Posted by Paul Anderson
10 tips to choose the right custom software development company
So you have decided to go for custom-built software. Now the intention behind it can be anything – to streamline the company process; to expand the organization in scale and size and so on.
Depending on the purpose of the custom software application – you have come up with an idea, a vision for a software project. But now what??
Although there are thousands of custom software development companies existing, all of their service standards are not the same. In fact, custom software development company can prove to be the biggest roadblock in your software project if you’re not careful enough about selecting it.
Continue reading as we state 10 tips to keep in mind when looking for a developer for your custom software project:
1. Get Referrals from People
Talk to other folks in your network to get referrals for custom software developers. Not only will it fast-track the process of selecting potential custom software developers but also help you gather honest feedback about them.
2. Discuss about Coding
The quality of coding will directly influence the quality of the application built. Discuss with the custom software developers regarding the level to be maintained while coding. Point your guidelines like –
•No buggy/resource-hungry codes
•More of Lean coding etc.
3. Check the Company Portfolio
Go through a few of the past projects to get an idea of the type of applications the software developers have worked on. Wonder why? Here’s the reason –
Custom software development companies that have worked on many projects have a tried and tested methodology for successful completion of the projects. On the contrary, new software development companies (because of less experience) are still in the stage of developing methodologies. As a result – they are not familiar with the challenges that can surface during software development lifecycle.
Tip: Consider the size of your software project. Most custom software development companies prefer taking projects of a particular size i.e., multi-year or multi-enterprise projects.
4. Understand different Software Systems
Learn about the different software development technologies like Windows and UNIX. Depending on their characteristics, decide the technology you would want your custom application to get built on.
Check out the type of development technology the company is experienced in. This is especially applicable if you require your project to be built on specific software system.
5. Focus on Delivery Time
Choose a custom software development company that has a proven track record of on-time delivery. Not only will this give you and your team enough time to test the software and report bugs (if any); your employees can train and orient themselves to make better use of the application.
Tip: Decide the deadline of the application in the initial negotiation phase. Set the timeframe considering the time to be taken for debugging and training.
6. Emphasize upon Good Communication Skills
Do not choose a team of geeks, sitting in a dark room, coding, completely isolated from the rest of the world. Make sure your chosen software developers not only have technical skills to build your application, but also communication skills.
Benefit; you’ll not have to put much effort in getting regular updates from the developers. You can ask questions and initiate discussions to ensure that the application gets developed in a way that it optimally meets your business goals.
7. Clarify about the Application Ownership
What if you find your competitors using the application, you specially got custom built for your organization? Scary right?
Custom software is owned by the company who pays for it. However, there have been exclusive cases of ownership conflict between custom software development companies and business owners. To avoid any such conflicts in your project, ensure that the contract clearly states the ownership clause in compliance with the laws of the governing state.
8. Pay attention on User Experience
Choose a custom software development company that has the expertise and resources to provide exceptional user experience. Do not opt for a one-off utility to solve a short-term problem as it will not serve any purpose. It’s advisable that you invest more to get a highly polished user-friendly application system. This will truly be a success for your business.
9. Consider Security and Safety issues
Answer to questions like:
•Will the software application have sensitive data, like – classified information, proprietary business information etc?
•What will be the risk involved if the software works incorrectly?
Ensure that the custom software development company you choose is insured to work on high-security/high-safety systems. In this way they will implement essential steps to protect proprietary and personal data.
10. Clarify about After-Development Support
Discuss the after-development support services with the software development company. Make sure that they commit (in writing) to provide software configuration, software orientation, software customization, software maintenance and software backup services.