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Should You Hire a Software Development Company for Your Project?

Arun Goyal
Arun Goyal

In this era of technology, the demand for software development firms is on a constant rise. Choosing the best software development company is a daunting task. Here's how to choose the right partner.

With the world becoming more and more technologically advanced, it has become imperative for businesses to have a digital presence. This is why the demand for experienced and adept software developers is on a constant rise. After all, businesses often lack the in-house capabilities offered by software development firms. Entrepreneurs are constantly looking to hire app development companies that specialize in the kind of project they require.

In this article we will be covering many aspects of hiring a software development company and why you need to hire one.   

How to find the right software development company

To start with, let’s cover the struggles faced during the hiring of a software development firm. So many development firms are present out there, but it is tough finding the right one. It takes a lot of time to go through the appealing designs and sales pitches of development firms that claim to be experts in just about everything. One must not get distracted and instead focus to find the right development partner, who won’t treat your software project as just another one.

Know that software development is a lot more than just writing code

Software development is not just about writing a long line of codes; developers are responsible for a lot more. The developers might impact revenue flow, content, brand identity and customer experience. When a software development firm is good, it will go beyond, crafting a useful product, contributing to design and assisting in the deployment.

There is intense competition in the software development space

Most of the adept and experienced software developers are in high demand, mainly in the mobile app development field. However, later on, many entrepreneurs become frustrated to learn that 60% of mobile coders delivered less than five applications, whereas 20% delivered between five and nine.

Demand for unique product & service

Every business wants an exclusive product or service that helps it stand out. After all, the market doesn’t need similar products and it is foolish to imitate anyone else’s product or service and expect similar results. Consider custom software development so your product will have individually designed features.

Software projects are expensive

Most software projects run over budget, usually by 50% or more. Usually, the cost range for an average project is $15,000 to $150,000, and an average project takes around 1,000 hours. This can become costly when the average hourly rate is between $50 and $400. Usually, software development outsourcing is thought to help reduce costs, but most development firms offering cheap rates are weak. And due to the many goof-ups on their part, the businesses end up paying more than decided.

Software outsourcing might fail

In the year 2012, owing to a failed software update, a myriad of RBS bank customers failed to access their bank accounts, and even the bank couldn’t conduct any transaction for a few days. This demonstrates how critical software is. Unfortunately, 25% to 50% of software outsourcing projects tend to fail. The reasons could be many. For example, business operations could be out of sync with the project requirements or the specifications for the project could be inaccurate. Often the mistake is that software development firms outline documentation in hundreds of pages and then hire junior coders to just blindly follow these pages sans any creativity.

What to look for in a software development agency

There are a few basic things to keep in mind before hiring a software development agency. There are a few different types of outsourcing, such as:

  1. Onshore software development: These development firms are located in the same country and might even be in your own city.
  2. Offshore software development: These development firms are located aboard.
  3. Nearshore software development: These are the development firms located in neighbouring countries.
  4. Hybrid development outsourcing: These are the projects with onshore management and offshore or nearshore software development teams.

Each of these approaches has its pros and cons. Mainly the onshore development firm offers the best quality services, with face-to-face meetings. These are considered a good fit for short-term projects with large budgets. Offshore development, on the other hand, benefits firms that have clearly defined projects and are looking for more of a cost-effective solution.

Frequent communication and close collaboration is necessary

It is vital to ensure open lines of communication and close collaboration. You must convey your ideas properly and clearly and then offer regular supervision. A good relationship must be maintained with people you are working with. So, see to it that the development team is open to communication. Also when you interact with the team, there are chances of coming up with creative solutions & ideas.  

Set defined expectations and communicate them well

There are many ways to code the exact same thing, but entrepreneurs tend to be unaware of that fact. They often believe that a programmer is well-versed with every technology, but that is not true. There can be different tools, frameworks, coding styles and more that different programmers use. For this reason, it is crucial to take care of certain aspects while hiring a software development firm. Choose a company with a certain field of expertise, like a JavaScript development team, as they generally have a unified command of all processes. In order to pick the right technology, it is essential to know the functionality that you expect from your app. Start by simply having enough specifics regarding features, styles and layout for your software. This helps in knowing what type of firm you need to look for.

The more prepared and defined your project, the easier company selection and hiring will be. Your strategy can be defined by asking a question like: What is the purpose of your app? Who will use it? What platforms will it run on? Who are your competitors? What field will it belong to? Accordingly, a list of required features can be created and then you can prioritize them. You can even make an annotated design, outline UX, navigation, user flow and technical requirements.

