Introduction

Partner roles are evolving, especially in industry 4.0. 

In a traditional tech ecosystem, companies would own and control their product delivery. They would bring together an in-house team, perform market research, and build the MVP largely within the team. Seldom, they would bring in a distributed team or a partner to take care of the extra work put on their shoulders. Businesses would take care of the core offerings in-house while partners would handle less significant tasks. 

However, as we enter the era of industry 4.0, partner roles have reversed. 

Today, business partners are not just there to lighten the load. They help expand the offerings, accelerate innovations, and deliver products that meet the expectations of redefined customer experience. In the present partner ecosystem, businesses are looking to build smart solutions that can be launched fast and cost-effectively. 

All in the hope of achieving better customer outcomes and enhanced business processes. 

And one of the flag bearers of this partner ecosystem evolution is the companies looking for as well as providing software development

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In the present scenario, enterprises of all sizes and types outsource their technological requirements. And their software development partners help optimize business processes and maximize revenue.

Be it small or large companies today have shifted their interest to software development outsourcing as a solution for their software requirements. 

Million-dollar companies including Slack, Whatsapp, Skype, and even Google invest in software outsourcing to accelerate their business in their initial days. Choosing a custom software development company is a challenging as well as a daunting task. There are many aspects you need to consider during the process to find the perfect fit for your company.

Also Read: Stories Companies that Succeeded With Software Development Outsourcing

 

But, you don’t need to worry about that. In this guide, we’ll help you solve all your business problems and will look for the best software partner for you.

So, let’s start by understanding who exactly is a software development partner.

Who Is a Software Development Partner?

Different companies have varying needs when it comes to software development. Some look for an individual software developer who can build their SaaS product. Some want a completely dedicated software development team to take care of their project. And some, on the other hand, want to join hands with a software development company for managed development. 

Indeed, software development partnerships can mean different things to different people. And your requirements define who your software development partner can be. 

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However, if we try to give meaning to the term software development partner, it would mean a company or a group of experts who facilitate your software development. They can:

  • Deliver end-to-end software development
  • Provide you with one or more remote developers
  • Build a feature/s or functionality of the existing product
  • Refactor your software
  • Modernize legacy apps
  • Build a complete team of development experts

A software development partner is usually an outsourcing agency that ensures that you get expertise, technological capabilities, and accelerated development all at a much lower cost. They have years of experience in building products of your scale and in your industry; sometimes, even in your particular niche. This comes in handy to alleviate the burden and complexities of software, product, or even your software or SaaS development lifecycle

What Does a Software Development Partner Bring To the Table?

Now that we’ve clearly defined who a software development partner is, we need to know what they bring to the table as well. It cannot just be any group of professionals that you hire to build your software. A software development partner should not just be hired for technical reasons, if hired right, there’s a lot more they can bring to your project. 

Here are some expectations you can certainly have from your software development partner:

  • Speed & Agility

    When you partner with an experienced software development company, you get the speed and agility that your project desires. They come with experience in handling challenges and working alongside tight deadlines as well. 

  • Unlimited Talent Pool

    You are no longer limited to your geographical boundaries. With a software development partner, you get access to a global talent pool with unlimited possibilities. You can hire a company that will help you find the best skills, technologies, and expertise without any compromises. 

  • Early Proof of Concept

    You can be sure to get an early proof of concept delivered by the team of developers. It will provide you with MVP development that will let you help you test your business or startup app idea and start iterating and scaling your software based on the feedback that you receive from your users. 

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  • Risk Mitigation

    There are a lot of risks involved in any type of software development and launch. A software development partner comes with experience in identifying challenges and managing risks. They can quickly help you navigate through any challenges of outsourcing/development and ensure your risks are totally mitigated. 

  • Technical Expertise

    The next important thing that comes in when you join hands with a software development company is the technical expertise that they possess. This would empower you to plug any technical gap and enhance your capabilities in terms of technology. A technology partner can certainly facilitate your product with more smart and advanced features.  

  • Innovation

    Businesses need to continuously innovate and bring about the creative side in order to serve the customers better. They provide early proof of concept and even help incorporate changes when needed to make your product more innovative. 

  • New Perspective

    This is one of the least talked about aspects of partnering with a software development company. It brings in a new set of eyes for fresh perspectives. In-house teams can suffer from tunnel vision in the long run. 

  • Flexibility

    In-house development means a commitment to the same team for a long time. However, outsourcing with a software development company means you get the flexibility to choose or switch developers or even scale the team up or down as required by the project without any obligations. 

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  • Scalability

    Joining hands with the right software development partner eliminates this challenge by providing the best professionals around the world and allowing companies to scale faster and in a more flexible way. There might be a chance that the project scope will also change as the project progresses. It takes the efforts of the entire software team to spark and realize the software you are going to develop. Having an outsourced team helps you increase and decrease the resources you need according to peak times and slow periods. The team will remain familiar with the product as you push updates for maintenance.

Undoubtedly, there are countless things that a software development partner will bring to your project. You will be able to see the advantages that partnering with an agency can offer. And all these benefits do attract businesses towards partnering with a company. However, the challenge comes in when they decide to partner and have to find the right one for them.

