Software Consulting

How to Ensure a Software Consulting Company Is Reliable

consulting
Many of today’s businesses rely heavily on technology, be it for their internal operations or for their products and services offered to end clients. Planning, designing, building, and deploying these technologies is crucial to success, and more often than not, it is more difficult that it seems.

Organizing and managing all IT solutions in-house can be expensive, timely, and stressful, especially if it is not your area of expertise and you are not sure what you are doing.

When you need unbiased solutions for your company’s tech needs, it is best to hire a software consulting company that can deliver expert solutions. But much like everything else, hiring a software consulting company will have its ups and downs. Before moving towards this direction, you might want to do a quick background check.

Here is a guide on how to ensure a software consulting company is reliable and the right fit for your project:

programmers
Software consulting companies don’t just develop software programs. They meet one-on-one with business owners, find out their business needs, and create software solutions to make their day-to day operations run smoothly.

5 Factors to Consider When Hiring a Software Consulting Company

Hiring a software consulting company surely is not an easy task. You need to do more than your fair share of due diligence to find a consulting company that is a fit not only for your project requirements but also to your team and organizational dynamics.

To do this properly, there are a number of things that are crucial to consider when choosing the right consulting company. Here are some of the most essential ones:

1. The Company’s Profile

Just like in any hiring process, you need to be thorough and go through all the available information about the companies you are considering. Learn more about their history, how long they have been in business, and which companies are included in their client portfolio.

One of the main advantages of working with an outsourcing consulting company is their ability to combine different knowledge, skill sets, and expertise into one team. They look at and tackle the project from different points of view. One of the last things you want when starting a new IT project is to partner with a good consulting company that has no experience with your specific project requirements.

Without the right skills and expertise, an inexperienced but ‘good’ team will have a hard time pushing your project. As such, you will want one that has the expertise for the specific software development project that you have.

A top-notch consulting company does not only provide advice from a technical perspective, but a rounded point of view as well — including the business and client POV.  They not only take the lead on the project, but also know the ins and outs, from back to front.

2. Past Projects

When looking at a consulting company’s past works, you not only want to look for an appreciable list of names and clients, but also a history of success. This does not only mean the successful launch of a project, but also if it was on time, on budget, made to specifications, and has continuing post-launch support. Software consulting firms who are confident of their work would be more than happy to get you in touch with their former clients.

Ask for feedback from former clients and partners. If you can, ask specific questions like how was their work process, project duration, communication, skills, and challenges along the way. Better if they can provide previous case studies, as you can get a clear grasp of their services, technologies and their workflow.

Also, a good sign to look out for is if they have current clients who they have been partners with for several years. These long-term clients have the most information regarding the company and shows their work is great enough to continue with the partnership.

3. Communication

One of the most important elements of a successful business relationship is open communication between the client and the provider. As a client, you should be able to explain in detail your specific needs for the IT project, and in turn, the consultants can give their honest, objective opinions.

When scouting for a software consulting company, look for professionals with great communication skills, understand what you are saying, and pay attention to your needs and goals.

In these complicated projects, you do not want a yes-man who will only do what you ask them to without question or input. The consultants you will be working with should have a thorough understanding of the project scope and demands, and can offer genuine, effective solutions even if it means having to constantly update the project details.

During your initial talks with prospective partners, observe if they can communicate what they perceive as the best solution technology-wise or whether they also have enough experience to see the project from both the business and technology perspectives. Such broad perception is crucial for a project’s success. At DevsData, we always make sure to understand business aspects, as well as technical ones of each project we develop.

If you are hiring a remote company, ask them about work schedules. Time zone differences may be confusing, but it is crucial for a smooth flow of communication.

4. Pricing

Working with a consulting firm is an investment, in that it can likely yield numerous economic benefits in the future, but you will have to face sizable expenses in the short term. It is why the project costs need to be taken into account when choosing which firm to work with.

However, do not settle for the thinking that the cheaper the price tag, the better. In many software development projects, you get what you pay for. There is a reason why many professionals put a high price tag on their services because they are selling you years of experience and expertise to ensure the work is not sloppy and haphazardly done.

