7 Tips ...
... to find the perfect IT service providerFind the perfect software developer with these 7 tips
Are you looking for a software development provider? Your project needs an individual software solution? You’re spoiled for choice – this is true not only at the supermarket shelf, but also when searching for and selecting a suitable IT service provider. Whether it’s an internationally established IT company or the freelancer from the neighborhood: When selecting an IT service provider, you should consider hard criteria just as much as the soft skills of the IT providers.
Looking for an IT service provider for custom software? You are guaranteed to find the right one.
1. pay attention to the correct technique
Technology counts. If your software project requires a special technology, then you should pay attention when selecting the IT service provider to whether the provider has a focus in this area or can at least show recent and meaningful reference projects. For example, if you want to have a web application developed in the C# programming language, you should only put IT companies on your longlist that have a great deal of experience in this area.
If the programming language for your individual software project is still open, you should only focus on IT service providers that offer software consulting in addition to software development.
2. Give me the code!
In a nutshell: IT service providers who do not hand over the source code of the software to you after completion should be crossed off your list directly. Background: With custom-built software, you commission a tailor-made software and bear the development costs. If – for whatever reason – the cooperation with the developer is terminated, you absolutely need the source code in order to have changes made to the software. Reputable IT service providers hand over the source code to you free of charge as soon as the software has been developed according to the order.
3. Do we fit together?
Do you have a huge software project that needs to be rolled out to all company locations worldwide? Then you’d better not choose the small, friendly 3-man development team from next door. Would you like to have a small app programmed for your HR department? Then the globally positioned IT company is not always the best choice. In short, the IT service provider should fit the size of your project. Based on the planned budget for your software project, you can filter the suitable service providers. Ideally, your projects should be worth at least 0.2 percent of the IT service provider’s annual revenue. To avoid too much mutual dependency, your order budget should not exceed 50 percent of the annual revenue of the selected IT service provider.
4. The team counts
The right team is crucial for the selection of the IT service provider. Before signing the contract, get to know the contact persons who will manage your project. In addition to technical competence, it is also important that you are on a good human level. Good contact persons speak your language and can also be reached ad hoc for personal exchanges. IT projects are often outsourced – to nearshore or offshore companies whose developers are based in Eastern Europe or Asia. Although this usually saves costs, it is also dangerous. Because as soon as a project gets into trouble, it becomes difficult with far-away companies from abroad to fix the problem quickly and without high additional costs.
Before starting, you should also have the software company’s team structure explained to you: Do you work directly with a programmer? Are other levels involved, such as project managers or the management? How does the IT service provider proceed if the programmer should drop out? Is there a smooth transfer of knowledge within the company that will ensure that your project can continue seamlessly in this case?
5. Choose future proof
When looking for the right IT company, what also counts is how future-proof the provider is. After all, the life cycle of custom software is in many cases dependent on the availability of the programmer. Should the programmer drop out – for example because of a job change or because there is a conflict – your investment is at stake. Therefore, always rely on IT service providers who have several programmers and can offer you adequate replacements in the event of a breakdown. Also pay attention to how the IT provider is positioned in the long term. After all, custom software is long-lasting and can run for 10 years or more with regular maintenance and development. Choose a software developer whose management and programmers can still work for you in many years. In this way, you avoid loss of know-how and unnecessary costs when you change providers at a later date. By the way: We at trinidat are planning for the long term and, with Tobias Geisler as our third managing director since May 2021, have rejuvenated our company management and geared it towards the future.
6. Is the quality right?
Software is often a product that is as complex as it is sensitive. That’s why the right quality assurance measures are crucial when developing custom software and standard applications. Ask the IT service provider in advance how it ensures the quality of your software and how you can check compliance with the measures. Also look out for certifications, such as the Microsoft and Oracle certificates. Among other things, trinidat is certified as a “Microsoft Certified Partner”, which guarantees tested knowledge and high service quality in the Microsoft technology environment.
You should also keep a close eye on the IT company when it comes to project management. Have the procedure and the selected project management model explained to you. Standardized procedures such as the agile waterfall model or Scrum are established in software development. It is also important that the IT service provider offers structured software testing with a test plan and test protocol. You can read more about quality assurance in this article.
7. Well prepared
Well prepared is half the battle. This also applies to the selection of an IT service provider. Draw up your requirements for the software in full: What is indispensable? What features and functions should the software have. Who should work with the application? In which IT environment should the software integrate? Using the tips described above, you can now narrow down your choice of vendors to consider. The IT service providers on your short list should participate in your tender under the same initial conditions. Even for smaller projects, it is advisable to always get quotes from at least three providers. Compare costs and conditions, references and competencies, and go for the partner that suits you best.
Manfred Hoffbauer, trinidat Managing Director
Get advice now without obligation
Do you have questions about choosing an IT service provider? Then arrange a free initial consultation with our managing director Manfred Hoffbauer.