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10 Core Criteria for Selecting a Software Development Company

by Dangula Bingula

No modern business can do without software development as everybody goes online. Thus, to stay abreast of the latest business innovations and to have access to the vast population of online clients, each company strives to develop an efficient mobile app and a user-friendly, useful, and multi-functional website.

Nevertheless, not all companies can afford a full-time in-house software development team as with the skyrocketing demand for these services, the rates of coders are also moving upward.

So, what should a startup or a business on a budget do to get a well-functioning app or website at a reduced cost? According to Devox Software, the answer is in outsourcing.

But not all software development companies are created equal, and when you hire a vendor with low rates, you risk falling prey to unqualified, low-skilled, cheap pseudo-specialists. Working with outsourcing companies can be risky, but we know how to bring that risk to a minimum and to choose the best vendor for a guaranteed outcome. Here are the 10 key points to take into account when analyzing the companies you found and choosing the only one to work with.


Ten Quality Criteria of a Software Development Company

#1 Location

As soon as you decide to outsource the software development services, the first decision to make is about how far you’re ready to go. In other words, can you afford a nearshore developer, or do you need to find an offshore outsourcing company? Keep in mind that working with nearshore providers is easier and quicker, which may compensate for a higher rate they may charge as compared to distant vendors. However, if you’re on a tight budget, then it’s probably reasonable to find an offshore provider to get the project done in full instead of ripping your business off the scarce funds only to create a website or app.

#2 Prices

The vendors’ prices are another key criterion to study at the initial stage of your research. As soon as you decide to outsource software development, the whole world is at your service, and soon you’ll see that prices for such services differ profoundly. Opting for the cheapest services on the market is risky as you may never be sure about the quality you’ll receive. Choosing expensive service providers is senseless as you may hire an in-house team with the same budget. Thus, it’s better to conduct thorough research and find service providers with moderate prices to receive the ideal balance of price and quality.

#3 Testimonials

References of previous clients may tell much about the experience of working with a particular company. They let you get acquainted with the workflow, the provider’s strengths, and weaknesses closer to get a fuller impression of what it will be like to partner with them. Trust only the reviews of credited companies signing under their words or some personal reviews you get from the people you know.


#4 Portfolio

It’s unwise to pay money to a software development company without being 100% confident about its ability to complete your project. Its portfolio is a great chance to check prior works that its developers perform and to assess their quality. Works in the portfolio may showcase the technologies in which the company specializes, presenting the samples against which the product developed for you may be later evaluated. Don’t trust the managers’ words if they say that 100% of their projects are NDA-secured and confidential. A self-respecting company serious about its new clients always has some public works in its portfolio.

#5 Timely and Clear Communication

An expert trick when selecting an IT company to work with is to send inquiries to several contenders via different communication channels and to check their response times. As a result, you’ll kill two birds with one stone, receiving all the additional information about the company’s terms of work and rates, as well as seeing how effectively their managers work. The speed and informativity of responses is a strategic component of productive cooperation as you might have many questions and concerns in the process of joint work. It won’t do any good if the vendor’s managers will keep silent for hours and even days.


#6 Availability of Contractual Protection

Safety of your personal information and intellectual property is the number one priority in the modern era of cyber-threats and cyber-hacks. Thus, you should check all the safety measures that your potential vendor has in place to prevent data leakage. Besides, the vendor must sign NDAs with all its workers and must give the same opportunity to you so that each member of the vendor’s staff having access to your project’s information has a series of binding legal obligations. This aspect is strategically important as the risks of data theft rise manifold when the software developer works outside your office.

#7 Number of Employees

If your project is large-scale, it’s also essential to check how many people work in the software company’s office. The key sign that your vendor will be able to handle the project is the large number of qualified recruiters in its team and a sufficient pool of developers in the local labor market. If the company and the market to which you outsource fit these criteria, you can be sure about the competent and timely completion of your project to avoid delays and potential bottlenecks.

#8 Education

At times, companies are forced to hire IT companies offshore because of the lack of specific talent in their locations. In such cases, it’s necessary to check the tech stack of developers the company employs to be 100% confident about their ability to meet your technical requirements. Multi-stage interviewing and programming tests are useful to check the staff’s proficiency. Also, don’t underscore their English language proficiency as language barriers can also get in the way of productive cooperation.


#9 Similar Mindset

When looking for a software development vendor, don’t underestimate the cultural issues and a business mindset. If your companies don’t match in these fundamental aspects (e.g., values and approaches), you may face a realm of unexpected and disturbing barriers at work.

#10 Interest to Your Business

Finally, it’s useful to check whether the company has any knowledge in your business sector. You may lose some strategically important time familiarizing the staff of the new vendor with your business specifics, especially if you are an innovative startup. It’s much better to work with those who heard a word or two about what you’re doing.