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Outsourcing to a software development company
Business Communication

Outsourcing to a software development company

Posted on 30/09/2019
6 min read

The fact that you’re reading this article means that you have an idea for a digital product and need the best company that will provide you with exceptional outsourcing services. It’s not easy to find the best of the best, but there are things you may do to find the one that will best match your needs. 

As a software house, we know that IT industry got very demanding lately, and it’s you, the client who sets the bar level. It’s okay, it’s your project and your money, but if you really want to get the best product you need to put your requirements, your wishes and needs, your product’s features and your budget on the table. 

You and the outsourcing software development company have to get to know each other, have to understand each other and learn as much as possible about the final product. Only this way the development process will go smoothly as planned and only then you will receive the product of your dreams within time and budget. 

Now, how to find and choose the best software engineers? Well, you need to have a checklist and do your research. Ask yourself what is the most important thing for you when it comes to the specialists that you’re going to work with for another 6 to 18 months or even more. Find people who did this already, who built a digital product who outsourcing software development company. Ask if they can recommend someone. 

According to report 2019, over 66% of IT buyers have been using outsourcing services from software development companies. Dig into this article and learn what to do to finish your checklist and choose the best software company for outsourcing.

What is the best destination for outsourcing

There are 26,4 million of software engineers in the world and so many destinations to find your people. The number is still growing – the researchers from Evans Data Corporation estimated that by 2023 the number will increase up to 27,7 million.

software engineers in the world

According to the, United States has currently the largest population of software developers. Poland, on the other hand, according to HackersRank, is in the top 3 among the best developers in the world

developers in the world
source: HackerRank

Seeing these data, probably makes you wonder what kind of outsourcing to pick, onshore, nearshore or offshore. While you think about that, let me explain the difference between those three:

  • Onshore outsourcing is defined as a service provided in the same country. For example, if you are based in Poland, and you are outsourcing software development to a provider based also in Poland.
  • Nearshore outsourcing is defined as a service provided on the same continent. For instance, if you are based in Poland, and you are outsourcing to a software developer in Germany or Czech Republic.
  • Offshore outsourcing is defined as a service provided to any destination in any other time zone. For instance, if you are based in Poland, and outsourcing to a software development company based in Asia or America.

Outsourcing a software company from the same country not always is the best option. On the other hand, choosing offshore outsourcing may bring to the table problems such as 12 hours difference between time zones. 

My suggestion is to find the company with the most qualifications and skills that match your project. Here’s what you should look at:

  • team
  • references
  • case studies
  • additional help (workshops)
  • process and budget
  • process and budget

Qualified team

When it comes to choosing a team that you will be working with, you have to remember that quality is your priority. It’s your idea and your own product that you want to be proud of, so you cannot agree on lowering the quality just because it would be a little bit cheaper. 

Choose the team that knows the whole development process: continuous integration and continuous deployment, automated testing, code quality requirements, etc. It may sound and look difficult, but only if you don’t know what it is. However, if you do have the right resources, the only thing you need is money and time.

Check the resources

So you have time and money, but do you have the experience and skills? There are one or two people who are technology-wise. Unfortunately, that’s not enough if you don’t want to lose your money. Invest in a team and hire a software company with a full package: frontend software developer, backend software developer, Project Manager, software tester, UX/UI designer, Solution Architect.

Make sure you get to know them because you need a lot more than a bunch of talented geeky guys with Darth Vader on their shirts who know how to code. Ensure that they are able to create high-quality software. 

Meet them, see what environment they work at, what technology they use, how they communicate and if they really are a team that understands each other and completes their knowledge. 

Ask for developers’ CVs or projects portfolios and check what they did before. It’s obvious that you want to know what level of experience and skills they have. Bottom line, you’ll be paying for their work.

Social proof

Every year IT and tech industry have more and more demanding clients with more challenging projects. Therefore, with the constantly changing environment and technology software houses need to work twice as hard if they want to stay ahead of the curve and stand out of the crowd. 

Platforms like  Clutch, Grow Labs or DesignRush help software companies and their clients. They are based on social proof. In short, here’s how it works:

They congregate clients’ reviews and projects’ information on thousands of companies in every industry from all over the world. They analyse the data and rank the companies by location and industry, so the clients can easily find the vendors. 

Thanks to these kinds of platforms with the reviews, you can look for a best-rated software company with just a few clicks. You can filter the search results by locations, technologies, the final products, clients’ rates, etc. After selecting a brand you can view their profile, prices, details of their previous projects and technologies they used, as well as other clients’ reviews. 

