By A. Rumyantsev, on November 8
Checklist: How to Choose Right Software Development Provider
Nowadays, businesses that actively use modern technologies face a very important task – a selection of a reliable IT partner. This entails numerous difficulties since the market is full of the companies that provide such services as development of websites, landing pages, mobile applications amid strong demand.
Naturally, every company wants to receive a top-quality product that will meet its expectations and cover business needs. However, it happens not always as not all developers provide good services and are client-oriented.
We have created a list of the main points that should be taken into account while looking at the right partner for mobile or web development. 

1. Define the type of application that will be delivered

Before placing an order, you need to clarify what application will be delivered because some challenges can appear. 
For example, you will have problems with the native app while expanding the application to another OS easily. At the same time, the cross-platform app will bear limited functionality. However, everything will depend on the needs of your business. 
If you need only Android or iOS, you may take native. The cross-platform product will be good for transferring a website to mobile. The hybrid app will be an optimal choice in terms of price, cost and quality in case of development for at least two platforms.
Development companies usually build either all types of applications or some of them. As for the applications, there are three main types native, cross-platform and hybrid with their features.
  • Native application means a software product that is created for a particular platform (Android, iOS) and is installed on a user's device from corresponding stores. In that case, the company can develop a custom application following the client's requirements. Such applications usually show better performance, but their cost can be much higher compared to other types.
  • A cross-platform application that can be launched at a different OS. Thanks to uniform code it becomes possible to deploy the application on various devices and operating systems eliminating possible challenges with comparability. It is an all-in-one approach that helps to save time and money.
  • A hybrid application is somewhere in the middle between above-mentioned applications. They are built in such a way that will be used and look like native ones. These applications run at any OS via WebView. Hybrid apps usually combine the best features of native and cross-platform apps but cost cheaper.

2. Choose the appropriate type of developers to deal with

For now, the market offers several types of software developers that potentially can fulfil your order. Below we provide a brief list of the main types of developers. 
The decision on the developer with whom you will cooperate depends on the issues that must be solved by a software product. Still, it is important to consider not only current business needs but also long-term perspectives. 
Freelancers
They make products alone. Cooperation with freelancers is quite risky and the least reliable method.
Companies that use patterns and constructors. 
The development studios that offer web sites and software products based on already existing patterns. Such companies do not create a product from scratch and use constructors to fulfil the order with custom-made variations.
Companies providing case-by-case full-scale software development. 
These developers can be split into two groups. One of them attracts outsource experts, which means that some phases of the project are completed by 3rd party developers. Meanwhile, the second one comprises firms that have a team of skilled developers, designers, QA specialists and other experts required for full-stack development.
As a result, a simple solution can be ordered from freelancers, whereas a website or application with a set of unique features and need for integration with other services should be made by a full-cycle development company. Speaking about outsource experts, this option can speed up the process, but also entails certain risks of unperformed work.

3. Does offered tech stack meets your requirements ?

While selecting the development company to entrust your project to, it is essential not to forget about technologies. Of course, a potential contractor will offer wide tech stack, but the main question whether it will fit your requirements. For that purpose, you need to check can the company provide you with a rational proposal. 
If the developer accepts all your proposals, it is the first signal to be careful since they do not have their ideas regarding technologies. In that case, you can become guilty about the product that fails to run as you expected. 
You also may pay attention to who reasonable and professional suggestions are made by the company regarding your tech proposal. In this situation, it is important to monitor how the developer selects the required technologies and communicate with you. The best scenario when the future contractor provides a detailed explanation of every proposed technology and why your choice will not work well.
In talks with the company you also need to check whether it is ready to step away from the patterns. Skilled developers will press for custom-made solutions since every project is unique, which should be considered in the development processes.

4. Check what services can be provided to your company

Before making a final decision on the cooperation, ask the company about the range of services. You may need to clarify whether they can offer all the services required for the realization of the project. It will naturally be more cost- and time-effective if the application is created by one company (from project estimate to market release).
Do they deal with just a concept? In case of a professional team, you will receive an assessment of the idea, market analysis and propose you unique features to gain advantageous positions in the market segment. On the contrary, a low-quality developer will not care what to develop.

5. Does the contractor is ready to discuss with you every detail ?

Unlike a common approach, when businesses consider initially such things as the size of potential software development contractor, pricing, experience while seeking a developer, we believe that there is one more important factor to be mentioned. This is about communication, the importance of which very often is underestimated. 
Ineffective communication in the process of development can result in a bad product. Thus, it would be useful to pay attention to emotional intelligence, cultural differences and ways of communication. Professional companies will always express strong intentions to discuss every even small detail about the project as well as clarify all aspects of future cooperation.

6. Study previous cases and overall experience of the developer

Striving to win a contract development companies usually do their best to attract a client, and thus express intentions to demonstrate their works, show unique approaches to certain problems applying different experience and skills. For that purpose, it is necessary to study the cases of the potential contractor carefully. 
At the same time, a business may pay attention to experience in development of solutions similar to the area. In that case, it would be a benefit to cooperate with a company that has commercial experience in your area, since it will provide the business with the best concept and functionality to met current market needs.

7. Make it clear pricing model and payment details

In fact, pricing is not the key factor to take into account at first, but it directly influences the decision. Of course, there is no business that would like to buy the cheapest and more specifically budget service. However, sometimes low price does not indicate bad quality.
To avoid wasting money you have to clearly realize the scale of the project and what you want to achieve. Besides, the model of cooperation, including the type of contract, will also contribute to the budget.
For example, there is no sense to hire a designer full-time if you need designing only for some period within the project. At the same time, it would economically unreasonable to pay per hour when developers are going to work the whole working week (40 hours).

8. Make sure that the company is flexible to get you project done

Following modern management models and trends is a must-have to every company that deals with software development. The potential provider of development services has to be flexible. This factor is highly important for the business. As a result, you should check whether the future contractor is flexible enough to cope with changes as your company expands. This is about scaling, an adaptation of new technologies, different pricing models and other factors.
One of the key requirements is the ability of the developer to fall in with your plans and targets as well as scale easily when needed. Another factor is the ability to apply and change technologies in line with the current trends. The tech sector is growing with leaps and bounds and today’s tech stack can become obsolete tomorrow already.  This means that the developer must be innovative, creative and keep pace with the technologies.

Search for a software developer is not a reason to rush

As you see, the selection of a potential IT partner is not just picking up any company from the search results. The process requires deep and all-round approach, including monitoring, analysis of the services and experience, communication with the company that will probably develop a business solution for you.
It is necessary to take in mind that your strategy for seeking future development partner can determine the quality of the solution you will get in the end, so do not rush and use our above-mentioned list to greatly facilitate a decision.
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