Selection Criteria

Having a software development partner can be a boon for several organizations. However, finding one is where the main challenge lies. 

And this is where this chapter of our software development partner guide will come in to help you.

In this chapter, we have discussed the best-fit scenarios where companies should join hands with a partner instead of developing it in-house. Once that is cleared, we will be discussing the selection criteria or a quick checklist that will help you evaluate software development partners more efficiently. 

When Do Companies Need A Software Development Partner?

As a business entrepreneur, it is highly crucial to choose the best software that will be able to run business processes and boost your sales.

Partnering with companies having great expertise is vital for your business growth. They have smart approaches, a skilled pool of talent, the latest tech expertise, and whatnot. All collective things when incorporated into your project will result in a great outcome.

Here are some reasons why most companies today need a reliable software development partner.

Budget Overruns

Companies often don’t have a pocket-friendly budget especially when it comes to startups; they have a very limited amount of funds to invest. To initiate the software development process, a big amount of investment is highly required. 

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At times software outsourcing companies can’t efficiently estimate the amount of work needed to create the software desired, which leads to overruns. Due to this, you might face the necessity to re-plan your budget once again to cover unexpectedly increased costs of development. In such cases, your smart planned strategy of reaching our targeted customers will not gather its full potential, and you might lose profits.

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The software development process involves a myriad of tasks including identifying business requirements, software planning, design, software development, pre-marketing campaigns, post-launch marketing, cold outreach, social media campaigning, advertising, etc.  All of them need great human efforts, time, and money to be successful while software development.

Constant Release Dates

One more reason for startups to have an immediate need for a software development partner is poor project management resulting in constant release delays. The development team often finishes the development work on time but waits for the last step release that has not been completed for quite some time.

Imagine what we have in the development of MVPs. The MVP app works just fine, you receive feedback from the product’s initial users. But the developer delays the release date one after another.

It’s important to conduct software testing in the initial stages of software development. Bugs that weren’t debugged on time can increase costs and development time. The absence of an experienced QA team may have a negative impact on the software development process.

Delays On Project Completion Dates

The modern software industry is extremely competitive and running at a skyrocketing speed. Innovative ideas are brewing in young entrepreneurs’ minds and it’s only a matter of time before someone implements a product idea similar to yours. Hence, the faster you transform your idea into market-ready software or minimum marketable product, the more you’ll entice your target audience and occupy your market niche. But as we know uncertainty is everywhere. At times, there is no predictability in the software development process.

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Software firms often provide software development services using cutting-edge technologies and too without having experience in that. The lack of skilled professionals and poor project management can lead to delays.

Lack Of Focus On The End Results

Some software companies invest all their efforts, important time, and hard-earned money in the development process. You will receive regular updates about features and functionalities implemented and further action plans of development. But, it won’t be able to judge if the software meets your expectations at a given moment. 

It is better to consider those software firms that use Agile methodology that guarantees a faster product launch. This flexible strategy helps to get quick user responses rather than long-term planning.

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Poor Scaling Management

To meet the multiple needs on time, the software outsourcing company will have to increase the developers and redistribute the old and new tasks among them.

Some developers don’t have enough resources, experience, or expertise to scale. For example, small companies may not have a sufficient number of professionals. Even if they have, there’s still the need for an experienced project manager who can efficiently prioritize features and scale properly.

Selection Criteria For Software Development Partner

Now that we know the scenarios where you should be hiring a software development partner for your next project, it’s time we switch to the main part of the chapter- the selection criteria. 

Choosing a good development partner for your software or app is not a cakewalk. It can sometimes be a tough, complicated, and costly affair if not performed smartly.

So, let us now dig deep into the factors or criteria that you need to keep in mind while deciding on the right software development partner.

Company Size & Structure

The size and structure of the company are two of the paramount factors that require consideration while selecting the right partner. This is critical as it tells you if they’d be able to handle your project requirement or would need to outsource further. 

The size of a company is one of the most important considerations when selecting the right software development partner. If the vendor is a big organization and works mostly with large enterprises, it might be possible that they pay less attention to your specific project. On the contrary, if the company is small, it may not have enough resources or experience working on large-scale projects.

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While choosing a partner whose team size is similar to yours fits best. You would be treated like an important customer.

Also, before calling the company to have the initial discussion, it would be great to have a look at their previously completed projects and the entire portfolio.

Select a partner who owns a big talented team of specialists for all the phases of the software development cycle like business analysts, UI/UX designers, database experts, architects, etc. 

Work Methodology

What kind of methodologies and engagement models are used by your software development partner? Do they follow Agile/Scrum methodology? Are they developing solutions with the most trending technologies? How many expert professionals do they have in the team owning niche expertise?

The knowledge of agile development practices is a must for any software development company today.

As we know, the agile software development process provides numerous benefits over the now outdated waterfall development process. Agile will help you get your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) at the earliest & at the minimum cost. So, knowledge of agile development practices is a must for any software development company today.

