How to Choose a Software Development Company
Updated: Dec 7, 2021
Where can you find a custom software provider other than a famous IT-giant? How to know for sure what company can help to fix any business issue with a robust solution? JEVERA understands your worries. We have prepared a brief guideline helping you to find a reliable vendor among small and middle-size representatives. It's easy to purchase a quality solution. Let's see how to choose a developer whose work quality is not inferior to the world leaders' results.
How to Create a List of Your Potential Suppliers
How do you know that you need a vendor? First of all, it is worth deciding what software is best for your business: ready-made or custom. If you settled on the second - start looking for a supplier.
We advise you to make a list of vendors first. Ask your partners whose services they use. A referral is one of the best ways to find a supplier. Alternatively, search for developers yourself. Google will help you with it. Get familiar with their sites, cases, and pay attention to reviews posted on external independent sources. As a result, you should end up with a long list of vendors. The hardest part lies ahead: choose the one.
Software Vendor Evaluation Criteria
If you already have a list of software development companies, it should be significantly reduced. In this case, you can focus on any criteria principal for your company.
Some clients choose only experienced suppliers. It means a vendor must have relevant experience of similar development.
You can also take into account the price factor or the specifics of the communications. Often, customers value the engineers' creativity and ability to solve non-standard technical problems.
So, you can evaluate a supplier using at least 4 factors:
How to Choose a Custom Software Development Company: Approaches
After defining a range of vendors, you have two options. If the list is short, it is better to communicate with each vendor's representatives personally and determine the favorite.
If you have a lot of candidates - announce a competition. In this case, a client notifies all selected companies about the opportunity to participate. The latter act at their discretion. They can refuse the offer or evaluate the project from their side, based on the customer requirements.
The customer analyzes received estimates from all vendors and selects several final ones. After a more detailed dialogue, management usually decides on the choice and signs a contract with one supplier.
Questions to Ask a Software Development Company
Before entering into cooperation with a vendor, you should make sure that:
it will provide you with a quality product;
it fairly estimates the project;
it is customer-oriented and honest with the audience.
How to do it? Conduct interviews with vendor representatives. Talk to them about technical aspects and expertise, ask your questions and listen carefully to the answers. The good vendor's goal is to help you solve a problem, not grow at it. To check if your potential partners are reliable, ask them the following questions:
1) Does the vendor have experience with similar projects?
If so, let a supplier tell you everything: from possible difficulties in the development cycle to the results of the product's work in numbers.
2) What technologies does the vendor work with?
It is a matter because your software needs to be robust, modern, and convenient to use. Technology affects these characteristics.
3) Does the vendor have a vision of the result?
Ask this after providing detailed requirements from your side.
4) What will the product development cycle be?
A question related to the previous one. If the vendor has a clear idea of what is expected of it, it will create a plan for the idea implementation.
5) How many specialists will be involved in the development, and what is their experience?
Ask what each member of the future team is like to understand how strong it will be.
6) On what terms and how fast does the vendor usually work?
The answer will help you to understand how flexible the supplier is and whether it is ready to prioritize the client's interests.
7) How does a vendor deal with force majeure situations?
Let the potential partner share with you a story about some difficulty in the development process and an appropriate way to solve it.
Before You Will Hire Software Development Company
The contracting stage is principal because here, you form your partnership with a vendor in writing. The drafting and approval of a service agreement must be approached thoroughly. The text should be complete and unambiguous.
Entering into a contract with a supplier, you should pay particular attention to:
Software ownership rights transfer. The procedure must be detailed and clearly described. Discover in advance how this process works in your and your supplier's jurisdictions (if they are different). Make sure that the procedures are described following national/international regulations and business customs.
Data security. Your data should be used only to the extent necessary for quality service provision. After the latter's end, a supplier must transfer to you all the information about your company available on tangible media and - ensure non-disclosure for at least three years after the end of the contract.
Terms and results tracking. First of all, it concerns companies working with vendors on time and material terms. You need to keep track of the budget movement and care about how it aligns with the results. You can agree on any control method that does not directly interfere with the engineers' workflow.
Contract price flexibility provisions. This item will be fascinating for companies operating on a fixed price base. To avoid complications during development, agree with the vendor in what cases it can be a question of adjusting the fixed price and determine the procedure for changes.