Whether you’re ordering a dress or a piece of software, custom orders can be confusing. Since there is such fierce international competition for custom software development services, it’s especially difficult for businesses to choose wisely from all the available options. A few key services, however, will help you identify superior developers. Here is a short list of services you should expect from a custom software developer.
Commitment to Your Custom Needs
First of all, a custom software development company should be serious about the actual customization of their product. Unfortunately, there are still businesses who seek to take advantage of clients by modifying a handful of code to transform a regular product into a “customized” version. While customers do sometimes need popular programs to be customized through additional programming, these services are unique to the client.
Your developer’s primary concern should be your business needs. This is represented not only through the finished product, but through the steps the developer takes to make the commissioned software. Custom software development services should address your specific needs by asking questions and digging deeper than a checklist of features.
Face to Face Interviews
Part of accomplishing the goals in the previous section requires at least one face to face interview. Local companies are better at this than remote contractors. In order to make the best product possible, your developers need to actively seek out the elements that make your business special. These will inform their software development work.
While a phone interview has its uses, nothing beats face to face discussions. This allows for better communication, and it also gives developers a chance to see how your business works. What kind of work culture do you promote? What is your established workflow like? Are there secondary concerns that may influence the software you need? It’s easier to find these answers and develop further questions onsite.
The best custom software is a result of close collaboration between developers and clients. Although a face to face interview is an important place to start, that meeting should not represent the beginning and the end of your discussion. Clients will inevitably have questions, and their needs may shift slightly throughout the development process. A developer needs to be available in order to make sure the finished product still fits a business’s needs. Another face to face meeting may be in order, or the question may be resolved through a phone call. Either way, custom software development services that keep their developers in-office can address these concerns far more easily than a service that uses remote contractors.
If you need to speak to your developer during regular business hours, you should be able to reach them easily. Although many software development companies use separate customer service representatives, they are not as well versed in the project as the actual developer. They also slow down communication by adding an unnecessary intermediary between developer and client. If your developer isn’t available to communicate, then how can you collaborate successfully?
Developing a piece of custom software is different from installing it. Developing custom software is also very different from offering technical and emergency support later in the product’s life. However, even though these are separate services, the best custom software developers offer them. Ideally, custom software development services will care for your custom product from its inception to the day you upgrade. This means you should have access to the services listed above in addition to other common technical services.
The reason why is pretty simple. Your developer knows your software better than anyone. If the developer does the research needed to make a good product, they will also know the rest of your system reasonably well. This puts them in a unique position to deliver expedited tech support when things go wrong. A regular IT specialist would have to take time to study your custom software before pursuing the problem simply to avoid exacerbating it. Your software designer doesn’t face this obstacle.
A Fantastic Piece of Software
The most important thing you should expect from your custom software design services is, of course, a great piece of custom software. It should not only perform its designated function well, but it should support your ultimate company goals and blend in with your existing framework. Custom software should address a range of needs. These include immediate workflow problems and extend to future growth and expansions. Ultimately, you and your developer will decide which features your software needs. Keep in mind that one of the greatest advantages of a custom product is the opportunity for additions and expansions down the road.
Excellent custom software begins with excellent customer service. Demand at least one face to face meeting, and make sure the developer doesn’t just nod and accept your criteria. Custom software should be custom, and that requires a clear interest in how your business works and where the product will fit in. In the end, you should expect a truly fantastic piece of custom software.