Also, with MVP you will get the true potential of your idea by entering the market at the earliest & at minimum risk & investment.

Once your idea is validated by your targeted users, then you can easily scale up and add extra features as per the user’s feedback and requirements. Implementing agile methodology is equally important to emphasize the importance of business flexibility.

When choosing a software development firm, make sure it is flexible enough to embrace the change as your business grows.

Technology Stack & Expertise

In addition to the working methodology, you also need to know the technology expertise of the company you are planning to partner with. What good could a company bring to the table if they have similar tech capabilities as yours?

That’s why one of the key factors when evaluating a software development partner is their technology stack and niche tech expertise. 

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Expertise and Experience

Domain experience and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are very crucial in executing your ideas into robust solutions.

Before shaking hands with the software firm you shortlisted, it’s crucial to closely examine the work experience and the software expertise.

Having experience in a particular domain, expert professionals can provide you with a myriad of add-on solutions and exponentially improve the value of your software project. This will add value to your business. You can check the company’s experience in the industry on the Clutch or Good Firm listings.  Also, you can easily view the profile and check how many projects the company has worked on. What kind of solutions have they developed?

Keep checking if they have done projects for your domain. Moreover, the software development company should have rich experience in working with other reputed firms and remote teams using various communication channels and tools, such as Slack, Confluence, Jira, etc

The certifications that the developers have acquired would be an excellent way to ascertain the technical expertise of the developers. Software development is a rapidly evolving industry, hence the developers who are at the top of their game always put in efforts to acquire new skills.

Market Reputation and Presence

One of the best ways to hire a partner for software development is via recommendations and references.

If a software development company offers premium quality services, then it will have a great online presence on digital media.

While choosing a software development firm, you must visit popular review platforms such as Clutch, GoodFirms, and AppFutura, to get some real customer feedback about different vendors. Also, consider Facebook and Google reviews. It will provide you with real insights into the company’s processes and service quality.

Also, take into consideration the most reputable industry awards that would help you choose the best software development company.

Moreover, check your client’s success by considering their testimonials.

Communication

Communication is considered an integral part of a system while software development. Usually, when businesses are on the lookout for a trusted software development company, their prime concern is regarding the company size, pricing models, expertise, industry experience, and much more. 

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But the element they certainly override is communication. Rarely do they mention communication. Here we bring this criterion to the forefront to highlight its weight to the overall project's success.

Ineffective communication may encompass many aspects including insufficient English proficiency, the lack of emotional intelligence, cultural differences, etc.

Always ensure that there should not any communication or understanding gap. So you should have checked on what will be the medium of communication and that both of you have the quality infrastructure to support seamless communication.

Generally, most companies may have a good English-speaking sales team, but their development team may not be good enough. So do not forget to speak to the project manager who’d be handling your project.

The communication process should be seamless and transfer your thoughts easily and fast.

Pricing/Engagement Models

Pricing plays an important role in making the right decision of selecting a software partner. Most businesses today want a cost-effective software solution rather than the cheapest one.

Your project budget is determined by the engagement model you choose to implement.

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There are usually two types of pricing models that many software outsourcing companies follow.

The Fixed Price model is also known as the Predetermined Lump Sum project cost and the Hourly model is also known as Time and material.

  • Fixed Price model

    A fixed price model is often chosen when enterprises have clear and pre-defined goals and business requirements. In a fixed pricing model, the business specifications, time and date of delivery, and project budget are fixed. The model is comparatively less flexible as compared to others. Also, managing risk is difficult in a fixed pricing model.

    Here the project costs are linked with well-defined and tangible project deliverables.

  • T&M (time and material model)

    In this model, an hourly rate is decided on a defined skill set and industry experience of the professionals. The software developers charge you for the number of hours that are invested in developing your project. The cost includes the cost of materials and third-party plug-ins which are required while developing your plan.

Flexibility and a shorter time to market are the advantages that this model offers. By adopting scrum or agile software development methodologies, you can get continuous delivery of the software product.

Checklist for Choosing Software Development Partner

Now that we know the different factors to consider while selecting a software development partner, we know you should have something more substantial that will come in handy while you are trying to find the partner for you. Here is a quick recap of the things that you should keep in mind when evaluating the partner.

  • Experience: The years of experience that the company possesses hold the utmost importance in assessing its expertise in the niche. 

  • Technology Stack: Different projects require different technologies to create features and functionalities. You need to assess the software development company’s tech stack to be assured they are technologically capable. 

  • Niche Expertise: Software development agencies cater to different niches. Some hold expertise in building products with new-age technology. Some specialize in building software for particular industries. You need to be sure that they have worked on something similar to your idea. 

  • Budget Bracket: Companies also have budget brackets within which they work. It would be easier to shortlist the companies you can partner with and not have to deal with funding later on. 

  • Project Portfolio: The next important thing that you need to check is the project portfolio of the company. It’ll tell you about the features they’ve built, functionalities they can offer, and more. 

  • Engagement Model: You should also be checking on the type of engagement that they can offer. If they can manage your entire project or deliver developers or complete teams for building your product.

