Explore our custom software pricing guide, where we outline indicative costs based on some common project types.


How to Choose a Software Development Company in 15 Steps

Businesses across the globe have been working rigorously to fully embrace the digital revolution, since the pandemic of 2020. However, hiring appropriate staff for application development, upkeep of a new app, or upgrading a legacy system is not easy.

Businesses working in non-tech domains will find it more strenuous to hire an in-house team. Extensive software apps are also not easy to build and launch by merely hiring freelancers. Thus arises the need for partnering with a trusted software development company for a fully custom digital solution.

A professional agency can build software that seamlessly integrates into your existing operations from scratch. However, finding the right software firm can be tricky and time-consuming. Fortunately, the process can be well-defined and quite easy to follow once you know exactly what to do.

How Does Outsourcing to A Reliable Software Development Company Help?

Software development outsourcing is the process of hiring a third-party company, team, or service provider to complete specific software development projects. When businesses partner up with outsourcing solution providers to perform tasks, it is most often to save costs and reduce operating expenses such as salaries, technology, equipment and other related overheads. Hiring an external company also allows the business to focus on revenue-generating strategies and core competencies. Listed below are some other benefits of outsourcing.

  • Increased efficiency
  • Seamless scaling
  • Access to advanced technologies
  • Finding expert resources
  • Reduced risk
  • Competitive advantage

Signs that your Business Should Consider Outsourcing Solutions

The software development outsourcing market was valued at USD 528 billion in 2021. The value is expected to rise to USD 781 billion by 2030, at a 5% CAGR for 2022–2030.

How to choose a software development agency

Software development outsourcing is an effective method of creating a viable product from a software development plan or idea. A reputable software development outsourcing agency delivers planning solutions, handles MVP development and testing, and provides help in launching.

Any business across industry may choose to outsource their software development needs. Some common outsourcing goals are access to manufacturing, technology, IT, QA, web design, and even financial. We have already mentioned the various advantages of outsourcing your software development requirements. But how would you know if outsourcing is actually a sound choice for your business? The following reasons are a good indicator for your need to outsource app development.

Non-IT Business

Topping the list is the fact that your business is not technology related. If technology is not your core business, using a third party solution provider makes complete sense. High performing outsource partners use best practices, and guarantee efficiency. An outsourced team boosts project expansions and improves your customer experience.

Limited Skills and Expertise

You may already have an in-house team, but if their skills are limited, outsourcing is idea. Starting a hiring process will utilise precious time and resources, only to provide you project-based new hires. Outsourcing ensures you receive a high-quality product or service. It becomes the outsourcer’s responsibility to hire and train resources, and scale up or down based on the project requirements.

Niche Expertise

Your project may require unique skills, stack expertise, and experience. Since technology is constantly evolving, keeping your employees’ skills updated is often difficult and expensive. Hiring expert resources will cost more, if your product relies on Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, Virtual or Augmented Reality. 

Your outsource partner delivers experienced professionals, designers and developers with technology and industry expertise without adding substantially to your development costs.

Time to Market

If speed is critical to your project completion you should outsource your application maintenance project. Software development companies have diverse resources, expertise and experience to handle seen and unforeseen hurdles. Time taken to develop your software also adds to its cost. Your software development life-cycle stretches and costs more, when your in-house resources do not actively work towards results.

Focus on strategizing, marketing and selling your product, backend operations, and support while your software development outsourcing company works on your project.

What To Do Before Partnering With an Agency

Before partnering up, make sure you have done the ground work on your project.

  • Define your expectations
  • Research the service(s) you require
  • Plan your budget
  • Note down any specific features
  • List the functionality you require
  • Your tech stack preference
  • Decide between offshoring, onshoring, and nearshoring 
  • Consider communication and time zone differences for offshore options

Tips for Choosing a Software Development Agency for Bespoke Solutions in 15 Easy Steps

Knowing your requirements and budget helps you fine-tune your research on choosing the right software development partner. Ask peers (and even competitors) for recommendations on web or mobile app development partners.

how to choose a software development firm

Evaluate the technical expertise and experience of the best software development companies on your list. A company that has worked on similar projects within the same industries may be better able to match your needs.

