Cost-effective, efficient, versatile – it’s not hard to see why outsourcing software development is such a popular choice. Software development outsourcing allows you to get your essential development work done by an off-site extension of your team, who works exclusively towards your goals while saving your company time, space, and money. Nonetheless, finding the right software outsourcing company means doing your research. It is very important to know how to ask the right questions when looking for an outsourcing software development company. These 6 questions should give you a great start.
1. What is their technological expertise?
Your first question will probably be regarding the technical training and expertise of the outsourced software development team. Your project has requirements that you need to meet, so ask about the team’s professional training and experience. You might ask them about past projects that are similar to the project you need done. You may want to ensure they are skilled to use the necessary technology and programs. ‘Familiarity’ or knowledge of a certain programming language will likely not be enough – it takes hours to ‘learn’ a programming language, but years to develop skill and expertise. It can also be helpful to ask for testimonials or recommendations from past clients that had similar projects done.
2. Where will the software development team be located?
When it comes to outsourcing, you can choose between onshore, nearshore, and offshore options. Onshore means they are located in your same region or country, whereas nearshore means that they are located within your general geographic location. Offshore mans that they are located outside of your geographic location. Nearshore options provide benefits related to a shared language and shared culture that can make communication easier. Offshore companies may also be so far away there is a considerable cultural and time difference, which can make communication even more difficult.
3. Will you be able to communicate directly with your team?
When you select an outsourcing company, consider how you want to communicate with the company and the team. Some companies can provide a project manager or other person in a leadership position that handles all communication and then distributes it to the development team. Others may prefer to communicate directly with your team. Effective communication reduces errors and misinformation, making the work move more quickly and accurately.
4. Will they sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?
Depending on your business and the software you want developed, it may be really important to you that the information and product be kept confidential. A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a document in which the outsourcing company and team is agreeing to keep the information they learn and the work they do private. This can be very important where product or information leak could spell a significant business disadvantage.
5. Will they sign a Contract or Statement of Work (SOW)?
Another important document during the research and decision process in selecting a software outsourcing company, is a Contract or Statement of Work (SOW). This document is primarily used to protect your Intellectual Property. You want to ensure that the work you have done is done on a “work for hire” basis and that all of the software created during that process actually belongs to your company. If the potential outsourcing company does not want to sign a SOW, it’s a clear sign you shouldn’t work with them.
6. What is their typical timeline and process?
Ask your prospective software outsourcing company what their typical timeline and process looks like. You may want to know how they will work through your project, and how they will communicate with you about progress. This will help to set clear expectations about the completion of a project, and what needs to be done if the project is delayed for some reason. Understanding the methods they will use for quality assurance and testing, and when that will occur, is essential to ensure your software is bug free and ready to hit the market.
Hiring a software development outsourcing company can fast track your business success, but only if you make the right choice. Make sure your software development outsourcing company checks out by asking these questions before hiring for your project.