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Software Development Agency – When to Hire and How to Choose the Best Company to Cooperate?
In this post, we want to focus on the process of hiring a software development agency. When is it better to outsource instead of setting up in-house teams? How can you find the right software company for your project, and how do you verify their expertise, authenticity, and credibility? The answer to these questions and more will be discussed in this post to provide sufficient information to enable your company to efficiently find, hire, and collaborate with a software development agency.
In House Teams vs Software Development Companies
The first question that needs to be answered is what’s right for your project and the business in general – in-house teams or outsourcing to software companies? To do so, let’s understand the pros and cons of each option.
Building In House Teams
- You have full control over the team and its responsibilities.
- Full-time employees are motivated and dedicated to your company.
- The team is always present on-site during office hours.
- You can personally monitor their work and progress on any given project.
- As a part of the organization, the team fits well with your company’s cultural values.
- Costly in the long run as you must commit to a monthly salary for all team members, and there are overhead costs like setting up an office or workspace for the team, providing the required infrastructure and resources, etc.
- More often than not, you need to train the team to fit into their roles and responsibilities for the project.
- You need to arrange a recruitment process to find and hire talented software developers for the team.
Outsourcing to Software Development Agencies
- You don’t need to hire developers individually as the agency comes with its team.
- The agency comes with its own project management, so you don’t have to supervise everything yourself, and that gives you more time to focus on the core business operations.
- It’s cost-efficient as you pay them for the project on a pre-decided rate and not a monthly payroll, and the overhead costs associated with in-house teams are also removed.
- The web development process is scalable. If the scope of the project changes midway and more developers are needed, the software development agency can easily scale up the team and add more members from within their organization.
With around 70% surveyed saying outsourcing was used as a cost-cutting tool, another 40% said outsourcing provided organizational flexibility to deal with the changes felt by the pandemic; remote work and fast-paced digitalization.
- The values and culture of the software development agency may not always resonate with that of your company.
- The time difference between countries can be a challenge. In this case, flexibility from one party will be required, but usually, companies find agreement and effective solutions.
- Language barriers can be a problem. It is worth checking the communication skills of the company you are partnering with.
So Why (and When) Should You Hire a Software Development Agency?
We are in an era where not just information but most products and services have also been digitized. As such, the demand for enterprise software and mobile app development has increased in the corporate world. Regardless of their industry, most businesses rely on software applications for various purposes, such as simplifying regular operations and automating certain processes for digital innovation.
But building an in-house team is not always a favourable and feasible solution for many companies. That’s why they turn towards outsourcing. A 2019 software development industry report from Coding Sans stated that about 66.6% of companies that participated in their survey had, at some point, outsourced software development. 57.33% of those outsourced it to a software development agency (compared to individual developers and freelancers).
So how can you determine if outsourcing is the right option for you? Here are some scenarios when it’s best to hire a software development agency:
- If you and your company has very little knowledge about software and computing
- For short term projects or a one-time software development project
- If you have limited resources and infrastructure within your company to accommodate and integrate your own team
- If you want to stay focused on the core business while the agency overlooks the entire software development process
And here’s the main thing – an in-house team is permanent, well almost. They become an integral part of your company, and you can’t just dismiss them after one or two projects. So the only reason you’d opt for in-house teams is if you need a software development team to be ever-present in your company for the long run. If that’s not the case, outsourcing to a software development partner is almost always the better option.
Where Can You Find Software Development Agencies?
There are various platforms where you can find software development agencies, such as:
- Internet searches
As simple as it may sound, a quick Google search can immediately present a list of top software development companies around the world. You can visit their website, get the contact info and reach out to them for custom software development services.
LinkedIn is one of the most significant platforms for networking and connecting to people, both personally and professionally. So you are bound to find plenty of profiles for software development companies on the platform. They might even have posted their past clients and portfolio, making it easier to review their credibility in custom software development services.
- Social Media Groups
Social media is not just a place for people to connect and communicate. It’s now evolved into a powerful tool for businesses. There are hundreds of Facebook groups related to software development where you can also find different agencies or individuals representing such custom software development companies.
- Online Forums and Directories
Many websites are specially designed to connect businesses with software development agencies. Clutch and CrunchBase are two such platforms that are popular and that we’d recommend. You can find many verified software development agencies on these platforms ready to offer their services.