Have a thorough discussion with several potential vendors. The steps below will get your past scoping and to your final product successfully.

Step 1: Draw up a budget

Set your budget before connecting with any bespoke software development agency. This provides them the knowledge of your expectations, and allows from to create a plan based on your specifications.

Most custom software development companies have global clients. The reliable ones will inform you of all included fees for services and define them in the contract. Don’t hesitate to ask for a proposal to compare rates. Get bids from several software development companies to determine which one is best for you. 

Step 2: Lay down your requirements

Get a comprehensive view about your software needs and the functionality and features you want added to your digital product. This internal dialogue and any document you create from it will help guide your discussion with potential outsourcing partners.

Step 3: Determine a timeframe

Custom software development companies should be able to clearly inform your business on their expected deadlines without any runaround. Though software development timeframes may have lags due to changes and additions, an ETA is a must. Compare deadlines, capabilities and skill sets. Make sure the one you choose has the engineering process you require for your solution.

Step 4: Browse portfolios for past work

Checking the company’s portfolio for past projects shows the technologies they use, and their niches. Bespoke digital solutions such as website development, desktop software development, and mobile solutions should match your business needs.  

Step 5: Search on the right platforms

An experienced software development company would have built a reputation with their projects and clients. Check reviews to gauge the market perception of custom software development companies on reputable platforms like Clutch.   Other review websites such as GoodFirms and Google business reviews give clear insights of past clients..

Step 6: Go over their domain expertise

Choose an experienced software development agency as they are most likely to have a skilled software engineering team. Check their coding prowess and work processes that your delivered software product meets your business goals. Domain expertise determines compliance and regulation knowledge, specific to this business vertical. Look for companies that have worked in your domain. A bespoke solutions partner with example ot successful software projects in your domain, can plausibly match your needs better.

Step 7: Inquire about their tech stack

The tech stack a software vendor uses, should be part of your checklist. Inquire about the technologies they employ, the solutions they offer, and the tools they leverage to deliver results.

Being a technology partner capably displays the app development company’s expertise. Only high quality outsourcing companies can become certified partners with software and tech giants (e.g., Amazon, Google, Microsoft, OpenText, and others). Certifications guarantee exceptional service quality, apart from boosting a company’s reputation and credibility.

Step 8: See their development methodologies

Agile methodology practices is often an unspoken standard for reputable software development companies. They should have the ability to scale, embrace advanced technology, and offer different pricing models. Companies using an agile development approach to software development are most likely to be flexible and open to change.  

Agile approaches take into account both productive and less production periods of development, so that projects can be completed optimally. It also gives leeway to revisions and refinements throughout the software development process, instead of depending on launch and release dates. 

Step 9: Learn about their engagement options

One way of keeping a check on your budget is by determining the scope and final goals of your project. This allows good software development outsourcing agencies to guide you towards the best engagement options.

  • A Fixed Price model is best for businesses with well-defined immutable goals for the product.
  •  Time and Material (T&M) contract works well for projects that have some definition but may need revisions.  
  • Dedicated development teams, wherein professionals work only on your project, does well for long-term projects with changing requirements. 

Step 10: Established security policy

A top-tier custom software development solutions provider works in compliance with data protection standards. Their software development solutions guarantee best practices for safe access and use of data. Make sure potential partners follow contractual, legal, and regulatory requirements, such as the following:

  • ISO 27001:2013 – Secure management systems for clients. 
  • ISO 9001:2015 – Organizational management.
  • PCI DSS – Financial data security of companies that accept card payments and handling cardholder information. 
  • GDPR – EU regulation for data protection and privacy in the European Union.
  • HIPAA – Secure handling of sensitive medical data of healthcare clients.

Step 11: Observe their work culture and ethics

Your partner software development company should match your business culture in terms of business values and priorities. Although it is seemingly unrelated, it affects efficiency and results. Software development companies that promote supportive cultures for their employees usually provide better results.

