There’s a myriad of custom software development companies. Different sources suggest that the number varies between 25K and 45K of vendors around the world. How can you find the most suitable tech partner that will not only engineer the software you need, but will also help you bring your business to the next level? In this article, we are going to talk about 10 steps that will help you create a long list of vendors, then shortlist it, and choose the best company to entrust your software development.
10 steps to choose the right software development company for your case
We have outlined the most common steps that the majority of companies go through during their search for a perfect custom software development company. The following ideas won’t guarantee success, but they most definitely will ease the process and help you make an informed decision.
1. Align your business needs and goals
The first thing to be done to ensure the success of any project is to match the needs of your business to the overall goals and vision of the future. How does this work? There are three main scenarios:
Option 1. You have an in-house development team(s), but there seems to be not enough people to do the work. If your goal is to scale and deliver faster, you need to extend your team.
Option 2. If you are looking for specific expertise and do not want to hire an in-house team of experts, you are most likely looking for a managed team that can deliver a specific scope of work.
Option 3. When you are faced with a business or technical challenge and have little to no idea on how to tackle it, you need custom software development services.
Whichever is your case, make sure to choose the vendor that can deliver those services.
2. Set clear selection criteria
There can be many aspects to the selection process, as there are many criteria that can be important for your case. Here are some of the most common ones.
- Company size. You can hardly expect a vendor that has 5 to 15 people to successfully deliver enterprise-level solutions. Larger companies, on the other hand, have the resources and processes to quickly staff, start, and scale.
- Technical expertise. If you are aware of the potential tech stack that will be needed for your custom software, make sure to opt for a vendor with such expertise.
- Understanding of the domain. If your industry poses specific regulations or has peculiarities that can change how the work is done, it's always easier to find a custom software development company with experience in your vertical.
- Price. For many businesses now, outsourcing is more about accessing rare or unique expertise and tapping into the global tech talent pool rather than cutting costs. However, choosing a custom software development company that can help you stay within your budget is still crucial.
3. Check vendor listings
While searching for information is the first and most common path for outlining a long list of companies, we would also suggest browsing through dedicated directories that provide verified reviews of B2B providers. For example, Clutch lists 21,500+ companies that have experience with custom software development services.
You can find information about every company: the price tag, number of experts, HQ and locations, the share of custom development in their portfolio, as well as verified reviews and contact information.
4. Browse companies websites, social media, etc.
Any reliable custom software development company will maintain and keep their website up to date. The same applies to their social media and public profiles on major platforms. Here is what you can look for:
- Updates about company’s news, hires, response to global events;
- Locations of their HQ, delivery centers, and offices;
- Offered engagement models;
- Technical expertise and domain profile;
- Portfolio, client list, etc.
Many trusted vendors maintain an active social media presence as a way to engage potential clients, increase their presence in domestic markets, and ease up a recruitment process.
5. Opt for companies with strong expertise in solution development
One of the key aspects of successful outsourcing is the expertise of your tech partner in delivering complex software solutions. Look for the vendor that provides end-to-end development including:
- Complete Discovery Phase, that includes ideation, analysis of the product, design of architecture, and advanced prototyping;
- Detailed roadmapping of the project;
- Project started with a core team of experts;
- Development process, adhering the highest standards and best practices of the industry;
- Versatile technical expertise to satisfy all needs of your project
- Pre-launch check-up and assistance during deployment;
- Support and maintenance according to the SLA;
- And knowledge transfer once the project is over.
6. Analyze their portfolios and case studies
If you are considering a vendor for a potential tech partnership, take a close look at their track record. Do they have a public list of clients? Yes, some of the clients might be under NDA, but you will rarely find a company that cannot disclose ANY clients. Next, look for case studies. Analyze the type of solutions this firm has provided, their tech expertise, and industries they most often work with. If you have trouble finding this information, it might be best to skip this vendor and find the ones that have a proven track record of successful projects.
7. Look for clients’ feedback and testimonials
Out of more than 20K companies listed on Clutch only 6K have reviews. And while this platform is not significant on its own, the lack of reviews from clients anywhere is a disturbing sign.
Check the company’s website. Look for long text reviews, video testimonials, specific details of cooperation. You can also google the company and check reviews online. This might provide an understanding of what a typical project for this firm looks like, how they handle things, and whether they can deliver the promised results.
8. Review the domain expertise
Out of the global pool of custom software development companies, the majority have experience in delivering solutions for business services, eCommerce, IT, and healthcare companies. However, that doesn't mean you cannot find a more rare industry expertise. There are vendors that have experience with advertising and marketing, consumer products, education, or real estate verticals.
While browsing the websites of potential tech partners, make sure to take a look at their portfolio in terms of domain expertise. This will help you find a partner that understands your industry, knows the specifics, and can deliver better results.
9. Check certifications, partnerships, memberships, and rewards
If you plan to hire a custom software development company, make sure you are dealing with the one that has all the needed qualifications. For example, every (and we mean every) reliable vendor should have at least basic ISO certifications (9001 and 27001). If you need Cloud specialists, the vendor should have partnership status from at least one major Cloud provider (AWS, Azure, or GCP)
Another aspect to consider is the company’s membership in various chambers, associations, and business unions. For example, N-iX is a member of the British-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (as well as American, Canadian, Norwegian, and German), European Business association, etc.
If you can find the company in the international ratings, such as Global Outsourcing 100 (it recognizes the best outsourcing companies) – it is also a good sign.
10. Negotiate a win-win contract
The final stage of the selection process is the negotiation of the legal details. You need to cover all your bases, including liability, insurance, intellectual property ownership, timeframes of collaboration and other clauses that might be essential for the draft of a contract. Depending on the type of engagement model (at N-iX it is extended team, managed team, and custom solution development), the terms and details can vary. You can discuss your involvement, milestones, risks assessment, and any other details. And while the final draft might well differ from the first one, you should figure out whether the cooperation is possible at all.
Why choose N-iX as your custom software development company?
- N-iX has over 1,800 experts aboard, as well as delivery centers in Poland, Ukraine, and Bulgaria.
- We have a proven track record of cloud computing, DevOps, data solutions and advanced analytics, machine learning & AI, VR/AR, IoT, and embedded projects.
- Our portfolio has multiple projects for fintech, manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, healthcare, retail, and other industries.
- The company is compliant with major international standards and regulations, including ISO 27001:2013, PCI DSS, ISO 9001:2015, GDPR, and HIPAA.
- Over the years, we have successfully built long-term partnerships with many leading tech companies and enterprises, including Lebara, Gogo, AVL, Fluke, Messer, and many other leading companies.
- We are AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, a Microsoft gold certified partner, a Google Cloud Platform Partner, an Opentext Services silver partner, a SAP partner, and much more.