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How to choose a software development company in 10 steps

When faced with the sea of choices, it's difficult to know where to start. With that in mind, here's a list of 10 things to check before you entrust a company with the development of your digital product.

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A company that specializes in developing functional applications is known as a software development company. Most of them work for clients who want to build custom software solutions but don't have access to in-house software development services and knowledge. Therefore, having a dedicated team model who will keep an eye on everything while you focus on the business is critical.

Despite the fact that there are thousands of app development businesses worldwide, you should avoid going with the most inexpensive option. After all, you get what you pay for. Instead, you should select the one you'll be working with depending on the requirements of your business.

So, if you're looking for digital product development but don't have a lot of experience with computer software development, you're probably wondering, "How do I find the perfect software development company?"

We all know that the IT business is rapidly expanding and that there are many options accessible, which makes it intimidating, but be assured that no decision can be made without thorough research.

Let me start by saying that this article can't offer you an answer to your specific needs, but it can certainly give you some recommendations on where to begin your research.

So, let's get started!

10 constructive steps to avoid software development company selection pitfalls

1. Are there any reviews and feedback available? 

The first thing you should usually do is look for any customer reviews and feedback. A company should show you their portfolio, or you may ask to see some of their previous work. For example, if one of their apps is available for download on the app store, make sure you look at ratings and reviews.

Be wary of organizations that don't have a portfolio or previous work to present!

The reputation of the company you pick will have a significant impact on the future of your custom-built software, so do your homework thoroughly.

2. What is the company's expertise?

It is crucial for you to know if the company you have chosen is the right company for you in terms of their expertise.

They should be able to explain how they would go about implementing the desired feature and recommend any applicable frameworks and technologies. It's also good to see if their product can be integrated with other systems and workflows.

3. Are they cost-efficient?

When it comes to choosing the ideal software development team, it's vital not to let the price dictate the quality of the final result.

Allow the quality of their previous work and their skills to determine whether or not they are fit for the job while staying within your financial limits.

Before settling on any pricing arrangements, it's critical to establish a clear and flexible budget for your project.

Discuss how to set milestones, what they could look like, and how much money is paid when each one is met. Make sure you are informed of any additional expenses that may apply.

Remember to inquire about payment options and terms while discussing the project's functionality and feature list. How do they form their prices? Is it a one-time payment in full, or do you have to pay in installments?

4. Is the design team innovative?

An app's design must be well-thought-out for it to succeed in the market. A software development company with fresh ideas and an out-of-the-box design approach may create a forward-thinking digital product that propels your organization forward.

Just keep in mind that an inventive and engaging user interface can contribute to a positive user experience and a lasting corporate image. The manner in which your software interacts with its users is heavily influenced by its presentation, design, and overall appearance and feel.

Building a digital product entails more than simply coding; it also necessitates the creation of a functional design and consideration of the user experience.

To assess a company's innovativeness, make sure you review their previous work. Look at the development company's design portfolio to ensure that their app design standards are globally approved.

5. Are they time-efficient?

Ask about the project's projected completion date. Investigate their availability, as most businesses will be working on many projects at the same time. 

What is the number of projects they are now working on? How long do they anticipate the project taking? When will they be able to finish your project? These are some questions you should have answers to.

It's of great importance to ensure that dedicated resources are accessible to work on your project. That way, you can rest assured that the organization will respond quickly to any project iterations or unexpected obstacles.

6. Do they have a collaborative communication style?

Learn about their communication style and try to decide how often you should communicate. In addition to that, think about the communication channels that will be used before a project begins.

To successfully track progress, you should select a company that provides project updates at least once a week. The success of a project to a large extent depends on effective communication between clients and developers.

While you are still in the process of deciding, keep track of how often they respond to your messages and phone calls, as well as if they are expressing their opinions. Assess whether they are genuinely interested in your company and project proposal. If they don't look active at this point, it's a good indicator of how they'll perform later on in development.

Choose a company with which you can form a good working relationship - a solid working relationship implies that ideas are discussed openly, allowing you to create even better software.

