Covid-19 is an accelerator for change on all critical levels of communication, be it personal or business. Tha pandemic serves as a powerful reorganisation push that urges us to rethink how we handle insecurity. Behind every successful business nowadays is strong software as its backbone. As business owners realise the rising importance of online presence and digital technology for their survival and future recovery, one recent trend looks more needed than ever – software development outsourcing.
This option is both cost-effective and convenient, Not to mention that hiring a remote vendor is faster for custom software development than employing in-house developers, let alone learning how it is done and then doing it yourself. My experience working in a bespoke software development company taught me the importance of good relationships with clients for the software project. To deliver top-quality software depends on IT professionals’ technical expertise and communication skills, work ethic, and devotion. Now, let’s explore best practices on how a company can choose the right outsourcing partner:
Define Your Needs and Requirements
Both business leaders and end-customers demand high-quality software products. In such a competitive business environment, it is vital to rely on custom software to fit your unique needs as a company. Depending on the sector, these will vary, but one thing is for sure – if you have direct customers, they will want seamless and high-quality user experience. That is why it is essential to align your client’s needs with the project you plan to outsource. What is more, consider your company’s size and complexity of the project so you can choose the right size of outsourcing partners – small, medium or large software development providers as they all come with different advantages.
Ask yourself what specific needs you have to fulfill and what skills will best fit the project’s requirements. Make sure you fully understand and define personal pain points that can be solved through tailor-made software before presenting them to potential outsourcing partners. Think from a business perspective: what are your KPIs (key performance indicators) and how a custom software product will help you reach them? Do you recognise any potential risk factors, and how can they be minimised? What budget can you put aside for the project? These may sound basic, but it is essential to have a clear picture of your business needs before reaching out to software development outsourcing companies to find the perfect match among many vendors.
Research For The Top Software Outsourcing Companies
View Online Reviews
You will agree that every company can speak high of itself just to attract clients even though their partners may not share this opinion. Avoid being misled by spending some time reading online reviews about your future software development outsourcing partner. How previous customers experienced working with them, were they easily approachable, meeting strict with deadlines. Is the overall satisfaction and feedback from real customers high?
Check Some Previous Projects
To choose the right outsourcing partner, you also might want to check what they’ve worked on in the past. Previous and current projects will usually be listed on their websites. Besides seeing that others trust this outsourcing company, this also allows you to get an idea about their experience in different industries. If available, you can also read case studies as they contain valuable information on how they work and approach problems. You can always go a step further and contact previous customers directly to hear honest feedback on how the vendor managed their custom software project.
After you have a list of your basic criteria of what your potential outsourcing partner should look like, it is time to scan through promising outsourcing areas. Depending on which kind of outsourcing you choose, nearshoring (closer geographical location) or offshoring (long distance), there will be different pros and cons going with that decision. After you’ve considered this too, narrow down your research to a couple of options and send an RFI (request for information) with overview information on the envisioned software product and approximately how many IT specialists it requires. Then, schedule meetings with all of them and get to know all contenders. The next and most crucial step is to evaluate their work which has several main components as listed below.
Evaluate Their Work
The attitude towards securing your future outsourcing partner should be a top priority for you. Your bespoke software project’s security should be equally important both to you and your prospective business partner. Directly ask them open questions about their security standards and which standard protocols they use in case of unforeseen issues. It would also be valuable to have information regarding equipment access control and monitoring, network security protocols and business continuity and disaster recovery plan.
The success of a business partnership has a lot to do with strong communication skills. Many partners do not share the same mother language, and sometimes this is an underrated communication aspect. Various misunderstandings may arise simply because of a language barrier so make sure your development team of choice has excellent English proficiency. Your outsourcing partners should also be approachable when you need them and open for discussions. For stress-free cooperation, look at the company’s culture and how they treat their employees as this reveals a lot about what kind of values they cherish.
Main Areas of Expertise
Processes And Tools They Use
It is advisable for anybody planning to delegate a vital software project to a future outsourcing partner to know what processes and methodologies they organise work with. Be curious what software development tools they use to document and optimise the whole dev process. Moreover, it is good to know if they use a more traditional approach, like the Waterfall model or rely on modern Agile methodologies like Scrum or Kanban. The first one will be more suitable if you have most of the requirements documented before the project begins and a concise software solution plan. Any changes during the development process will require a restart. Modern methodologies like Agile and Scrum are more flexible and allow for changes during all development stages while delivering functional software pieces in short iterations (sprints).
Standards of Quality
If you’ve followed the previously mentioned steps already, you probably have an overall impression on how the outsourcing provider organises their work and what they consider quality standards. Additionally, you can determine if they adhere to known and trusted clean code principles to inspect the quality of the produced code. Ideally, the outsourcing provider will have internationally recognised ISO standards like ISO/IEC 25010 that lists software development characteristics that are considered standard. Finally, you can look if the dev team’s QA specialists have obtained a certification from the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) which is recognisable worldwide.
Once you have an idea of the technical expertise, experience and quality and standard practices, you only need to get to know your future outsourcing partners as people because a bespoke software has the potential to accelerate and grow your business. To find the right team fit that you can fully trust with your custom software project may not be the easiest process but if you follow the suggested steps mentioned above you are one step closer to making the right choice for your company.
Author Biography Aleksandrina Vasileva
Aleksandrina is a Content Creator at Dreamix, a custom software development company, and is keen on innovative technological solutions with a positive impact on our world. Her teaching background, mixed with interests in psychology, drives her to share knowledge. She is an avid reader and an enthusiastic blogger, always looking for the next inspiration.