  • Engineers On Board: The number of engineers the company has an association with is another important factor to check in. It will help you know how quickly they’ll be able to find your talent in case of scaling. 

These are some of the crucial things that you should certainly keep in mind while you are looking for a software development partner. 

Preparing For Partnership

In the previous chapter, we discussed how you could find the right software development partner for your company. But simply finding one cannot guarantee that you get into the right partnership. 

You also need to be ready on different levels in order to have a fruitful partnership. 

In this chapter, we will discuss how you can get ready to partner with a software development company to bring your product to digital life.  

Steps To Prepare Yourself

When it comes to joining hands with a software development company for outsourcing, just finding the right company isn’t enough. You also need to be prepared for the process. And that would be one of the crucial steps for the entire process of software development partnership

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the steps you can take to prepare yourself for the partnership. 

  • Define Goals

    The first step in preparing yourself is to define what your requirements for the project are. You need to start analyzing the requirements and need to be sure what you need to outsource to your partner. 

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  • Choose The Approach

    The next choice you need to make is the approach to the partnership. You can choose from offshoring, nearshoring, or onshoring based on your requirements, budget, the talent available, and more. 

  • Get Your Budget Planned

    The next thing you need to take into account is your budget. This would help you prepare way better and set things clearer. Most companies even have set budget bracket ranges that will help you find the partner quickly. 

  • Start Documentation

    You can document everything from your technology capabilities to other adequate specifications that can help simplify your partnership. These documents would be a reference for your partner. 

  • Assign Roles Within Organization

    Your project would require management to take on the project. There would be a manager who would be a point of contact. Apart from that, you can also look for other people to put in charge of other roles & responsibilities. 

  • Be Clear About Communication

    The next crucial thing is communication. You need to have clear tools and platforms to communicate. Make sure you’ve put everything in place regarding how to communicate with the partner and external dedicated team. 

When you have everything ready with you, you can now start searching for your software development partner. 

However, there are some more things that you should keep in mind while looking for your partner. And that’s what we will be discussing in the next section. 

Things To Keep in Mind

When you are getting ready for your software development partnership, there are certain things that might slip your mind. However, this might lead to a lot of unsaid assumptions and miscommunications. To avoid all of that, here are some of the things that will help you prepare better. 

#1. Learn The Tools

One of the key aspects of preparing yourself and your team for an external software development partnership is to learn remote working tools. You need to have communication tools, collaboration tools, and project management tools in place. You should be hands-on with the tools so that you can properly manage them and ensure seamless work alongside the external software development team.

#2. Assign A PoC

It is always important to have a point of contact within your team that knows everything about your project and can quickly collaborate with the software development partner on it. They should dedicatedly work on the project and be available whenever the development team intends to hold meetings or discussions. If they are following an agile software development approach, it would require continuous sprint planning and other discussions for better iterations. You should have a PoC who would be readily available for the same. 

#3. Prepare The Team

In many cases, in-house teams can be apprehensive about getting a software development partner, especially if you are in the tech field. This is where you need to answer the why for your team. You need to be ready with reasons as to why you are getting remote product development from an external partner. You can also set the culture in the team to be more collaborative and open to suggestions. They should be able to embrace the product even though it is being built remotely. 

#4. Set-up The Process

Setting the process right before joining hands with a software development partner is also crucial for your success. For example, if you are building a software as a service product, having an understanding of the SaaS development lifecycle can help you set the process right. You will have sprints planned around research, planning MVP development or prototyping, product development, integration, testing, and more. 

#5. Ensure Bandwidth For Communication

Another thing that you need to prepare yourself for is communication bandwidth. You need to know that even though you are hiring an external software development company to build your product, there will be regular communication if you have an internal team. There will be demo days, sprint meetings, status report discussions, meetings on achieving project milestones, and more. You need to prepare yourself beforehand for that. 

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#6. Be Aware Of The Total Costs Involved

One of the most important things to prepare for is the costs. Outsourcing costs are said to be around half the costs of building the product in-house. You need to be aware of the total costs that would go into outsourcing. While you will save money with outsourcing software development, there are costs associated with it that should be clear. It would include the cost of hiring, knowledge transfer, and more. 

#7. Assess The Risks

While having a software development partner is an advantageous move, you need to know the risks involved in it as well. These could be related to intellectual property, quality of codes, and more. This is why it is always advised to never outsource the core business functions but to other tasks associated with them. 

Also Read: Outsourcing Development: Tips To Save Your IP

 

#8. Limit The Liabilities

You need to be sure that there are no liabilities that will form as you partner with an external team for your software. You need to be sure that while outsourcing, you are not creating any liabilities that might affect your business later. You should invest in service integrations and management and not lose control. 

#9. Prepare A Service Level Agreement

Another important thing to have in place while preparing yourself for a software development partnership is the service level agreement. It is undoubtedly one of the most important documents for your partnership. It should include everything including the services that you are expecting from the service provider. Any ambiguity or confusion would be completely eliminated once you have it in place.

