When off-the-shelf is off the table, a custom software solution is the way to go. Today, the market is saturated with custom software vendors both locally and overseas, all competing for your business. So what are the telltale signs that a custom software developer is the right technology partner for your organization?
They are the ones with experience, excel at leadership, invest in relationships, and value collaboration and transparency. Furthermore, they promote a great work culture for employees.
A custom software developer’s experience level is an important indicator of how well they will perform for you. Look for a custom software developer that has been in business for at least a decade or longer. New custom software companies are opening up all the time - and closing down all the time. It’s not easy to stay in the game unless you’re delivering quality applications.
They Understand the Importance of Leadership
Experience also delivers great leadership. This invaluable skill is learned and improved upon over time. Great leaders do make mistakes and what sets them apart is their ability to learn from their missteps. Choosing an established technology solutions provider equates to more mature company leadership. The ability to deliver quality products on budget and on time requires such effective leadership. Directors and managers need to be able to know how to motivate a company’s employees to produce their best work.
They Focus on Relationships
It’s a people-first, tech second approach that leaves customers satisfied. Savvy custom software companies know that the end of a project is not the end of the relationship. There are always referrals and even future projects that stem from the same company. A great custom software company goes the extra mile for their clients because they see an investment opportunity in the partnership.
They also invest in their employees. Ask about ongoing education programs for employees within the company. Tech is a rapidly changing industry and a good custom software vendor requires a team with current and relevant skills.
Finally, be sure to choose a vendor that promotes fun amongst team members. Check out the vendor’s office space. Does the team have games or an area to socialize and relax? All work and no play makes for dull software. The team needs to be energized and happy if they’re going to be creative.
They Work With You, Not Just For You
A great custom software company works with you to create a great custom software product rather than just blindly following requirements to get the job done.
Too many custom software developers will just follow given requirements and turn a blind eye to requirement gaps, or giving feedback on how it can be done better. This can cause a lot of frustration for stakeholders. When developing a software feature, it’s not always obvious as to how it will impact other parts of a system. Furthermore, it’s not easy to think of all the scenarios upfront. There’s nothing worse than paying for something and not getting what you want.
Poor change control and communication processes are to blame for these scenarios. This can also be a Waterfall versus Agile issue, where developers don’t have an opportunity to voice their concerns.
Regardless of the development methodology, requirement gaps are inevitable. With a good communication plan in place between developers, QA, Project Managers, and other stakeholders, requirement gaps can easily be dealt with efficiently.
They’re Leveraging Agile Methodologies
When it comes to optimal communication and handling changes efficiently, Agile methods for developing software is an ideal choice. Ultimately, Agile focuses on business value, end-users, stakeholder engagement, transparency, change flexibility, and early delivery. With Agile Custom Software Development, features that have the highest business value are prioritized so that it is possible to release a software product sooner to market, with more features released as they are ready.
Agile company culture is made up of leaders who provide support and mentor employees. The managerial style emphasizes Theory Y over Theory X. Theory Y managers use a decentralized and participative management style. The result is a more collaborative and trust-based relationship between managers and their teams.
Have you ever gone to meet a potential vendor where the salesperson just goes on and on about how great they are and what they can do for you, without ever asking you what you need? A good custom software vendor comes prepared to listen to you to get to know the problems you are trying to solve and your unique business needs. They ask you questions and you should have a sense of, “they get it”.
Custom Software Development Services
The right custom software solution creates business success, making investing in the right vendor imperative. When evaluating custom software vendors, these qualities are the gold standard. A vendor’s experience, leadership quality, processes, methodology, and company culture are what makes them great, ultimately giving you the best solutions for your company, both now and in the years to come.