Costs may vary

Next, you need to know what the cost will be. If you search on Google what is the cost to build a software of an app, you may find this general answer: “Apps that are developed by top companies might cost somewhere between $500,000 to $1,000,000. Then apps developed by onshore companies might cost somewhere between $150,000 to $450,000. In that case, you can expect a professionally developed application to cost anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 and it is certain to take around four to six months."

Factors to keep in mind when hiring a software development company

What are the aspects you need to look at while hiring a software development firm? Once you sift through the Googled options and personal referrals, it is now time to create a list of 10 to 15 firms. Have a look at their websites for an initial assessment. Experience, projects, quality of content, expertise and more should factor into your decision. Pay attention to the red flags, such as complaints, lawsuits and bad reviews. Then study all the issues and see how those issues were resolved. Following this process, you can shortlist three to four firms. Then get in touch with them and request a quote for your project or idea. Finally, access their communication, expertise area, tech stack, staff questions and the current state of the company in order to choose the one that works best for your business and objectives.

Next comes negotiations and preparing a contract. It can even be a set of contracts, including: a masters service agreement (MSA), a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and statement of work (SOW). Ensure to include a non-compete clause and intellectual property rights clause in the contract. Also, the payment terms should also be a centrepiece of all outsourcing contracts.

Ask the right questions

Once you have found the right software development company, there will be a lot of questions and communication taking place, where there could be a lot of buzz words and tech terms. There is so much to go through, such as people questions, process questions, business questions, schedule questions, as well as questions about technology, costs and more. The firm should take you through their entire development process in a manner that you completely understand it.

Tips to hire software developers

Here is the list of things you must know of prior to hiring the developers:

  • Define your requirements: What problem is your product going to solve? What will the exact duties of the developers be? What technologies and skills would be used? How much budget would be required?

  • Create a shortlist: Find a firm that does the type of work you need. For instance, a ReactJS software development or JavaScript development firm. Then have a look at their expertise and client reviews. Narrow them down and leave the ones that don’t list the clients’ references.

  • Time to negotiate: Organize  calls, personal meetings or whichever mode of communication works for you. Find what a firm offers in terms of your app project. Find out about their standards, their workflow and prices.

  • Follow up: There is no need to rush a decision even when everything seems fine. It is time to verify references, past work, learn about candidates, think through the budget, team arrangement and other crucial aspects.

  • Say "no" if needed: In case you are not fully satisfied or there are obstacles, then walk away rather than later regret having spent a great deal of money. There are numerous other development agencies out there and you will find one that best suits your requirements.

What are the benefits of hiring a software development company?

Focus on long-term client relationships. Huge resources are spent by software development agencies to find new customers. Thinking from the financial aspect, it works best for a firm to build trusted relationships with their customers and continue developing projects for them for a long time. These firms are constantly striving to build a strong reputation, so they make the best efforts to satisfy their clients and there is a low probability of any delays.  

In order to compete with the other software development agencies, each of the organization follows current trends and implements pioneering technologies, development standards and methodologies. Software development agencies are constantly evolving to maintain a high-level of produced software.

When a software firm is hired, there are a number of people involved in the development procedure. Also the requirements are documented, along with design elements, mockups and other crucial information. This means that even if the most unexpected events occur, the entire procedure won’t be stuck. The development process will go on with the collected data and even if a development team member leaves midway, they can easily be replaced.

Software development firms are way more responsible compared to freelancers, and they work their best to deliver high-quality software to all of their clients. There is testing taking place at every stage of a project lifecycle, which ensures proper quality control of the final product. There are quality analysts in the firm who work on the projects from the start. This takes care of the requirements gathering stage and completion with the deployment stage. This kind of approach is helpful in creating user-friendly apps that meet all the requirements of your target audience. 

When a development firm is hired, there is a software development agreement between customer and development company, and this states the amount of confidential information that would come into the possession of software development firm. The agreement even mentions a list of deliverables that the development firm is supposed to achieve for the client. This kind of agreement assures that your software would be developed, designed and tested in a stipulated timeframe. This way there are fewer risks associated here, as compared to when you hire a freelancer.

Hiring a software development firm will work in your favour in every aspect and in case you are looking for software development services then get in touch to receive the most favourable results.

Image Credit: Ngampol Thongsai/Getty
Arun Goyal
Arun Goyal Member
Founder and Managing Director of Octal Info Solution, Arun Goyal is responsible for the overall operations of the company, existing since 2004.