Building Your Own Software Solution? Traits To Look For In A Custom Software Partner
For those that are seriously considering moving down the path of a custom software solution, forming a partnership with a trusted and capable custom solutions provider is key to the solution’s success. Your partnership should be a long-term prospect, as you’ll likely look to them for assistance with potential issues, modifications and expansions for years into the future. What traits does such a custom software partner possess? And how do you go about sorting the wheat from the chaff? Let’s take a look at the key considerations that will help you to find your perfect custom software match.
Matching Your Partner with Your Requirements
What form does your ideal solution take? If you’re after a simple mobile app, your perfect custom software partner could take the form of an individual developer with some good experience who you can work with directly. He’s accessible, he’s relatively inexpensive, and he’s got a proven track record of success. You can work with him rather informally, without the need for a structured development process.If on the other hand you require a Business Intelligence (BI) solution to help identify inefficiencies in your business systems and as yet untapped revenue streams, you’ll need a far more experienced engineering and project management team who will understand the complex dynamics of working with data and the intricacies of your business. You’ll need a custom solution provider with the resources, knowledge and expertise to make such a solution possible.Such process software will require far more collaboration than a simple one-off app. You need to be sure that you partner with a custom development team that puts a firm focus on long-term solutions, and that will be readily available for updates, fixes and expansions when required. No matter whether your custom solution is a temporary fix until an ERP is rolled out in 12 months’ time, or a far longer term solution that you hope will guide your business for decades to come, your choice of software partner is the most important decision you’ll make in the custom software solution process.
The Traits of an Ideal Custom Software Partner
Blonde hair, eyes that you can get lost in, a fondness for long walks on the beach? Sure, your ideal custom software partner may tick all of those boxes, but they’d be sitting quite a long way down the list of ideal traits. So what should you look for?
An inquisitive and thorough nature is vitally important in order for your custom solution provider to truly understand your business’s needs, wants and any applicable constraints. If you feel as though important questions are being left unasked by a prospective partner, they may not be the best choice. Your first meeting with a potential solution provider should never end with them stating that they know exactly what you require. Understanding a business’s situation takes time, and a good team will recognize that.
A proven track record should also be a non-negotiable. This shows that the company has knowledge and expertise, and demonstrates the sort of long-term commitment that you’ll require from your partner. Look for custom software providers that have worked on solutions similar to the one that you require, and contact the organizations that they have previously worked with to get an appraisal of their performance.
Money makes the world go round, and no matter how perfect a fit a potential software partner may seem, if you can’t afford them, you can’t afford them. Just be wary of new players in the market; these developers will offer discounted rates, but may not have the required expertise or proven track record that your solution requires. You’ll need to strike a balance between quality and affordability. It’s important to remember that the long-term financial benefits of a quality solution can grow almost exponentially, so an investment now pays dividends in the future.
An effort to bring their expertise to your business problem or opportunity should be evident. You are the expert in your business, they are the expert in technology. They should work hard to understand your problem or opportunity and help you to identify the potential technical solutions to accomplish your goals. You may have some ideas on how you’d like the solution to look, but they should regularly offer suggestions or easier ways to make your ideal solution a technical reality.
Custom Software or Off The Shelf?
You’ve identified an area of your business that has room for improvement, whether that be in the form of an opportunity to streamline your operations, or the chance to capitalize on a new revenue stream. In order to create this improvement you’ll need a capable piece of business software.In this ebook, you’ll learn what to consider when building custom software vs. buying off the shelf.
If you are ready to discuss your specific challenges or what CSG can offer, you can contact us to learn more about how to start implementing your solution.