These are some of the most crucial things that you should certainly keep in mind if you are planning to get into a software development partnership. These steps and things will help you be ready for software development outsourcing. 

Evaluation Process

Choosing the right partner is not a cakewalk. It includes a mix of many ingredients and a long process to find the one who understands your requirements, aligns with your vision, and is excited to take your dream forward. 

It includes plenty of risks and a lot of research to be done. But a lot of questions often arise in the minds of emerging entrepreneurs that need to be answered.

And this is where the challenge begins.

How do you evaluate the software development partners in order to find the one who matches your requirements? That’s where this chapter will come in to help you. 

Here, we have discussed a step-by-step process to assist you in evaluating software development partners. 

Step #1: List Down Your Requirements

You need to identify your problems or the gaps in your project before jumping into any partnership decision. This is a basic thing that anyone needs to do before initiating a project partnership. 

So, the first thing that you should do before choosing a custom software development partner is to evaluate what your requirements are. First set clear goals and expectations for what you want your finished software to look like.

Frame the exact requirements and realistic expectations necessary to have a successful project. To get a visual outlook of your project, make use of mock-ups and visual layouts of your software at this planning stage only.

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Also, consider whether outsourcing is required for your project or not. Analyze the reasons why you need to outsource some or all of your projects to a software development partner.

Having a well-defined scope of software development would make things easier. This way, you would have everything that’s required for your development at hand. It will contain details like your business objectives, target audience, user flow of the software, feature prioritization, technology stack, major deliverables, team members, development methodologies, and more.

Having all of these in place would help you get started and seamlessly get into the partnership. 

Step #2: Choose From Offshoring, Nearshoring, Hybrid, or Onshoring

When it comes to finding a software development partner, there are four different models that companies can choose from. These outsourcing models are based on their work locations, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Be it onshore, offshore, nearshore, or hybrid, each of the models contributes to the software development process to make it run smoothly.

Onshoring: This outsourcing model facilitates enterprises to work with companies that are located in their own country. Its main advantage is that you can work with skilled teams in your own country and language.

However, the cost is significantly higher in this type of outsourcing as compared to others.

Offshoring: In a nutshell, offshore software development means hiring a team from outside the country or across the world to do the work remotely.

The main advantage of outsourcing with this method is that it is affordable to enterprises.

Nearshoring: Nearshore software development is all about choosing one of the options between the two described above. The companies that come under this category are located in countries with similar time zones as yours.

Hybrid: Hybrid software development outsourcing is a mix of management done onsite (in your region), and actual development done abroad.

Here you can work with the management or accounts handler in your native language and in the same working hours, while they deal with developers abroad and handle time zone differences.

These are some of the common approaches through which companies hold partnerships with software development agencies. 

Step #3: List Down Companies 

The next step that you need to take while finding the software development partner is to list down companies. We have everything in place from the first two steps. You know what you want from your software company and have even created complete documentation of the requirements. Additionally, you’ve also chosen the approach that you are planning to take. So, this would make it even easier for you to find the companies best suited for your partnership. 

Here are some of the places where you can find the best software development companies:

  • Search Engines: The first and foremost place to search for software development companies is on search engines; more or less, Google. You can find the best software development companies on Google with just a single click. 

  • Listing Sites: The next place where you can go to find your software partner is on listing sites like Clutch, The Manifest, Good firms, and more. These have companies listed from across the world and you can sort based on ratings, reviews, and more. 

  • Top List Blogs: Many companies keep posting or updating listing blogs on their sites showcasing the top companies to partner with. You can easily find companies based on locations, industries, and more on such top-listing blogs. 

  • Social Media- LinkedIn: One of the fastest-growing platforms for finding business partners for software development is LinkedIn. It has businesses of all niches and you can easily search for software development companies to find the best ones. 

  • Remote Work Portals: There are different remote work portals where businesses go to hire remote developers. However, you also find a number of companies on these portals like Upwork.

Step #4: Prepare for Knowledge Transfer

The next step in your quest to find the best software development company would be to get your in-house team or any other existing team ready for knowledge transfer. A lot of information is stored within teams, systems, and other documents. This needs to be prepared for the next company that would take over the project. 

You need to have all the documents in place in order to speed up the process. Whether you are changing your software vendor or getting into a partnership for the first time, you need to be prepared for the knowledge transfer. It can be multi-layered and a proper compilation can make things easier. Make sure that you have your business as well as technical documentation ready with the source code base, architecture, database structure, and more. 

Step #5: Check Out Methodologies Used For Project Delivery

Before making any decision on choosing a software development partner for your business, you should primarily know which development methodologies are currently working on and what else you want them to use. The trending methodologies used today by most businesses are Agile and Waterfall.

The agile methodology involves dividing tasks into phases and continuously reassessing them after every sprint. On the contrary, the waterfall technique is all about performing core tasks separately, one after another. Make sure you choose the most suitable option for your company as it may also define your communication with your IT partner during your relationship.

Step #6: Identify Technologies Or Frameworks Used

To be an expert professional in multiple fields requires an immense amount of knowledge and experience. That is why you should pay more attention to your future partner’s area of expertise and interest.