It’s narrowing your searches, isn’t it great? And it’s so much better than ‘Googling’ best software development company, as the results are based on social proof, not on the money spent on advertising. 

Don’t stop here. At this point you know if the company is trustworthy, however, you should dig dipper. When you pick a few companies, make sure to read their publications on several resources like Medium, Hackernooh, Business of Apps, Steemit, IT Firms and others publish reliable reviews and rankings of software providers.  

Check the company’s profiles on social media as well. Look them up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Behance and Dribbble. See with who would you work with – are they party animals or professionals with passion? What kind of content they share. Do they have blog where they write about software development that would prove their experience?

These things may tip the balance when the time will come for the final decision.

Case studies

The outsourcing software companies fight for the clients especially when it comes to IoT, hence they encourage the potential partners by showing them examples of problems and solutions. Every software house has a range of projects and case studies available on demand. This is what you need to look at and what they are happy to share.

Companies usually have their case studies on their websites, however, you may also look at other platforms, like Behance for designers, GitHub for open-source material, YouTube for videos. It’s also good to ask them for more comprehensive examples.

Now when you know what they are capable of it’s time for the next step. I know you are excited, but take your checklist and see if your project’s features match the skills and solutions the software agency offer. Talk to them, tell them what kind of product you want to create and what is important for you. Make sure they treat you as an individual and they won’t copy solutions from previous work. 

Remember, it’s your idea, your project, and your product what you want to be proud of. They must feel the connection with you and your project if they are to join your team. However, to do that they also need to know everything about your project. So, don’t be scared, sign NDA and tell them everything about your idea. If you approach them this way, it will be a win-win situation. 

Discovery workshops

Let’s say you narrowed your searches to 3 outsourcing software companies. They are at the same level on your list. You like their technology, their team, their communication style, but you still can’t decide who to choose.

Connect with the C-level executives, talk about your project, about your vision, talk about the process, ask them questions. You might be surprised what they could offer you.

Briisk, for example, offers workshops with the client before they decide to sign the contract.

The idea is to define the exact vision of the final product so there would not be any surprises during the development. It’s always good to hear people with another perspective and it may be a good idea to talk about different approaches and solutions during the design workshops. When the software team learn about all the features, they can estimate the project more precisely (time and resources) and give you the real numbers when it comes to the budget.

Taking part in discovery workshops can give you a chance to design the mockups of your project with the UX/UI designer, PM and the developer. This is a very creative, inspirational and fun time for both sides, the client and the software team. It’s also very fruitful time because by holding mockups in your hands you can visualise the end product and see (discover) what is missing or which feature is actually not necessary.

product discovery workshops

Moreover, joining the design workshops with the development team can give a chance to experience how it is to work with them. You’ll see your product and its features, thank to which you’ll be able to implement changes before it’s too late (before you pay for it).

This way the risk of you overpaying the project decreases to a minimum because of the real scope and complexity of features discussed between you and the development team before.

Process and budget

No matter what industry, complexity or time difference, the software agency should always know what to do and be prepared for all kinds of projects. With the right process, it’s easier to make decisions and to move forward with the client’s project.

In the IT world, all outsourcing software development companies should have a ready to implement process based on agile methodologies like Scrum. This way everyone is prepared and well-informed, and what’s most importantly, you – the client get regular updates and live demos.

What you actually get when the company knows the development process:

  • Better budget control – thanks to fixed price per iteration you keep your budget on a leash
  • Proper planning – you can focus on the features that bring the most business value to your project
  • Flexibility of scope – thanks to regular software releases you can build what matters to your users
  • Regular updated – you can use the best communication tools available to always be up-to-date.

All you need to remember is to write everything down what you have mutually agreed on and refer it to the team when needed. If the development process is well prepared, according to Agile project management, following the backlog should be a piece of cake and you should get your product as planned. 

Final words

To sum up, choosing the right outsourcing software development company for your project is not easy. However, with the right tools, team and clear development processes, you can receive a great digital product. Make sure you know who you work with and let the team know you as well – it’s the only way to become business partners and guarantee yourself a success.

About the author

Dorota Kaczmarek
Dorota Kaczmarek
Marketing Manager

Digital marketer, explorer, dreamer & traveller but also a coffee lover and food connoisseur. After hours Co-Organizer of Hive61 event for startups.

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