How to Choose a Custom Software Development Company to Work With

Bespoke Software, Uncategorized | 0 comments | by Erin Quilliam

Developing custom software (also known as bespoke software,) represents a significant investment of time and money. As such, you will want to work with a custom software development company that can create the best product for you in a way that suits your business.

Additionally, because the development period can take a long time, you want to know that you will enjoy working with the company you choose. It could be a lasting partnership of several months, sometimes even years, making it worthwhile to invest the time to find the company that works best for you and with you.

In this article, we highlight what you need to keep in mind when you are looking for a custom software development company to employ to create your software solution. 

If you’re in a rush, skip ahead to the summary to see a bullet-point list of the key considerations.

These points all go beyond the initial considerations you have probably already made, which could include viewing their portfolio and examining their reviews. The following 6 points of interest will help you to clarify with yourself what you are looking for in a software development company, and highlight the factors that could sway your decision.

Here are the 7 key things to consider when choosing a custom software development company to work with.

Measure the experience of the custom software development company

1. Experience

Whenever you are looking to enlist or employ the help of anyone, be it a new employee or another company, you want to know that they have the experience and skills to do the job you require. 

Look into how long a company has been working for, and the specific services they provide. Some software development companies might have specialised in the development of specific solutions, such as apps, or provide solutions for a specific industry.

Additionally, a company might not have had a huge level of experience in developing a certain solution. Perhaps they have little experience with big data solutions, for example. You would then need to evaluate their skills and experience in general in order to make the decision of if you would like to work with them or seek someone with the specific experience.

The size of the software development company2. Size

This tip isn’t one to guarantee success for your software, but it might improve your experience as a client. The size of the company you approach will have an impact on how you relate with them, and how they handle your project. 

A smaller company can be more personal when interacting with you and in the creation of your software. However, they might not have the necessary staff or capabilities to handle a huge project. Whereas a larger company could handle heavy-duty projects, but they might not have the availability to get to know you individually and craft your personality into the project.

Understand the security and stability of the software and the company that made it3. Stability & Security of the Company

An important factor to consider when looking into software development companies is their stability and longevity. This applies both to the company itself, and their projects. 

It’s important to be reassured that a company is secure enough that it will still exist for the duration of your project. If it is a smaller company, you would also want to be sure that they have the stability to handle your project, particularly if it on a longer timescale.

Secondly, you must investigate how stable and secure the software they create is. You don’t want to develop custom software that is buggy or poor quality. Nor do you want it to be insecure, particularly if you will be handling sensitive data. (Especially in the light of GDPR.)

Of course, it is not always possible to see the software a company has previously developed. This may be due to the nature of the software – such as handling confidential data – or a signed non-disclosure agreement. But they should be able to tell you about a few previous projects, or list a few companies who they have previously worked with.

Technical Expertise in Custom Software Development4. Technical Expertise

This might seem obvious, but when you are deciding upon a custom software development company to work with, you need to know they have the technical expertise to complete the job. This was alluded to above, but the technical capabilities of a company can vary depending on their size. Also, you might discover a company that has specialised in a niche market, and so have better experience to handle a very specific area of business.

check that your custom software development isn't going to be outsourced5. Is Work Completed In-House?

For a smaller or younger company, it might be impossible to do all the work in-house. This is due to the team size and their specialisms. However, there should be a core team in-house to work on your project. If a company has to outsource the majority of the work, you may face some issues with extended timelines or stretched communication. 

6. Where Will the Work Take Place?

In a somewhat related vein, you may want to consider where the team is based and how they work. The beauty of software development is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. But where the work is carried out has an effect on the project. 

For example, if you want to be able to meet your developers face to face and have a large budget, then an onshore company will be best for you. Meanwhile, offshore development offers a more cost-effective solution but you might need to pay attention to timezones and have narrower windows of communication.

Alternatively, there is a hybrid model. It combines an onshore team, typically managers, with offshore developers. This kind of custom software development company tries to combine the benefits of onshore and offshore team and be able to offer face-to-face meetings as well as more cost-effective software development.

make sure your custom software development company fosters good relationships7. Good Relationships

When considering working with any company, it is important to examine their relationships with other previous clients. If many previous partnerships have ended badly, it could be a red flag. A quick search for the company can help determine the sort of relationships they may have. For example, a company with a bad reputation will be reviewed poorly. It may even appear on the news for court cases. These are clear red flags. 

Summary

When you are considering working with a custom software development company, you should approach it like any other working relationship. It can even be compared to interviewing a new employee. This is because you are trying to better your understanding of their experience and skills and how well they will work alongside you.

As such when considering who to hire to carry out your software development, try to examine:

  • Their experience
  • The size of the company
  • The stability and security of the company
  • The level of technical expertise required
  • Will the development be carried out in-house
  • Where the work takes place
  • Does the company foster good working relationships

We offer a free consultation in order for you to get a better understanding of our work, and how we can help you.

Click here to book a meeting or call us on +44 207 127 4304

If you found this article helpful, or are considering between buying off-the-shelf software or developing your own, you should read this guide: What You Need to Know Before Buying Off-the-Shelf Solutions for Your Business

It walks you through every important aspect of a software solution you will need to think about. Whether you’re making a purchase decision between different off-the-shelf solutions, or deciding if you want to buy or develop your own bespoke software.

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