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List down the programming languages and frameworks you will use for your software project. Also, consider making a brief list describing to what extent they used them in your software project.

A software development company’s home page includes a bunch of logos of different technologies, like RoR, PHP, Node.js, .Net, and many more.

But when it comes to technology, usually the fewer the better.

If you want to develop a front-end interface in React, find a company specialized in working with React framework.

Step #7: Compare Vendors & Shortlist

Now, it’s time to Identify a list of vendors readily available in the market to help you achieve your business goals. Compare potential vendors and shortlist the ones that match your business requirements and can fulfill your testing goals.

At this point, you should have a firm understanding of what are your business requirements and the kind of result you want. Once you have a clear picture of this, start comparing selected companies and shortlisting them based on their industry experience, software capabilities, tech expertise, niche skill set, project costs and timeline, engagement costs, work approaches, market reputation, and much more.

Choose a software development company that satisfies most of your requirements or maybe all. It should provide flexibility to your project and have crystal clear communication with all team members. The pricing measures should also be considered before making any decision.

Step #8: Request Quotes & Hold Interviews

Once you have compared and shortlisted the companies based on their offerings, it is time you start collecting quotations from them. You can write to them or hold meetings with their business managers to get an idea of what the software development partner can bring to the table. 

Partnering with a software development company is not just working together, it is something more than that. Get every detail of the team working for you and check if there is sufficient compatibility between the two.

Now it’s time to start discussions with your chosen development partners. At this stage, both parties ask questions from each other and this will likely be an interactive and engaging process.

You can even give test projects to know how well they work and if they can efficiently deliver the project within the committed time or not. 

Step 9: Finalize Software Development Partner

Now it’s time to have a final call after analyzing, comparing, and assessing the different potential vendors from your list. Hire the one that satisfies every criterion that is important to your business.

Partnering with a software firm or developer who is flexible and affordable empowers you to accelerate development with minimized costs.  Now, all you have left is to prepare the contracts to be signed.

Keep consistent and regular contact with your outsourcing partner after signing a contract, and use your timeline to decide when to start the project.

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You could potentially have a long-term partner by now who helps you boost business sales.

Step 10: Sign Development Contract & Commence Partnership

Once you have finalized your software development partner, the next and the final most important step is to draft a contract and sign it before initializing the partnership. The outsourcing contract would include a lot of crucial information right from the partnership type to the team members promised to the SLA, and more. A foolproof outsourcing contract agreement contains the following things:

  • Detailed project scope
  • SLA or service level agreement
  • Assets required to transfer
  • Warranty and ownership of the product
  • Completion duration
  • Exit strategy
  • Cost and payment structure
  • Indemnification and subcontracting clause
  • IP protection and non-disclosure contract

However, before signing the contract, make sure that you have made all the negotiations with the final vendor. You both should be on the same terms and have nothing left unsaid in order to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunications in the later part of the development process.

Success Tips

Like any other business, a software development partner is a combination of talented minds within its organization with a good business strategy. However understanding, locating, and leveraging those external partners is not an easy task - specifically when it is your first time.

So, how do you choose a trustworthy software development partner with whom you believe can collaborate successfully?

We have come up with quick tips for you to choose the right technology partner or a technical co-founder for your business.

Never Rush Through RFPs, Research Early

It’s better to take sufficient time to understand more about your potential partner. You have all the right to know almost everything about who you’ll be working with. Their work approaches, industry experience, methodologies used, and their experiences in software development.

So, be smart enough and never rush through RFPs (Requests for Proposal), and do not speed through the process.

RFP image

Rushing through RFPs can partner you with a firm that doesn’t match your needs and fulfills your requirements. Always remember, starting a project with the right partner a little later than planned is always better. Starting it early offers you great value-added service.

Start by creating a document containing specifications that will provide granular-level clarity to the technology partner. Break down every detail of the feature and functionality, workflow, user journey, and integrations in the product. This will be included in your RFP.

Transparency Is A Must

Your software development partner must be smart enough to effectively deal with unpredictable and critical scenarios. So, before selecting your partner,  first identify how accountable, transparent and proactive your potential partner is. Also, verify how it intends to overcome barriers during challenging times.

It’s important to have an open line of conversation with your partner. This includes clear information about goals, resources, and time management. It’s a mission for a technology partner to keep their customers updated at all times using regular status reports.

Miscommunications are a part of team-based projects and your partner must be equipped to handle them intelligently to accomplish goals.

Discuss What Value-Added Services Can It Offer

The next tip is to request access to your software development partners and their technical proficiencies. Check on their core competencies, ability to scale, and latest software knowledge. You can start by asking the development team key questions like:

  • Which are the tech stacks they’ve worked on?
  • What project management strategies can they implement?
  • How do they maintain code quality?

and so on...

A thorough discussion with the team members regarding these various aspects can help you with the selection process better. After getting clear answers to the above questions, you can go ahead with the hiring process.

