Software outsourcing is beneficial for the rapid growth of businesses. It cuts out additional time, finances, and human resources resulting in better ROI. However, CEOs or business owners sometimes feel hesitant about making such a decision because of the fear of no physical interaction with their potential business partner. On the other hand, there are many software outsourcing companies and we stumble upon plenty of information available on the internet, which sometimes makes the selection process composite.
Companies try to differentiate between relevant and useful content concentrating on such important questions as where to find a software vendor and how to choose the right software vendor to succeed in business goals. The idea of custom software development is to build a tailor-made solution that will exactly meet the companies’ goals and will put an end to the open-source software usage with monthly or annual fees. Thus, while outsourcing your custom software development needs, it’s extremely crucial to clearly state what to look for in a software vendor.
We, at CodeRiders, have heard a lot about these common struggles from our clients. One of our articles gives useful tips for effective software vendor management.
Because of the popularity and prevalence of this topic, CodeRiders decided to file up the best ways and platforms for finding an ideal software development partner among an endless list of software outsourcing companies. The objective of our article isn’t to tell you, which software development vendor to choose or promote platforms for software outsourcing companies, rather than share useful and tangible information for choosing the right software development vendor for you.
Before exploring the best tips for choosing the right software development outsourcing company, let’s define who they are.
Custom software development vendors are software outsourcing companies that build software solutions for a specific user or a group of users within an organization. Designing customized software that meets your company goals leads to a growing level of productivity once the solution is implemented. If your organization’s needs are specific enough to warrant customized software, building one is a justified investment. Choosing a custom software vendor isn’t an easy task, and there is not a specifically defined “one-size-fits-all” strategy, however, there are still some required qualities for a custom software vendor to drive value for your company.
In this article, we’ll give answers to the following questions:
1.Define Specifications and Expectations from the Project
Clearly specify your needs, and what you expect from your potential partner and consequently create your model of an ideal software vendor. Here are things to consider when specifying your custom software requirements:
The above points are the most common answers to how to choose the right software vendor. However, they can be expanded regarding your business needs.
2. Learn about the Key Values for Finding the Appropriate Software Vendor
Searching for a software vendor without exactly specifying which software outsourcing companies will be qualified candidates beforehand is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Taking your time on careful consideration of the key values of the appropriate software vendor isn’t a time waste. Thus, let’s give answers to the popular question of “what to look for in a software vendor”.
The tech industry and the world itself are constantly in an evolving cycle and to keep up with the innovations, qualified software outsourcing companies should follow the market changes and ensure their employees are advancing their skills accordingly. A top-notch, flexible, and comprehensive software vendor decreases the omissions during the development process that have been skipped by the client in the planning stage. On the other hand, such software vendors often offer other solutions or help you along the way instead of waiting for the next task.
A logical question pops up, “Then how should I find such a software vendor?”. Besides asking your possible partner to show their experience in cross-vertical industries and portfolio, choose more tangible ways for testing them. Some companies can be a great fit for you, but may not be able to show their portfolio or previous works for various reasons like maybe they have NDA or they just didn’t build such software before. Don’t simply dismiss such software vendors instead take time to have a detailed discussion with the company representatives or give a quick test task. Besides, keeping the confidentiality of the previous clients instead of closing the next deal by any means, says a lot about the corresponding company’s merits.
While contacting your software development vendor, it’s very important to clarify your budget, the number of developers and, which engagement model you’re more prone to.
Not every software development vendor is ready to take any kind of project with any requirements. Some companies work only on long-term projects and put the stress on innovative software solutions while others prefer small to medium size projects with one specific software requirement. We, at CodeRiders are open to in-detail discussions. Below you can find some popular engagement models, that are used by CodeRiders. The descriptions are based on our own experience however, the overall process is unaltered.