A good rule of thumb is to look for a software consulting firm offering the best cost-benefit ratio that is within your pre-defined budget limits. Also take into account the project timeline, the breakdown of expenses, and the composition of the team who will work on your project.

At DevsData, we know that every IT development project is unique to each business, which is why we also understand that pricing and contracts will be different for each client. They should be able to offer you the best work and payment options based on your needs. More information about contract types and how pricing works on a previous blog of ours.

Gather and compare several proposals that fit your project requirements, and then decide which one makes the most sense for your budget and business needs. Ensure that everything checks out, from the timeline down to project deliverables.

5. Support

When the project is complete, will the consulting team still have your back in case some issues come up? Ask about the level of support they offer, and at what cost. You never want to be left holding the bag (or in this case, the bug) when technical problems arise and the ones who made the software are unresponsive.

It is always easier to work with the group that made the original project design and wrote the original code to fix problems than to have a new team come in and clean it up. When considering the partner candidates, make sure post-implementation support is included in the discussions and the contract so you and your software will not be left lagging when version 2 needs to be implemented.

Moreover, project support in software consulting and development is not just about post-implementation services, but also pre- and mid-implementation. Great consultants and project managers will always be open to (even supportive of) knowledge transfer; they will provide training and support so your team can understand the project better, do the work more efficiently, and up their skill sets.

To summarize, you will want a software consulting company that can develop and improve your project as a whole. They should be able to keep their commitments, communicate clearly and regularly, be able to finish the job and of course, have the professionalism to own up if issues come up.
looking for web engineers
From initial talks, do they seem to understand what you want to build? Do they “get” your vision? If not, you could run into a lot of trouble down the road.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

Choosing the right software consulting company is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. The same way there are things you need to look for in the consultants you are considering, there are also red flags you need to watch out for.

As with red flags, if you encounter any of these during your vendor screening process, you might want to reconsider your options:

  • They are not willing to provide you with contact with their previous clients. As explained earlier, you will need references to show bona fides. If they cannot provide, it could mean they have had very few clients or their work is not good enough for previous clients to recommend them. They should be able to give you names, phone numbers, and past projects’ details.
  • They have not built anything similar to your current project. While every consulting company needs to start somewhere before they can become big, it will be a risk to give your project to a team that has not handled anything similar. Especially if it is a complex build, it might be best to let the professionals handle it. Of course, there is the argument of giving them their first big break and they just might surprise you, but again, it is a risk you should weigh first.
  • They do not fully understand the core technology you want to use or are not up-to-date with the latest trends. The IT and software development industry is ever-changing. As such, you will want professionals who change with the times. Have one of your in-house team members (like an experienced senior software engineer) to talk to candidates from a technical standpoint. Ideally, you should also involve a problem-solving challenge.
  • Their engineers do not have the right skills for the job. If you see they do not fully understand your projects, they are unlikely to perform well.
  • You feel the initial communication is not positive, it will be even worse if you decide to go on with the project.
  • Their pricing is questionably cheap. If the price is too low, it can be a sign they are not actually good. Dirt cheap pricing could likely mean the work is subpar.
  • They do not have the same vision of the final product as you. Not being on the same page with the development team is a recipe for disaster.
  • They do not consider maintaining the project. This can be the sign of the low quality of the product and high maintenance costs.

Finding a Reliable Software Consulting Company

Trying to manage all of your IT solutions in-house can be hectic and costly, not only in money but also manpower, time, and other resources. Hiring a software consulting company is a great idea if you want to ensure your business is competing at the highest level, but only if you choose the right one. Remember that your decision should only be made after doing your due diligence.

By going over these 5 factors when hiring a software consulting company, you can ensure that you are able to collaborate with a reliable development team who will see your success from the start to finish and beyond.

Make sure you are able to compete with the latest tech and to get off on the right foot on a software development project by reaching out to us at DevsData. We are a technology consulting company and software agency based in New York City and Europe. Equipped with Google-level engineers, we have the skills, experience, and resources to build complex, personalized technology systems to grow your business.

Reach out to us today!

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