You can ask them about the tools they'll use to keep track of the project. Do they work in an agile manner? What project management software do they use? You should be able to get access to the project collaboration tools via the project manager. A good organization will keep you informed in every stage of the development process to ensure that your expectations are being met.

For those who are not familiar with the term ‘Agile’, it is a project management methodology. It stands for 'Rapid' and 'Respond To Transformation,' and it will continue to drive change in all types of businesses, particularly software development. Agile is all about delivering the best product possible in a short amount of time.

7. Do they have trusted QA and testing measures?

The majority of custom mobile applications include technological flaws and issues. Regular interruptions in the operation of mobile apps cause users to lose interest in them. That is why excellent design and development methods are insufficient.

To ensure that the final product is free of technical faults or defects by the time it reaches the app stores, development companies must use the most up-to-date human and automated quality assurance and testing measures.

8. Do they provide a release of the software?

It's crucial to inquire about the company's app store submission policy and how they handle the client's app release. A professional firm will either walk you through the procedure or even submit your app for you. Look for a company that will remain with you throughout the digital product lifecycle, rather than finish their part after the product is hosted.

9. Do they provide maintenance and customer service?

There's a reasonable probability that after your product is released in the marketplace, you'll need to provide updates, patch bugs, or add new features/functionalities on a regular basis. As a result, it's important to understand a company's maintenance and support policies. For some digital products, maintenance is charged on an hourly basis while some go on a monthly basis.

Make certain to figure out what the policies are for:

  • The expense of releasing a new digital product
  • Their post-launch assistance
  • How they handle bug fixes 

Depending on the type of the web and mobile product you need to design, it is also critical to have good customer service, if your product requires it.

Hiring a provider with poor customer service can cause problems throughout the development process. Your business operations may suffer in the long run if you don't get the correct kind of help.

Only reputable and long-standing software development businesses understand the importance of their consumers and are always available to provide professional and helpful solutions on development concerns.

10. Do they have security policies set?

Last but certainly not least is the protected environment in which your digital product is developed. 

The need to consider security and privacy “upfront” is a fundamental aspect of secure system development. The security policies of the company itself are as much of importance as the ones they use while building and after the release of your software. Because even if a company has an ideal security level for their applications and systems, a lot of risks still exist. That is why procedures that outline the required precautions regarding information security should be implemented.

In order to be safe regarding the security of your investment, make sure the company has policies for proper and correct assessment (SRAs) and management of the security risks. It is critically important to consider safety concerns carefully in an early phase of the product development and do the security and privacy requirements analysis. Mitigating those kinds of issues in the later stages of the product life cycle will make you reach deeper into your contingency fund. 

To repeat it one more time: security procedures and scans both in source code and in deployed applications (e.g., DAST or SAST) are a must. 

That is why prior to your decision about partnering with the vendor for your digital product development, you should check the security risk management methodologies they use to minimize any disruption to plans, schedules and budgets of your project.

It is also helpful if a company has international ISO certificates connected to security measures, such as ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Security Management System (ISMS), for example.

Ready to make a decision?

The vast array of options available in the software development market can be overwhelming and easily lead to confusion. That is why it is critical to thoroughly assess any firm with whom you intend to do business. A good firm should have technical knowledge, excellent communication skills, accountability, a track record, and the desire to comprehend and visualize the concept of your custom software solution.

Having in mind that the realization of the concept of your product is often in the hands of the developer, it's important to make the right choice.

Choosing the services of the best software development firms is a significant investment, which is why it is vital to put your money in the correct place. And, before you make an investment, go over the above-mentioned considerations to find the right company.

Keep in mind, also, that you must have a clear understanding of what you want your digital product to be and do.

I hope this helped. Good luck!

Your take on the subject

They say knowledge has power only if you pass it on - we hope our blog post gave you valuable insight.

If you want to share your opinion or learn more about custom software development firsthand, feel free to contact us. We'd love to hear what you have to say!