Step 12: Consider their communication methods

Communication should have as much importance on your checklist as pricing, expertise, and process. Ineffective communication caused by cultural differences or low English proficiency affect outputs and development time, and hinder cooperation.

Step 13: Ask about post-launch support

In time, you may evolve as a business and your software application will then require changes to reflect your business growth. A reputable software development company can adjust to changing business needs. If you are going to invest heavily on your enterprise solution, make sure you are also signing up for software evolution. A company with a full-cycle software development process from ideation to launch, and beyond is a good option.

Step 14: Compare the pricing

There is a reason we have kept cost as a last determining factor. The pricing of your software development project is most often the first thing that crops up in an investor’s mind. Pricing depends on variables such as scope and type of software development, expertise, technical stacks used, testing and quality control procedures. One point that should be key to choosing a company is transparency. 

Software development companies should discuss costs clearly. They should also explain their procedure of informing you about any unexpected changes and their related costs, before signing a contract.

Step 15: Shortlist top options and finalize

You now have enough information to help you see your best choices. Use all your compiled data to draw up a completive analysis and choose the software development outsourcing partner of your choice.

How to choose a software development firm for startups, SMEs, and Enterprise in 5 easy ways

Every pound a startup saves helps keep your business long-running and successful. Saving is important for businesses of all sizes, from SME to enterprise level companies. Even Twitter had shakeups recently to promote cost-saving and profits. Go through the following factors to choose a software development firm for startups, SMEs and Enterprises.

8 Questions To Help You Choose the Best Software Development Company
8 Questions To Help You Choose the Best Software Development Company

Cheap Is Not Always Best

Business-owners often fall for the cheapest quotes, like Christmas shoppers fall for discounts. The wrong outsourcing company will you in with lowered pricing but burns a hole in your pockets with revisions and upkeep.

Work-Hours and Communication 

You do not want to waste time in discussions hindered by language and communication. An off-shore partner agency in a different region or time-zone should cater to essential discussions during your work-hours.

Outdated technology 

Most custom software development companies prefer to take mid to large scale projects. Most custom software development companies prefer to take mid to large scale projects. If outsourcers have poorly written codes, and are not scrupulous about testing, analytics, records and documentation, stay away. A fraudulent company will not tell you right off the bat, that they do not possess the right capabilities. This is where the next two steps help.

Client Reviews and Portfolios 

A sound company is best represented by its website. Do check the online portals of all the companies you shortlist, in order to ascertain their expertise from past projects. Doing so will also determine the application types their software developers worked on and their existing clients. Professional custom software development companies, especially those that offer bespoke solutions have tried and tested methodologies learned through successful and failed experiences. A newer software development company might face more challenges than an established one, adding to your time and costs. 

Online Ratings and Reviews 

There are quite a few sketchy companies out there that promote themselves as the perfect software development company. Review sites such as Clutch, can help you locate credible service providers. You can select filters to narrow your search results. Create a checklist based on factors that are important to you, such as technology, expertise, price, timelines, and locations, etc. Look for the hourly rates, clients’ reviews, features, services, deadlines for companies you are interested in. Going through their blogs and trending news also helps determine their quality. 

In conclusion

Choosing a software development partner can be stressful and difficult. Documenting your priorities and project specifications can guide your hiring decision. Don’t be in a hurry to partner up, without in-depth discussions with potential partners. The right software development partner, will provide you a complete solution from ideation to launch and beyond, without a hassle. After all, software development is not easy, the partner we choose must not make it more arduous.

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Yasin Altaf

The author Yasin Altaf

Yasin Altaf is the Executive Director at GoodCore Software & Forbes Technology Council Member. Yasin’s experience in recruiting top technical talent and delivering technology solutions and B2B services spans over 20+ years. Throughout his career, he has helped businesses across industries overcome complex challenges through custom-built solutions, and enabled entrepreneurs and nascent startups to launch market-leading software products.

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