It was never an easy task to develop a software product and maintain its quality. Company executives have to think about millions of things before they launch a new software to the market. Choosing the right software provider is one of the most important points in their lists. This decision is coupled with multiple challenges since the provider should comply with numerous company criteria.
It is interesting that everyone knows about those criteria though very few try to apply them. Moreover, few understand what kind of software provider they need. Often the search starts with rushing back and forth, searching for references and seeking the companies with the highest rating. Some of those points make sense. Still, it is always easier and more effective to define first what role a custom software development provider will play in your company and how deeply it integrates into the processes.
Being a long-term player in the software development market, we noticed that providers are divided into four common types: Doer, Assistant, Adviser, Partner. Each of them integrates on a certain level or on several ones. To find out what type of integration fits your company, you should ask yourself certain questions. Among them can be the following ones:
- Do you need a service provider to possess domain knowledge?
- How deeply do you want the provider to integrate into your business?
- Do you need the service provider team to be involved in the decision-making process?
- Do you need a custom development strategy or want the team to recommend and follow the industry proven frameworks?
- Do you want the service provider team to align with tasks backlog or work per your request?
- Do you need a dedicated QA team on the project?
- Do you need a production support team?
- What level of team engagement into product management do you prefer?
As soon as you have the answers create a checklist or a matrix – as we call it – of software services provider integration. Establish your criteria, use the questions, take your answers, add the requirements to define the type of a partner you need. Remember the deeper integration you need, the more sophisticated partnership you get.
When you are ready with the type of the integration level and provider, your next step is to choose a contract type and business model. In this case, you should think of the kind of commitment, pricing type, team size and communication preferences.
When you fill all the “checkboxes”, you’ll understand what type of the software development provider is yours. The main thing you should remember when choosing a software development provider is compliance with your criteria. They help you to make a rational decision.
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