Thanh Pham is the CEO of Saigon Technology, a top offshore software development company in Vietnam.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many of us developed new, special habits, many of which led to troublesome consequences for people around the world. One of these is the increased use of software, such as meeting platforms, data storage platforms and communication platforms.
The demand outweighs the supply. In some countries, there aren’t enough human resources for the software industry, making it hard to secure the right talent for your projects. Because of this, many companies are turning to software outsourcing services. But how can you determine what team or organization is right for your business?
Software Development: A Bright Spot In The Midst Of A Difficult Time?
The pace of software development in this day and age is very fast, bringing prospects and benefits to production teams, software teams and end users. Many countries have made strides in handling the pandemic, with vaccines on the rise (and “vaccine passports” on the horizon), but other countries are still struggling.
Because of this, social distancing is still king. Special habits like working from home, wearing masks, washing hands often, avoiding large gatherings, shopping online and limiting cash use are still required in this new normal.
As such, software development has skyrocketed. In 2020, 97% of IT executives interviewed revealed that their company is trying to transform in the fastest and most effective way. This number is expected to increase similarly in 2021. But how can these companies tackle digital transformation if their country doesn’t have a large supply of developers? This is where software outsourcing plays an important role. Whether it’s onshore, nearshore or offshore software outsourcing, businesses must choose one or two strategic service providers to accomplish their goals.
But how do you know which company is right for your organization? Start with these tips:
Is a time zone difference a concern?
The first question I would ask when considering a software development partner is whether the team is located near or far away from your company.
Just open the world clock to check whether the time zone difference between your company and a potential partner is significant. Take note of what time of day it’s best to meet new clients and how your potential partner’s workday lines up with your customers’ average day. If developers need to sprint to finish a step or project, will it be ready for when customers wake up?
When making this decision, make sure to select a company that has proven experience balancing multiple projects and timeframes. You want them to be able to coordinate everything smoothly.
What is their initial attitude?
When you first approach a potential partner, first impressions are important, but they don’t define everything. However, this first experience will tell you a lot about your initial attachment to a potential software outsourcing partner. Be sure to vet their expertise and their willingness to answer questions or offer help when needed. In addition, check to see if they ask meaningful questions about your company and its projects. The way they approach their interactions in this vein will help you ask more questions about their offered services.
You can approach potential partners with case-oriented inquiries as needed, but be sure to go into those discussions with some knowledge about how your project might pan out or what its timeline looks like. Don’t let them “realize” your project on their own. If needed, you can set up a test agreement, in which they provide a sample of what they might release. This will help you build confidence in them as potential partners.
Do they communicate honestly and openly?
Can you and the software outsourcing team communicate smoothly? Are miscommunications left to a minimum? Even if you’ve only been speaking to this company for a few days, those first few interactions should be telling.
Make yourself a list of the questions you will ask the software company, along with the information you need to get from their answers. No matter how slick or clever their answers are, if they don’t provide the answers you need, then what’s the point of communicating? Communication is key in most situations, so don’t partner with someone who doesn’t do it well.
Check The Reviews
Reviews are a great jumping-off point. Nobody will deny that companies often “seed” good reviews on platforms, and there will naturally be some false reviews for any company you research. However, there will still be organic evaluations from true customers out there.
Instead of passively reading every single review passively on your computer, check reviews on each end of the spectrum — and be sure to ask for additional information before you commit to a provider.
With this, you have the tools you need to start vetting possible software development partners. I wish you luck in your selection process!
Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?