Choosing the Right Software Development Partner

Whether you have a need for a new mobile app to keep up with competitors, or you’re looking for a custom solution for your company, the answer may require individually tailored software that’s specific to your business. Custom software development could mean modifications to your existing platforms, or integration of a completely new system. You’ll also have to consider if a full or partial cloud based solution is best for you. With so much to take into account and the various development firms available for hire, how do you choose the right software development partner?

 

Ownership and Upkeep

 

In a work-for-hire partnership, the code and intellectual property belong to you, the client. The only condition where ownership issues arise is when a project isn’t paid in full. Also, the client is typically in charge of maintenance and support. However, some partners will include in their package calls for maintenance over time. It’s important to note that maintenance does not mean adding new features. For example, it’s not considered maintenance if/when the software needs to be modified to work with an updated operating system. Keep in mind that if you require this kind of continued support, it needs to be called out in your original agreement.

 

Tech and Expertise

 

It goes without saying that you want the best technologies for your business needs. But not all teams will pick prime tech. They may not know which is best to integrate with your existing system. To deal with this ahead of time, ask the potential team how they’ve accomplished integration in the past, as well as how they’ve chosen cloud platforms and frameworks, and what led them to those decisions.

Not only is top-notch technology essential—the team’s skill sets are key to a positive experience. Do they have excellent architecture and user interface experience, testing and project management skills? Ask them if they provide training or personnel to help your company use/maintain the product. Keep in mind that depending on your business needs, tech know-how may outweigh experience, and vice versa.

Finally, when it comes to your team, note whether the recommended solution includes an effective strategy for uptime, backup and exporting data to other systems.

 

Communication, Team Composition and Reputation

 

How a team communicates with you can mean the difference between a successful partnership and a disastrous one. Will you rely completely on an assigned account or project manager to relay all communication? Will you have access to the firm’s CEO? Can you talk directly to the team’s designers and developers throughout the process?

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to interaction, but whatever you decide has to promise open and free-flowing communication. Hierarchical communication can bottleneck resolution, and some firms keep developers and clients separate. If you wish to interact with them directly, make that known early on for less risk of confusion.

It’s also important to ask if the firm outsources their work offshore. In this industry, it’s not unusual to see work outsourced elsewhere. Regardless of the practice, JTR Solutions does not outsource work offshore or overseas.

Can the development team provide recent client references, and can you contact them? If not, you should be wary. If you find the team had an issue with a previous client, how do they explain it; was the issue resolved and were the clients ultimately satisfied with the final outcome?

 

Choosing the right development partner can be difficult. Ask all firms, including JTR Solutions, the above-mentioned questions, and weigh all answers carefully. You’ll find you can trust JTR to employ the technology expertise and experience you need for custom software development.


Amanda J. Rebuck
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