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Searching for any business partner can be challenging, as you need someone who packs the right expertise you need, and someone you can genuinely rely on.
When it comes to software development, you need someone who can create a software solution that meets the needs of your target customers and helps you achieve your business goals. You need a development partner who understands your business and knows how to help you reach success.
If you’re looking for a reliable partner for software development, you’ll be happy to know that there are a vast number of outsourcing companies out there. But how can you choose the right company for your business?
It all depends on your unique needs and requirements. But the following guidelines will help you narrow down the list and choose a software development partner that’s a perfect fit for your company.
Why Are You Looking for a Software Partner?
This is the most significant question you need to ask yourself. The reason why you need a software partner will help you know what to look for in one.
Do you need someone to handle front-end development or back-end development? Perhaps someone who can effectively do both?
Are you looking for professionals who can also cover all the project management and business analysis tasks? Do you need an expert team to handle everything in your IT department?
Perhaps your IT team doesn’t have the time for another project, or they lack the necessary skills for developing the kind of software you want.
Defining your goals and objectives first will push you in the right direction and help you choose the right partner you need. So, put everything on paper and carefully assess all the goals before proceeding with your search.
Conduct Thorough Research
Once you know what to look for, it won’t be so difficult to pinpoint the best candidates.
Now, you can search for your new partner on Google, but that may not be very helpful. Google will show you the top results relevant to your search, and those might be great companies, but how can you know for sure?
Try to check out what people have to say about them. Checking out the reviews for a particular company will shine some light on its services, expertise, experience, and reputation.
Quora is among the best online sources where you can find facts and honest opinions, but Clutch might be even better. It’s data-driven and contains reviews and ratings of the leading IT outsourcing companies.
All the companies on Clutch create their profile, but the platform is responsible for all the completely objective reviews. You can rely on them to learn more about how various companies work.
Just like reviews, testimonials can help you gain a clearer picture of how a particular company operates and serves its customers.
Testimonials are either written or spoken statements about an organization and its products or services. As such, you can rely on their authenticity and transparency. There’s rarely anything that can give you more insight into a company than its previous and current customers.
Also, ask the software partner the contacts of their current / previous clients and get on the phone with them. That way you can ask deep questions and get to know how it’s like working with this vendor.
The company you choose for a long-term partnership must be able to cater to your customers’ needs. It must pack the right expertise to develop software that will meet the needs of your target users.
Your development partner should also have proper business expertise. You don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t have a clue how to help you achieve your business goals.
Of course, if they’ll be responsible only for software development, you need them to have excellent skills for that. But if they are going to be your long-term partner, you need them to have proper business skills and experience in your industry.
Explore Case Studies
One of the best ways to check your potential partner’s experience and expertise is to explore their works. Look for their previous cases and dive into every little detail that will showcase how they work, and what makes them different.
Case studies will show you how a particular software development company has solved various challenges that they previously encountered. They will show you what solutions and features they implemented, what tests they used to make sure everything ran smoothly, and how they managed to create great user experiences.
Perhaps someone from their case studies is still their partner, so you can even learn more about how they operate in ongoing business relationships.
Evaluate Company Culture
Knowing company culture can help to consider when choosing a reliable software development partner. It’s the personality of a company that provides you with an insight into the company’s values and behaviors in its work environment.
Learn as much as you can about their ethics, goals, and expectations. Make sure you choose a team of professionals who are dedicated, meticulous, and genuinely passionate about business. They need to be as committed as you are so that you can seamlessly work together toward achieving your goals.
You need to make sure they will always be on the same page with you, but also not blindly agree with everything you say just because they work for you.
You should work together as partners, so they must be able to openly share their knowledge to help you find the best solutions to IT challenges. They need to be able to work out the best ways to make your product even better and advise you on reaching your goals and attracting the right users.
The most effective way to check the company culture is to visit the office of the vendor, talk with several team members (not only sales and project managers), and see the real company vibe.
You should have the same values so that they will treat your every project like it’s their own.
Communication = Transparency
Communication is key to any successful partnership, especially when it comes to developing a software solution. If there’s poor communication between you and your chosen partner, how will you ever get on the same page?
It’s essential to remember that excellent communication equals transparency. You need to be able to talk with the entire team you hire about all details related to your projects. Both of you need to be fully transparent regarding the development process and communicate openly and honestly.
You need to make sure there are absolutely no language barriers so that you can understand one another correctly. If you choose someone from another country, make sure they have excellent English language skills.
Interview the Developers — Not Only the Sales Team
Interview with developers can show you the real companies without any sales tricks. The sales team of a particular outsourcing company will certainly give you a great pitch, but the actual development team will help you know whether or not they are able to deliver what the sales rep promises.
The sales team may know all about their developers’ experience and expertise, but do they understand their work? Do they know exactly how various types of software function? Do you know who does? Developers.
So, once you put together a shortlist of companies, be sure to set up meetings with all the developers. Only then will you be able to evaluate who are the right people for the job.
Price Can’t Be More Important Than Value
Price is undoubtedly a critical factor when choosing a development partner, but it definitely shouldn’t be the deciding one.
If someone offers their services at meager prices, they may be sacrificing quality. You may save a bit of money when starting a project, but what if it doesn’t turn out very well? What if you end up with poor-quality software that needs complete rewriting?
You usually get what you pay for, so the cheapest offers may not be the smartest choice.
But what if someone’s services are a bit expensive? Should you move on with your search, or see what value they can provide your business?
The latter, of course. You should always put value before the price if you want to receive high-quality service.
Choosing the right software development partner is not an easy endeavor. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider so that you can make an informed decision. Start by understanding what kind of outsource services you need and follow the checklist to find the right outsourcing company for your project.
Luckily, the guidelines above will help you make a decision that leads to a reliable long-term partnership and achieved business goals.