How to Verify the Skills and Expertise of a Software Development Company?
Perhaps the most important aspect of hiring a software development agency is to ensure they are not just good but experts at what they do. So here are some ways that you can review their skills and expertise:
- Check their portfolio
An expert software development agency will let their work speak for them. Analyze their portfolio, see what projects they have handled in the past and how well they delivered. Also, check for digital innovation projects in their portfolio.
- Run background checks
The portfolio will not tell you everything about the company, so check what their previous clients had to say about the company and its services in the form of online reviews. If you can directly reach out to one of those clients and hear in their own words what it was like working with the company, then that’s even better.
- Arrange an interview
Schedule an interview with the company and not just one of their representatives but also some of the important team members. A direct interview with the developers and management of the company is an excellent way to evaluate their expertise and communicate your requirements and expectations to see if they can deliver the project.
- Live coding session
A live coding session assigns them a task to code some basic software functionalities or a mobile app and has them do it live on screen sharing. It’s the best way to judge their core technical skills – by testing them right in front of you. This gives you an idea if they can handle custom software solutions or not.
Opt for a Specialised Software Development Company over a Generalised One
So it’s always better to look for a specialized software development agency that is an expert in a particular technology. Also, consider if they cater specifically to your industry, as many development agencies have established themselves in niche industries. Some specialize only in healthcare applications, others in enterprise software development and mobile apps, etc.
So the bottom line is, if you want software applications that perfectly suit your business and meet your requirements, then it’s better to choose the right software development partner that specializes in your industry and has a high level of expertise in specific technologies and frameworks.
Different Models of Cooperation with a Software Development Agency for Project Management
When working with a software development company, you should know about the different ways you can collaborate with them on a project. There are mainly three models of cooperation with top software development agencies:
In this model, you hire a small group of developers from the company to join your existing in-house team. Body leasing is a suitable model for organizations with a software development team but lack developers with specific expertise and want to fill in that gap.
For example, let’s say your latest project requires an AngularJS framework for the front-end digital transformation, but no one in your software team specializes in it. You then contact a software development agency, and they assign their front-end developers specializing in AngularJS to work with your back-end team for the digital transformation.
In this model, the software company assigns a full dedicated team to work on your project. The Dedicated Team model is suitable if you want a complete team to work on a long-term project without spending the time and effort to recruit the team yourself.
The project and team management will still be the responsibility of your organization. If you don’t have a software team or any developers in your company, but there are long-term software projects to work on, then hiring a dedicated team will save you a lot of time. This works well for mobile app solutions.
Project Outsourcing for Custom Software Development
The final model is project outsourcing, and as the name suggests, this model will hand over the entire project to the software development agency. From your end, you’ll tell them the project specifications, your expectations, and an overview of the final product you desire for custom software development. After that, it’s entirely up to the software company how they will complete and deliver the project.
In this model, the software agency takes care of both development and management while collaborating with them to review the progress at various stages and add any inputs if necessary. It’s a suitable model for businesses that won’t completely hand over the project to a third party to focus on their core operations fully.
Application development is one of the most frequently outsourced IT functions in 2021. More than 60% of tech companies are outsourcing at least a part of their application development.
Some Tips on Choosing the Right Software Development Company
As we discussed earlier, outsourcing software development has many benefits but some downsides too. So there are certain factors and market research to consider when cooperating with a software development agency for project management, such as:
- Arrange a meeting with the company you preselected. See if you understand each other, have common values and feel that this collaboration will work. It’s important to work in an environment where there is mutual trust.
- Contact multiple companies before hiring and perform a few rounds of screening to determine the best fit.
- Never focus only on the cost because many companies have super low rates but will usually deliver an equally low-quality product. ‘Cost-efficient’ doesn’t mean looking for the cheapest service, but finding the best service possible within your budget.
Outsourcing to software development agencies is a convenient and cost-efficient method of developing enterprise applications or business automation. We hope that the information in this post has given you a clear understanding of:
- Determining when outsourcing is the right option for your project
- Where you can find and hire expert and reliable software development companies
- Why you should look for a specialized software development agency instead of generalized ones
- And the various models of cooperation when working with software companies
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