Many custom software development firms look very similar, in appearance, but also in functionality. This is obvious both for developers and clients. So the evaluation and selection of a particular company is quite a difficult task. We propose to use eight criteria for evaluation, which, in fact, are the main competitive advantages in this area.
So, how much does a developer charge for developing a custom software platform? There are usually two approaches here – pay per user and a certain number of features, or some sort of total fixed amount.
Thus, it is important to understand how many of your employees will be working with the system and what set of features you need to solve business tasks. With this, it is advisable to make a rough calculation for the future – how much it will cost you now, how much – in six months, a year, two, or more. You do not have to make exact forecasts, it is important to understand the overall strategy. For example, in the first year, you will need 100 users of the system, and as time goes by, this number may grow several times. Plus you plan to expand functionality for extra tasks in the future. Or vice versa.
Hence, you need to consider all the conditions in detail – whether the cost of the proposed solution depends on the number of users, how it changes when scaling the system, and so on.
What exactly can individual software do for you that others can’t? Most platforms have very similar feature sets. So having specific features can be a very valid consideration when choosing. The best way to determine what features you need is to first think about all the possible uses of the system and then compare them to the features offered. Find out what functionality the developer can offer you based on his experience.
A convenient location is a vital criterion that every business should consider when looking for a partner. Short flight distances, small-time differences, and visa-free travel are a few advantages that can greatly improve outsourcing partnerships. For example, if you do business in the west of America, it would be better to partner with a Chicago software development company.
You’ll probably want to make sure you’re working with a vendor that not only offers a great product but also great service. As a rule, cooperation with business software developers is of a long-term nature. Any platform is developed, updated, and refined as new customers needs arise. So, after-sales service and tech support are key aspects to consider when choosing an implementer.
Some companies are focused only on closed corporate systems. Others choose cloud solutions, someone uses mixed approaches. Every company has its own attitude to security and its requirements for it. Regardless of your choice, you need to make sure that the platform offered secures your data while being flexible enough to meet your needs.
Customization and Integration
Most customers are interested in being able to integrate the software solutions offered with those already in use in the company. Sometimes this can be crucial. But, not all software companies can provide a quick and effective integration with other programs. Therefore, it is desirable to consider this aspect beforehand, and one of the first.
Ease of learning and using
An extremely important parameter, and sometimes a decisive one. Obviously, you must be sure that every employee in your organization will be able to use the platform that you purchase.
Competent developers pay special attention to this parameter. Many of them try to make their interfaces as easy and intuitive as possible. In this case, they use elements that are already familiar to users – for example, used in social networks.
To assess this criterion, it is desirable to use test periods of using the system, to analyze the feedback of users. And remember – no matter how powerful and functional the system is, but if it is cumbersome and inconvenient to use – it does not deserve attention.
The cost of support and maintenance
Make sure that the firm offers an adequate support cost for your product. Prices here vary. Some manufacturers charge more than 20 percent of the annual license, while others, on the contrary, offer free support. Some companies set up the system, and then reserve only the solution of problematic issues. Others commit to constantly updating and customizing the platform as new versions are released.
Evaluating developer experience
Certainly, some vendors specialize in companies in a particular industry – financial, retail, crypto and so on. Experienced programmers can implement many solutions for companies in a variety of industries. If the creators already have several companies in your industry as clients, that’s a definite plus. But it is better to analyze the platform from the point of view of meeting your needs.
You should also pay attention to whether the developer acts as an expert in their industry, and what their resources for training users are. Regular production of educational materials, manuals, seminars is a good sign that you are dealing with a pro. In such a volatile and rapidly developing industry as IT, you need to work with people who are sources of relevant knowledge for their clients. This helps in achieving common goals.