Why You Can’t Trust Lists of “Top Custom Software Development Companies”
Custom software development is all the rage. Companies are realizing the many benefits of having a piece of software tailored to their exact needs and thus propelling the market to nearly $400B in 2018. As valuable as a custom solution is, the investment is often considered risky. When the investment is made, there isn’t an actual physical product in hand that you can see, touch or experience. You are putting your dollars into an idea in the hopes that the final product will match what you had in mind.
When you hire a custom software development firm, you are placing considerable trust in their capabilities. It’s why companies spend so much time trying to find the right one. The search may take you online, looking for options. If you’ve ever tried to search for top custom software development companies, you know you won’t get a single list. It seems as though every “expert” and source has their own list and few of their recommendations overlap.
Which source can you trust? Why are all of the lists so different? Are the “experts” getting incentives or kickbacks from any of the firms they list? It’s hard to know when no one has to be transparent about their intentions. Instead of searching online lists, we recommend the following steps to find the top custom software development company – for you.
1. Assess your needs
This step may sound obvious, but you can’t find the ideal partner until you know exactly what you are looking to do. Every company excels at one or more things – some focus strictly on UX design, for example, while others can offer a comprehensive list of services. When you marry your project scope with the specialized expertise of a development company, you’ve created a wonderful partnership with better odds of success.
2. Decide between local, national or international
When you are comparing top custom software development companies, you will find there are a variety of ways they can be structured. Some are strictly local, providing all of your project management, design and development skills in-house. Others may have a local presence but outsource the technical work to talent outside of your city or even the U.S. Decide what’s important to you and what your expectations are with communication, collaboration and in-person meetings.
3. Ask for examples
Any company can claim they can build you a web app or mobile app, but until you see their work, you won’t know if they can truly deliver an end product your company would be happy to call theirs. Ask for the contact information of their customer(s) to gain perspective on what you can expect. Did the firm stay within budget? Did the final product match the original idea? If not, why were there changes? Did the firm deliver the product on time? If not, what caused the delays and how were those handled? Questions like these will help you see how well the development firm managed the entire process.
4. Consider your budget
Custom software is an investment and you must be realistic as to what it will cost. Every firm will approach pricing a bit differently, so ask and get it in writing. Leave some cushion in your budget with the expectation that things happen in every project that can impact the final cost. If budget is a top priority, you want to know the company can manage their work and time effectively to respect your budget.
In the end, a “top list of custom software development companies” is highly subjective and leaves much to be desired. A firm that one source deems as the best may not align with your needs. Do your homework and find your own “top” firm and you’ll be better off.