Project-based: If you know exactly what you want, you can prepare your technical documentation and discuss your specific needs with the software vendor beforehand. In case you’re unsure about the development process, ask your software vendor to provide ongoing demos during which they’ll catch your needs and implement them accordingly. A contract is usually signed in this case, mentioning the exact tasks that need to be implemented, and the minimum upfront costs by milestones. Having a well-written scope of work document or technical documentation is crucial especially during this engagement model. It clarifies all the requirements and agreements right from the beginning.
Time and Material: This is an ideal engagement model for those companies that have a concrete image of their future product but do not have a technical specifications list or any documentation. This model is very flexible so, requirements can be switched during the development process without shaking the project cost. Meetings and reports are systematically provided.
Staff Augmentation: Although we, at CodeRiders prefer working alone on specific projects, we’re also open to providing software development support and to join other development teams as a help. Some of our developers or the team can support in-house or other outsourcing developers to meet the deadlines and work more efficiently. Besides developers, you will also have UI/UX designers, project managers, testers per your need.
If you’re outsourcing your software solutions, you may have some amount of suspicion sharing your ideas and data with an outside entity. Thus, one of the most important questions is, “How can I share my idea with a software vendor and not risk them claiming it as their own”?
A careful examination of your software vendor is a great solution. If you take some basic actions to guarantee your security, you’ll benefit from outsourcing without any problems. Some important steps include:
o Ask for their previous employment agreements with their employees and samples of NDAs with previous clients. By looking through these documents, you’ll have a general clue on how serious is the software vendor’s attitude towards IP. However, that doesn’t mean that you should take these contracts as custom samples for you. Ensure you have your proper agreements in place.
o Ask your future software vendor for some laws or rules regarding IP in their country, as well as ask them to clarify if they follow any international resolutions about IP and security.
o Ask your software vendor about the project management tools they use.
o Ask about how their team members communicate with each other. How do they share documents among the staff?
All of the above-enumerated points are considered to specify which software vendor to choose. We, at CodeRiders, sign NDAs and follow IP protection rules in Armenia as well as follow the international standards.
Another effective method for how to choose the right software vendor is using vendor selection and evaluation metrics.
Vendor Selection and Evaluation Metrics: Interviewers usually select the final partner “at a gut level”. However, choosing the partner by a certain analysis is proved to be more effective. For example, one candidate can propose a lower cost than the other one. On the contrary, the other candidate may get good results in the test task. To make sure that all the assets are carefully considered, companies often use vendor selection and evaluation metrics. This is a simple and more accurate process of comparing different offers and proposals. The metrics document can be created on a simple Excel file, via diagrams, or a sample/tool can be downloaded from open sources. The main information that is imported in the document includes:
o Basic information about a specific vendor/timeliness of delivery
o Competitiveness of price/quality of the service
o Competitiveness of terms and conditions and security procedures
o Credit rating/overall financial condition
o Reputation of the company/Level of assistance in research and development
o Expertise of sales staff/Technical support staff’s level of expertise
3. Conduct an Effective Research and Make the List of Your Qualified Candidates
Besides considering the useful tips on how to choose the right software vendor, it’s important to know where to find these software vendors. After having a general clue of your future partner’s prerequisites, start searching for appropriate companies on the well-known platforms. Besides putting the stress on the most popular social websites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, research for some collective data from the most reliable B2B platforms. Below, you’ll find the most data-driven websites for collecting the list of the top-notch software outsourcing companies around the world with objective reviews and reports: Let’s explore where to find a software vendor.
The polls and lists of the companies in these platforms may seem endless. In order not to be confused, filter your search as much as you can and check out the first 10 companies that pop up in a row, then continue with another 10, and so on. Usually, clients orientate with the first 10 and start browsing their data. For further information, check their websites and have a clearer view of the specific software vendor by checking out their blog and their approach to the working process and routine. Social media profiles and activities should also be considered.
In conclusion, software development outsourcing is a proven practice of beneficial co-operation, if companies follow certain tips, rights, and procedures. Finding a good software development vendor ensures the company’s success in the effective management of time, finance, and human resources, as well as fastens its business development process. Finding your ideal match is an easy task if you know where and how to search for a software vendor that completely follows your business criteria.
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