Don't Get Tempted With Low Prices

The highest-priced and top technology partners often spent a huge time on the project, with unnecessary involvement of team members. On the other hand, the lower end of the market often lacked the skill and technical ability to produce consistent software quality.

You need top-notch software, not a cheap one, so don’t be tempted by the low prices that some companies offer.

A professional knows better the value of their work and prices it accordingly. Your attempts to save some costs will lead to a situation where you receive a product that won’t bring any value to your business.

If your budget is not sufficient for ordering an application today, wait a month. Don’t ruin a good idea with poor implementation!

Picking the right software development partner is a completely different experience than shopping online. It is undoubtedly a complex and time taking process.

Keep Track Of Contract Negotiations

If you find the right software development firm with a low price for your project, you must raise an alarm. This often happens when a company is too eager to get a project. In such cases, never hesitate to go for a second bid to find a better one.

Make sure that you have the required space to adapt to unintended circumstances. Also, the contract you sign with your software partner must include the given aspects:

  • Clear project specifications
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Confidentiality details
  • Support service provisions
  • Unreal timelines
  • New software and version updates

This would help in eliminating disagreements during the software development cycle. And the result you get is a smooth collaborative journey.

contract

So, keep a note of the above points before making any decision with your technology partner. Your partner should showcase proactiveness, accountability, transparency, and a positive mindset. The rest will fall in place.

Places To Find The Reliable Software Development Partner

Well, before we dive into the process of analyzing what are necessary things required for a software development partner to have, let us check where you can find them easily.

So, if we take a broader look at the sources that you can harness to hire a development team, there are multiple options:

Google

Google, the giant search engine, is the first and foremost platform to find the best software development partners in the easiest way. You may not find the exact results here, but you need to explore several links available on the page.

When you look for software partners for app development on Google engine, you may end up getting some blog links. It will provide you with real sources from where you can find the software partners.

This platform also helps deliver optimal results by finding you the ideal software development company.

Clutch

Regardless of what your tech requirement is, Clutch. co is considered one of the best platforms with thousands of companies listed in its network. You can find companies for software development, mobile app development, web development, custom software development, and much more on the Clutch platform. One can easily sort companies by ranking, and verifying the number of reviews.

Moreover, you can use several filters like location, hourly rate, software frameworks, and programming languages on this platform. It is considered the most trusted platform to get the right partner.

software development frameworks

Top 10 Curated List

When exploring Google or even Clutch, you may come across hundreds of software development companies listed, which might confuse you. This is where lists filtered by different companies can come to your rescue. You can find several blogs showcased on company sites and on Medium that are named the top 10 software development companies. 

There are many websites, social media platforms, and other similar platforms where one can find curated lists of 5, 10, and 15 top software development companies. This list will provide you with real information about the companies without any confusion.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is hands down the top professional networking platform where all professionals belonging to every field get connected. Every organization must have a LinkedIn company page where they have their employees, and clients connected and share all professional news, company events, and much more.

If you are searching for a custom software development company, you can simply search the same on LinkedIn search.

Just make a quick search “software development” and press enter. On the left section, select Companies under the dropdown. And you will get a list of software development companies right there. 

You can also filter information based on locations, industry, company size, and many more.

Linkedin helps you get several professionals working in reputed firms and also the best companies in any region.

-53-software-development-company-Search-LinkedIn

There are undoubtedly several companies that have benefitted from joining hands with a software development company. And more so, because they made sure to outsource to India while keeping all these tips in mind. 

Companies That Succeeded With Software Partner

Henry David Thoreau rightly said that “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."

And hence these startups have proved it right and turned their small business into a million-dollar businesses.

The most successful startups never had it great when they actually initiated at first. In fact, for most of them, the startup product looked entirely different serving a different need in the market.

Let’s discuss some of the inside stories of the million-dollar companies that used Software outsourcing as a great enabler and made it a super tool to reach the zenith of success. These inspiring stories help new-aged entrepreneurs to make the right decisions at the right time and in the most efficient way.

#1. Whatsapp

Two close friends and colleagues Jan Koum and Brian Acton frustrated working in Yahoo with the idea of having bulk advertisements on pages.  After leaving Yahoo in 2007, they then started the startup with few funds left with them and were determined to save costs. This time they didn’t want to compromise on quality in any case. 

After facing a lot of highs and lows, they launched WhatsApp in the year 2009, with a clear vision of serving the best services that do not have any advertising.

So, they decided to outsource their web development to skilled professional app developers located in Russia. It helps them minimize operational costs as well as a large pool of highly skilled and talented developers that might be much costlier to find locally. Years after, the company witnessed huge success and today WhatsApp is the third most downloaded Android app in the world with a number of users to reach 25.6 million by 2021.

#2. Slack

Slack believed in being “Be Less Busy,” but in the initial two years of Slack, the company was very busy growing the business in every aspect.

Slack is an instant messaging platform that evolved to replace the email system and get a better and faster way of communication. Its workspaces permit slack users to make communication seamless through multiple channels available for group discussions or private chat rooms for one-to-one messages or file sharing.

