How to choose the right company for the development of custom software?

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Are you considering developing custom software for your business, but don’t really know where to begin? How can you ensure that you choose the right provider to build what you need? If you’re asking these questions, then this article is for you!

Finding the right company to develop your custom software is far from easy. This article aims to show you, step by step, how to distinguish the good from the bad when it comes to choosing a partner for your software development project.

What is custom software development?

Custom software development involves designing, developing, deploying and maintaining an IT product for a set of users. Companies offering IT development services create custom software at a customer’s request.

The term “tailor-made” emphasizes that development responds exactly and specifically to the requirements of the project. The software will need to meet the unique needs of your users. And the extent of potential needs is unlimited:

  • Accounting management
  • Sales management
  • CRM
  • Bank
  • ERP
  • Etc.

As a company, no one knows what you need better than you do. So, following from that, it’s time to find the IT development company that best meets your needs. Which company will be best placed to create the software you require? How can you know if it’s a good idea to engage with a given company?

We’ll try to provide some answers to these questions below:

1. Use your network

The best technique is to use your network. Start by asking around. Make use of your relationships and inquire through your network. Someone will probably be able to put you in touch with serious software development companies that have already proven their reliability on other projects.

Also, if you’re pointed in the direction of an IT development company by someone who has worked with them, they can give you a testimonial and direct, concrete feedback on their experience with the company.

2. Language and use cases

When discussing your software project with your future service provider, make sure that they understand your software use case and parameters.

The software development company will choose which development language to use for the project by evaluating the desired end use of your software and the obligations or challenges you need to meet (e.g. releasing the software quickly, strong market competition, a tight budget, complex functionalities, etc.)

Each web development language has its advantages and disadvantages. The language that the company selects and proposes must be able to meet your functional and technical requirements.

3. Check the experience level of the company

If your project requires a lot of research and analysis, be sure to confirm that the company has done this type of work before.

Contact the company’s customers so that they can give you feedback on their experience with them.

The company must also be able to present you with a proven working methodology. A company with a well-rounded and well-crafted methodology can prove that it has already accumulated experience through working on previous projects. Best of all will be if the company has already created software similar to what you need.

Don’t shy away from testing or researching the company’s reputation in the market (on social networks, Google reviews, customer testimonials, etc.).

4. Choose the right type of contract – the right way to operate

When it comes to software engineering, two types of contracts are generally offered:

  • A commitment of resources, or
  • A commitment to results.

These two commitments are very different and will set the pace of your project.

In the first case, during a commitment of resources: the company provides you with all possible means to create your custom software.

Means include: a team of digital talents, developers, project managers, a Scrum master, Product owner, designers, etc. – essentially any person that has the skills necessary to produce the software.

In the second option, with a result commitment, the company commits to producing the final result. It commits to deliver software that meets your exact requirements within a given timeframe, without your direct involvement in the production process.

The second option may seem more interesting at the outset. However, it depends on your desired level of involvement and the requisite level of precision in your software development request.

If you have very precise, detailed specifications and almost no grey areas or unknowns in your project, then yes, you can opt for a commitment to results.

On the other hand, if the scope of your software has not yet been fully defined and you need advice and support on the design of your software, then opting for a commitment of resources will probably make more sense.

5. Talk to the project team before starting

Take the time and care to get to know and interact with the team that will be working on your software project.

While software development can often appear very technical and impersonal, human qualities are very important in how a project can progress. While you obviously need to confirm the technical skills of each team member, do not ignore their human qualities either. These qualities will be essential to the proper functioning of the project, ensuring understanding and cohesion between all project stakeholders.

Before relying on software, you must first rely on people. This phase of understanding builds a bond of trust and helps ensure that the team is invested in your project and vision not only financially, but emotionally too.

Tune your violins on how to work, communicate and move forward together: consider it a bit like a pact at the beginning of a project that can encourage a team to be more involved and motivated to give their best to it, saving time in the future.

Also check that the developers that are delegated to your project are continuously trained. The continuous training of technical teams is a real guarantee of quality both in terms of skills and services.

In the event that the team provided for your project is based in another country, take time to consider the time difference and to shape your workflow and schedules in a way that optimizes your exchanges and adapts to the distance.  

At Bocasay, designing and developing software is part of our core business. Discover the software we’ve worked on, and don’t hesitate to ask if you’d like to discuss your software project together.

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