
Don’t Compromise on Quality
Software development is a critical need for a firm seeking to use technology to better its operations.
There are many third-party developers in the market. However, you must be vigilant about quality if you want an excellent end product.
ServiceZone wants to empower you not to let your firm’s output suffer due to low-grade expertise. Contact us today for more information about how we can assist you.