Slack decided to outsource its logo creation, the marketing website design, and a few parts of software needed for web and mobile development. The work is done by an outsourcing firm based in Canada.

Slack’s strategic decision to hire a company offshore is clear evidence of how outsourcing is done at the initial stage in case of product development can turn into a great success.

In the present scenario, Slack is used by more than 10 million daily active users and earned 401 million USD in revenue in 2019.

#3. GitHub

GitHub is a popular hosting platform for software development and a subsidiary of Microsoft. It provides distributed version control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git in addition to its built-in features. 

The backend codes of GitHub are written by an outsourcing firm, which later became the company’s CIO. Chris Wanstrath, the co-founder and CEO of GitHub, realized that Scott Chacon, a man from San Francisco, had an incredible and in-depth understanding of Gits.

Initially, the founders of GitHub didn’t have sufficient funds to hire Scott. So, they decided to outsource the MVP development. 

Today, GitHub has crossed 40m+ developers and has 44m+ repositories created in the last year. Overall Github has hosted 100 million+ repositories, in total. 

#4. Alibaba

When discussing outsourcing, many of us often think that outsourcing is only to countries like India or China from the United States. But, that‘s not always the case!

Alibaba, the E-commerce giant proved it all wrong. It sets a clear example that outsourcing is for everyone even the countries leading the world have companies outsource their chunks of development parts to other small countries.

Years back, Alibaba.com started as a small Internet company, and now it has developed into one of the world’s biggest global E-commerce websites.

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba outsourced web development to a U.S. firm in its initial days. Due to the scarcity of skilled talent in his own country, he decided to hire web developers from the U.S. 

Presently, the company still relies on outsourcing partners for production, but they’re mainly located in China.

According to Investopedia, the company's businesses account for more than half of all e-commerce sales in China. But, Jack Ma too, initially did outsource software development.

In Jack Ma’s autobiography, “Alibaba: The Inside Story Behind Jack Ma and the Creation of the World's Biggest Online Marketplace”, he discussed how the company decided to start outsourcing as early as 1999 by hiring remote developers from the United States.

#5. Google

The tech giant, Google sets a great example of performing excellent business operations. The platform Google and its Google products are just awesome to explore.

Google’s outsourcing strategy depicts that even the world’s largest team of 89,000 developers needs the perspectives and suggestions coming from outside.

Moreover, Google outsourced work to talented developers across the world not because they lack the expertise in-house.  This is because lower costs keep investors happy and the in-house team gained more time now to focus on their core work.

However, even one of the largest companies Google outsources its work to remote employees.

Google’s strategy clearly states that it all depends on the type of business and the business requirements, whether you need outsourcing or not, what are your priorities, and your budget.

Joining Hands

We know how companies have succeeded with their software development outsourcing endeavors and how you can make it more advantageous with helpful tips.

And while all of this would be time-consuming, you can prepare yourself right to join hands with your software development partner. 

Quick Question You Can Ask

Now that we’ve covered almost everything related to finding and choosing a software development partner, let’s sum it up with some quick questions. These are some of the questions that you can ask:

  • How do you communicate with your clients?
  • How many projects have you handled so far?
  • How do you estimate the cost of the software development process?
  • What makes you different from others?
  • What are the tools you use while project management?
  • What is your team size and experience?
  • How will I get updates about my project?
  • What will you do if an experienced team member leaves the project in between?
  • Will they sign an NDA contract?

Key Takeaways

As technology drives everything from purchases to sales, developing technical capabilities has become a business imperative.

A specialized and reliable software development partner can offer great technical expertise as well as extensive operational proficiency to develop a top-notch model.

Software companies today are relying more on technological innovation to deliver high value to clients.

Partnering with a reliable software development company brings you top-notch talent, trending technologies, and end-to-end solutions to accelerate your business growth.

When choosing a software development firm, make sure it is flexible enough to embrace the change as your business grows.

Software development companies should be able to adapt to your plans and strategies quickly and scale easily as your business evolves.

Custom software development is favored among businesses and corporates, as it offers flexibility and adaptability to the dynamic market system.

Why Join Hands With Classic Informatics

We hope you now have a clear idea of how a reliable and scalable software development partner can help thrive your business. Well, if you have an app or software idea and you want to execute it, we at Classic Informatics have all that you need. At Classic Informatics, we have over 20 years of experience in the domain of information technology.

Our experienced professional team helps in handling every little aspect of the development process with ease.

As a software development company, we have assisted hundreds and thousands of startups, enterprises, CTOs, and organizations of all scales to build their software and move ahead in their journey to digitally transform. Whether their objective was to save costs, develop a state of the art software, or speed up the development, we have proven our expertise and garnered a lot of applause.

To be precise, we keep a close oversight over everything that we do and make sure that you get the best of the best solution at your price.

By partnering with our software development team, you can infuse your project with a talented workforce, high-quality codes, and seedy development.

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kanika

Written by Kanika Gupta

Kanika Gupta, a professional tech writer works as a content writer in Classic Informatics, a leading web development company. She loves writing master tech pieces and letting readers connect with them fluently.