How to Choose the Best Custom Software Development Partner
This may sound familiar: Off-the-shelf software doesn’t fit your business needs. You know you need custom software, but you don’t know how to build it.
If you want a solution tailored to your needs, you need to find a software development partner that is committed to understanding your business. The best analysts and developers can translate business needs into project specifications and user-friendly design. Here are five considerations to make before you select a partner.
1. Collaboration and Accessibility
Custom software development requires true collaboration—phone calls, in-person meetings and ongoing communication. You want to find a partner who is dedicated to understanding your vision. Assess a firm’s ability and willingness to listen, share ideas and pivot quickly.
At Devetry, we work collaboratively with our clients and use design thinking to uncover the best approach. Clients don’t just hand us requirements. We develop a collaborative partnership from the beginning.
2. Technical Expertise
In custom software, the end product rests heavily on a firm’s technical experience and quality of work. Some teams specialize in a single coding language or framework; others offer diverse technical expertise. Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you should choose a strong development partner that can maintain a high standard of quality across different technologies.
It’s advantageous to work with a team that is equal parts consultants and coders. Rather than fit your needs to a single coding language, the team can analyze your critical needs and develop a custom solution. Understanding client needs comes first. Choosing the right technology comes second.
3. Transparency and Approachability
Custom software development is complex. Since some development work is invisible to the end-user, it takes technical know-how to assess quality of work. If you don’t have someone in-house who’s technically savvy, transparency and communication are incredibly important. Find a firm that is not only committed to high quality work, but is transparent and approachable throughout the process.
During a project, we discuss what’s difficult, what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We also explain why we do things a certain way. It’s comforting to partner with a firm that can break things down in a digestible way so you understand what’s happening.
4. Process and Ongoing Support
Building software is a process with a lot of moving parts. You want to partner with a firm that has a well-defined process. Ask each prospective partner to describe their process: Who does what and how do they do it? Also discuss what happens beyond the initial architecting and design of the software: What does ongoing support look like? Consider things like maintenance, hosting, documentation and training. When you launch the product, you want the transition to be as seamless as possible.
5. Reputation and Proven Results
One of the best ways to verify a software development partner is to review the company’s work. What has the company built and what are the results? Check out the firm’s list of customers—are they high-profile and trusted? Developing custom software is a long-term process. You want to work with a reliable team that is committed to developing a sustainable, collaborative partnership.
Why This Matters
Technology is an extension of your business. It represents who you are and dictates how you do your work. Consider each prospective partner’s collaboration, approachability, technical expertise, process and reputation.
Even the most powerful and beautifully-designed software is useless if it doesn’t fit your distinct needs. In order to build a custom solution tailored to your needs, your development partner must understand who you are. The value of the partnership comes in forging a long-term relationship fueled by a shared vision.
Author: Allan, Co-Founder & CTO
Devetry partners with clients to identify critical needs and build custom software. Understanding client needs comes first. Choosing the right technology comes second. Learn more.