How to choose the perfect digital partner
If you are thinking of tackling a business digitisation project, such as creating or updating software and applications that are crucial to your work, the first step is certainly to find the right partner.
But which evaluation criteria should be adopted?
With this article, we would like to provide a list of criteria to consider in order to identify the right software development company that suits you.
1. Project size
It is important for you and your potential digital partner to understand the size and importance of the project.
Initial needs and priorities, possible evolutions, development and maintenance technologies, release schedules, ongoing technical support, etc. should be carefully defined.
It goes without saying that the more articulated and continuous the project is, the more important it is to turn to a structured supplier capable of managing it from start to finish without any drawback.
2. Working team
Try to understand how many and what kind of people make up the work team. Figure out what experience/skills they have and, very importantly, whether they are employees or freelancers.
– Number of people
You don’t always need a large team. A proficient organisation and high level performances allow good results, BUT it should be considered, with reference to point 1, that a small team of 5/6 people for example (perhaps some of whom are freelancers) is unsuitable for complex projects that require continuity and reliability over time.
When it comes to creating digital products, there are many different roles involved and you can expect to be able to count on:
° Product Manager/Owner
° Solution Architect
° UX/UI Designer
° Quality Assurance
° Sales Manager
Needless to say, senior and dedicated profiles (who don’t have multiple roles) are preferred.
– Technical skills – experience
For those working in the field, having a list of known programming languages is certainly one of the first evaluation criteria BUT for “non-experts” it is equally useful to evaluate the years of experience in the field.
3. Working method
The approach and methodology proposed by the potential partner are as important as the team.
The realisation of software, applications and other digital products can also be very complex: that’s why it is essential to follow a certain method in the analysis of requirements and subsequent development activities.
There are different currents of thought and each has its own validity but, in general, it is always better to prefer the use of the most modern and widespread methodologies in the sector.
Choose an approach that allows you to:
– carefully analyse your needs
– remain informed of the progress of the work, perhaps through regular meetings, to check the developments
– obtain incremental releases that can mediate between budget / functionality and timing
A competent supplier must be up-to-date and adopt the best technologies available on the market.
We have already mentioned, when talking about the evaluation criteria for the team, the importance of the technical and technological skills of the staff but there is something else to consider.
When it comes to the technologies adopted, the supplier must prove to be adept at selecting and using the most modern systems on the market. In other words, he must also be able to make use of existing solutions, libraries, design and project management software suitable for simplifying and enriching both his work and the management of the relationship with the customer.
5. Completed projects and portfolio
Good projects in the digital partner’s work portfolio are certainly worth considering, even more so if they are accompanied by comments from customers certifying their validity.
But how important is it for these projects to be similar to what you are looking for or that the supplier has experience in your field?
Generally speaking, it plays its role, but if you approach a potential partner with the idea to develop something tailor-made for you (i.e. a unique product), it is more important to focus on the quality of their work rather than on similarity.
If, as seen before, they have the right team, the right technical skills and a good working method, they will most likely be able to handle your challenge.
But what about the cost factor?
We haven’t forgotten it. It is simply too complex a parameter to assess to provide general suggestions.
The market is wide and, above all, there are no reference price lists for customised software and APP projects.
One thing is for sure: if you want to rely on a team of serious professionals and want to create a system that makes your workflow more efficient or perhaps an innovative app to put on the market, look for a partner who shares your values and your goals.