In this blog post, we will cover the concept of custom software development, a checklist on how to choose the right custom software development company, a list of questions you should be asking before hiring a custom software development company, and when should companies build custom software.
Every company needs high-performing software.
A software equivalent to their business nervous system, which could connect their systems, applications, and processes.
As it sounds, for software development, you need a reliable custom software development company or partner. You can’t rely on some vendors you find online. Directories are good but still you need to check for the red flags yourself.
Custom software development is ‘on-point’ and defined scope development which resonates strongly with the product brand personality. Commercial or ready-made solutions are ‘time-being’ solutions but they hardly work in the future.
What is Custom Software Development?
Custom software development follows the same lifecycle of software development except that it’s designed and developed for specific users, processes, and business requirements.
Documentation is key in developing custom software as it helps in solving the right problem and will let you achieve a definite set of requirements. Do map out all requirements on specifications, use cases, test scenarios, etc. Apart from documenting, do mention what should ‘not’ be done or what’s out of scope.
While off-the-shelf offers quick market launches and startups avail the opportunity, they still want specific workflows with customized requirements.
To meet the specific company or project needs, custom software development should be your go-to choice. However, it’s important to know when to pick a custom software route and how the implementation would work.
It’s just normal software development but with a tailor-made approach to who will be using the software, where and when would it be used.
Custom software is often meant for in-house use or if developed for clients, not meant for ‘resale’ to any other third party.
Build vs Buy Segregation-Based Software Development Analysis
One of the most common concerns startups and enterprises face is if the pre-built solution or a custom software development can go with their business goals.
So let’s draw a picture here for understanding the following factors:
- Cost of the custom software
- Features of the software required
- Region of the development team
- Number of resources needed
- Timeline for building custom software
- A unique selling point for custom built
When you consider all the above factors, this is where you decide if the software, you’re aiming worth pursuing or not.
Pre-built or off-the-shelf solutions you buy will offer a quick product launch but custom software development meets your brand’s specific needs and above all will do branding and position you in a unique way.
Custom software development may consume time and resources but it helps in marketing and branding and can help in establishing customer loyalty in the longer run.
Checklist: Choosing the Right Custom Software Development Company
1- Offshore vs Onshore resourcing
If you want rigorous collaboration and sometimes visit your outsourcing team, the onshore team is readily available, easy to access, and communicates with no language or cultural barriers. Offshore development comes with quality code at half the price.
Related Article: Offshoring Software Development – When to Outsource & How to Manage?
2- Align Business Goals
See if the in-house capacity is full, or if the outsourcing team can do the tasks in half the time and half the price and if that could help in better strategizing end goals/ results.
After aligning business goals and deciding on the outsourcing team, ask your trusted friends and colleagues from the industry to refer a good custom software development company. Referrals are powerful and most of the time accurate.
4- Portfolios and Tech Stack
check if they are working in the same tech stack you wish your project to be developed and if they have done such projects in the past.
5- Don’t Go With Cheap Options
Cheap software vendors often deliver poor code and they’ve commitment issues.
6- Company Size
You cannot expect a company of 5-10 people delivers enterprise-level solutions in a given timeline, except for exceptions.
7- Browse Through Dedicated Directories
Check vendor listings on popular and dedicated directories like GoodFirms, Clutch, etc. There you get verified reviews from B2B providers.
8- Ask About Team Structure
Professional outsourcing software vendors follow agile methodologies and standard procedures. Do they manage through project managers, delivery managers, and business analysts and support sophisticated and complex custom software development?
Data and technology security must be the priority of the company you choose especially if you are working with sensitive data.
every requirement should be listed clearly in the form of business documentation. Do mention the ‘out of scope’ requirement too.
11- Communication Skills
check if the hired team is proficient enough in communication, especially the offshore development team. Set up a call with the team to check communication skills.
List of Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Custom Software Development Company
- How do you find and recruit developers in your company?
- How involved you would be in the development process and how will we be communicating?
- What software technologies do you use? Can you please share some of the software solutions you developed?
- What projects do you have done in the past related to my project?
- How much visibility in terms of reporting would I get?
- What development methodology do you follow?
- How does your company handle data privacy?
- What’s your pricing model?
- Do you offer post-launch support and maintenance?
- What collaboration tools does your company use?
- How do you conduct software testing?
- Can you please provide testimonials and reviews from past clients?
- Where are your developers located? Please share your onshore and offshore development team’s details.
- Do you specialize in specific technology stacks or specific industries or project types?
- Can you brief me on how your company balances technology and business strategy?
- Will developers be dedicated only to my project?
When Should Companies Develop Custom Software?
- Already have an in-house development team but not ENOUGH people/developers to perform tasks. Want to scale and deliver fast? You need an extended team.
- If you are looking for a specific or rare skillset your in-house team lacks, you should hire a managed team that can deliver a specific set scope of work.
- Facing a business or technical challenge? And have no clue how to handle it? You’re in need of custom software development services.
Naturally, custom software development is costly, and involves spending on infrastructure. However, it’s efficient since fulfills segmented/brand audience needs and it’s designed to support your business.
Financially speaking, you might be investing money and efforts a lot in the first phase but in the longer run, it would build your brand identity and pays off well.
One biggest plus point is, you are sure about everything compatibility with existing software. Looking for a custom software development solution? Hire a custom development team from CodeNinja.