How do you choose the right software development company for yourself

It’s finally 2021 and all those projects that were on the docket for last year never got touched because of COVID.  Now it seems the world is opening back up and those back-logged projects are still sitting there waiting for someone to take ownership of them.  The reality is that your current team (which may have been reduced because of the pandemic) already has their schedule full for the foreseeable future.  So, what do you do?  It doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time staff member for a project or two, and even more…those projects are going to need a team of people to finish them, and hiring several people for a few months doesn’t make sense either. 

Your company has decided the smart thing to do is to work with a local software development team to knock out these projects and catch up from that mess we call 2020.   

So how do you choose the right software development company for yourself? 

You need to find the best software development firm for yourself, your company, and your team.  But where to start?  Finding that perfect one is like dating…you are looking for that perfect one that you can trust, will stick up for you, make you look good in front of your friends, and checks all those boxes you’ve been secretly creating over the years. 

Finding a +1 can be stressful but finding a software development partner doesn’t have to be.  Below are the steps to finding that perfect software development company that can be your partner as you ride off into the sunset…happily ever after. 

  1. Tell your network that you are officially “on the market.” Who knows you better than those who have listened to you complain (or praise) about vendors than your friends, family, and colleagues?  Ask them if they know of any potential companies for you. 
  1. Get on a dating app.  Since there’s no Tinder for local software development firms (million-dollar idea???…), start with Google and LinkedIn.  Unfortunately, and like dating apps, these tools are used better for research and not a magic algorithm that will deliver the perfect person to your door.  Beware of paid advertising results that will give you companies that are not local. You will also find developers who just finished a 3-month course on how to code all the way to the “big guys” who have no true local presence and are more interested in behemoth systems transformations.   
  1. Do your research. Start asking around about these companies. Do they have any client reviews?  What do their websites and social media accounts tell you about them?  Check out their entire team and get a sense of their work culture. What are they passionate about?  What is their expertise?  If you have any contacts who have used a custom software solution company, I recommend asking the following questions: 
  1. Are they good communicators? 
  2. Were there any delays in the delivery time? 
  3. Were there multiple change orders? 
  4. Did they stay within budget? 
  5. Did they offer support AFTER the project was complete? 

  1. Go on the first date. Ask those first round of non-negotiable questions so you can vet them out quickly.  Instead of asking about wanting kids and where you would want to live, ask about their technology stacks, their methodologies, how they can fit it with your software development life cycle (SDLC). And, just as importantly, get to KNOW them and the team.  I encourage you to express your thoughts on your projects, good, bad, and otherwise.  And make sure to listen to their ideas, too.  This is where the real magic starts to happen.   
  1. Courting.  Now that you’ve vetted out who can meet your non-negotiables, let’s have some of those more serious conversations, like money, trust and long-term security.  I know that talking about money can be awkward, so a good way to start is to have an honest conversation about what’s most important to your company.  Is it quality, price or time?  Remember: you only get two of these and that’s a big differentiator for a lot of software development companies.  There are hundreds of firms that can get it to you quickly and cheaply, but the quality won’t be there.  And, depending on the project, that may be what you need.  There are also companies that have amazing quality, but they are not flexible.  
  1. Meet the family.  This is going great!  You did the work and found someone you think is perfect for you.  You asked all the questions; they checked all your boxes and now it’s time to meet the family.  Seriously – meet the team.  You will be spending a lot of hours with these people and you want to make sure your time is spent with those you respect and enjoy.  Keep in mind, too, that there will be times when your project isn’t going perfectly, there will be differences of opinions and difficult conversations will have to be had.  
  1. Life happily ever after.  Well, minus those tough conversations we just talked about. Make sure the one you choose will be there for the long-haul by offering post-sales support after the project is complete.  Also, ensure your company agrees to ownership, in as much that the software license completely belongs to you without any hidden fees – such as lock-in and exit fees.  

Theoris Solutions is an Indianapolis-based IT consulting company that focuses on customized application development, cloud, data, and CRM implementation projects with our clients. For over 35 years we have prided ourselves on quality and flexibility…those are the two “courting” categories that we chose and are happy we did because we have partnered on a range of projects from fixing your “spreadsheet sprawl” to creating fancy schmancy custom applications to improve the client experience.

So Call Us!

If you (like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain…) would like to discuss your projects in more depth to evaluate if we are even the type of people with whom you’d want to “date”

Contact Us