Choosing a software development company to create a custom solution can be challenging. Determining the right candidate requires planning, preparation, and knowing what questions to ask and what to look for in a developer.
Commercially available software may be suitable for a company in its infancy, but gaps between what your business truly needs and what the canned software delivers can hamper productivity over time. When this occurs, it may be time to consider exploring the services of custom software development companies to develop tailored solutions designed with your particular needs in mind. For many companies beyond the startup stage, custom software development may be necessary for continued growth.
Tailor-made software becomes a better option than struggling with the limitations and drawbacks of off-the-shelf solutions. The ultimate goal is to improve operational efficiency and optimize how you invest your technology budget. Knowing when to choose custom versus off-the-shelf is essential to the health and success of your organization.
The decision can’t be made lightly, but it also cannot be postponed for long — relying on generalized commercial software solutions can create and exacerbate inefficiencies, slow down your workflow, and negatively impact your bottom line.
Choosing the right custom software development company isn’t a trivial or easy task. Because so much is riding on the decision, knowing how to pick the right custom developer is critical. Here are some things to consider.
Pursuing a custom software solution requires compiling a list of essential features and performance criteria for the desired custom-developed solution. These requirements will help your organization search for, validate, and select the right custom software development companies to work with.
Determine what functions you need, required workflows and other business processes, and data management demands. Define objectives not just by considering the conditions of the moment, but what you might require in the future, and anticipate areas in which a custom-developed software solution could help you grow. Well-defined goals will also help you choose the right developer.
Any software that handles customer data — especially personal information such as financial or medical information — needs to be secure. When considering custom software development companies, ask if they have expertise with secure development practices like version control, code integrity management, encryption, role-based access, vulnerability testing, and system hardening — in short, make sure they can deliver solutions that keep your data safe.
Cybercriminals don’t just target large banks: 58% of losses due to cybercrime occurred to small and mid-sized businesses in 2021. Of those targeted, more than 80% were attacked a second time — usually through vulnerabilities in software.
Cybercrime isn’t the only concern. Ensuring the custom software development companies you’re considering can keep your data secure mitigates potential noncompliance or regulatory breach that could expose your company to fines or legal action.
The custom software development companies you are considering should be able to guarantee a final product that is compliant with any regulations that apply to your specific business, for instance, anti-money laundering (AML), and know your customer (KYC) requirements for the handling of transactions or financial data.
Determining which software development, technology might be the best choice for your custom project can be an excellent way to narrow your selection. When interviewing custom software development companies, explain the scope and objective of your project and ask for development technology recommendations. You want to be sure the development company you choose uses the best technology for the project and your operating environment — not just the one they’re most comfortable with.
Inquire about testing systems and procedures. A good testing regimen helps developers identify problems and fix them quickly, making for a faster development process. Adequate testing also ensures the risk of bugs in the final product is kept to a minimum — and any that arise can be dealt with quickly.
Technical expertise is essential, but so are “soft skills” like communication. Ensure a developer understands what you’re looking for and can describe the solution they propose to make it clear they know what you need.
Ask about their internal processes as well. Inquire about their project management systems and the kind of communication and oversight provided by their development procedures.
Look into the portfolios of candidate custom software development companies and review their clients and projects. Learning the kind of organizations they’ve worked with and what type of custom software solutions they were able to provide can help you determine if the developer is a good fit for your needs. And ask for and talk to references — ask about what went well and what didn’t.
Bear in mind matters of scope and scale. Make sure the custom software development companies you’re considering have the capabilities and track record to handle a project of your size in the timeline you need it delivered.
Lastly, you’ll need to compare proposed contracts and bids. Though some custom software development companies or individual freelancers might offer deep discounts with the promise that they can handle your project successfully, many of them may not be up to the job. Low bidders may be overlooking potential complications or may cut corners. Experience is important.
When reviewing contracts, ensure your custom software project is detailed to your satisfaction. The functions and features of the software and delivery milestones should be clearly described. Contract terms and pricing information should be clear and accurate. Things you’ll want to see included in a contract are a statement of work, proposed timelines, and intellectual property rights details. Also, pay special attention to warranties and information related to after-development support and bug fixes.
Whether your custom software solution succeeds or fails in solving the problems it intends to address depends mainly on the chosen custom software development partner.
Choosing a custom software development company with experience, skills, and development expertise is essential to ensure your project meets your needs.
Contact us to learn more about how Aezion can help you reach your custom software development goals.
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