What are the top traits for software development companies?
Building a new business application? Overhauling a billing or customer management platform, launching a mobile-first app, or simply looking into a software development project? Confused? That’s understandable: it’s a complex and crowded market. There are now so many UK-based software development companies promising bespoke, cost-efficient, rapid time-to-market solutions.
Losing money or failing to digitalise effectively are simply not options in today’s uncertain economic climate. So, how can you be sure you’re picking your perfect app development partner? We’ve rounded up the top traits that any prospective partner should have.
1. Has a full-service team
Building a new business application isn’t just a load of coding. It also requires graphic design, project development and management, knowledge of user experience, brand-building, marketing, and an understanding of the business landscape in which your company operates. A software development company should therefore be able to offer all of these things.
From the kick-off of a bespoke software development project, a firm should be clear in how each of these elements will deliver on your goals and result in the right application for your business. Communication should be frequent and ongoing, and should involve figures from across the agency. Alarm bells should be ringing if you’re in the early stages of a project and have only been talking to people in sales and marketing roles.
2. Offers software consultancy and proactive communication
Software is complex. While a software development team should be technical experts themselves, they should also be aware that their clients rarely are. Bespoke software development isn’t just about tailor-made technical solutions: it’s also about a bespoke approach to client consultancy and communications.
A software agency should therefore be able to offer so much more than bare bones tech. It should be comprised of a team of leading software practitioners who liaise with their clients throughout a project. Software developers aren’t yes men and women there to please their clients; they should offer guidance, frank advice, set expectations and ensure realistic outcomes.
3. Delivers bespoke software via proven methodologies
With bespoke software and business application projects, the means of getting to the end result is often just as important as the end result itself. A decent software development firm should work by this mantra. Instead of working from written specs and wire frames, an agency should work from design and use a combination of agile and waterfall delivery.
This process ensures ongoing involvement with the client, and ensures that the solution evolves based on testing, feedback and subsequent adaptation. Combining this approach with elements of waterfall delivery (a more traditional, methodical and structured approach), means projects remain on time and – crucially – on budget.
4. Has both a global outlook and UK-based software development management team
Communication throughout a project is an important factor in its success. Yet communication is problematised if you’re dealing with a software and app development company that’s based on the other side of the world. Another important factor in a project’s success is the skillset of the teams collaborating on it. For this, it’s helpful (and often economical) to look to a global market for talent – which naturally poses a challenge in terms of communication!
The solution is a development firm based in the UK, which also has team members based in tech hubs around the world. But remember: the UK base shouldn’t merely be a sales office or marketing front. Instead, the top software firms will be headquartered in the UK, with management teams and others working and communicating from a UK base, enabling them to leverage local market knowledge.
These are the top traits to look for when choosing a software development firm. And if you’re still not sure when you’re doing your research, then ask questions. A professional, experienced software development firm will always have a team on hand to chat. Speaking of which – why not get in touch to discuss your next project?