In many businesses, an ‘off-the-shelf’ software product has been purchased and whilst it lends itself to your business processes, and may seem like a solution, the fact remains that a ‘one size fits all’ approach introduces inefficiencies.

The vast diversity of business and service providers will be more productive when supported by customised software that focuses and maps directly to your businesses individuality and existing functionality – getting your business to work smarter.

An authentic solution will utilize the very latest technology to advance your business and when implemented correctly, modern technology offers many advantages to more traditional approaches. Yet there are essential considerations to ensure you, not only get the best software application development but, are also using the best software application development company.

Many companies that opt for custom software use the services of an off-shore company. On face value, they offer their services cheaper but there are many disadvantages to using this type of company.

To really maximise the ROI of custom software, the specification to fit your requirements has to be highly accurate – many off-shore companies do not offer detailed consultancy to assist you in this (or will charge extortionate rates for this “additional” service). Ensure that your provider offers a step-by-step approach that supports every stage of the development from initial analysis through to implementation and aftercare support.

Make sure your software development company speaks the same language – quite literally! Conversing with consultants and developers who do not share the same native language as your self and your business associates can, and often does, open up the field to misunderstandings. This could be in the comprehension or explanation of the requirement, a process or functionality or even agreeing on contractual obligations.

Most off-shore companies will be in a different time zone, quite often India or Russia. Unless you are prepared to pay for 24 hour support, or alternatively make yourself available 24 hours – you may well be exposed to short support windows and delayed responses to queries, concerns or the dreaded application ‘down’ time.

After care is another bone of contention; many off-shore developers will be quickly assigned to the next new project and won’t be available for continued support. There are many businesses around that will tell you horror stories; custom software being delivered but left to the user to install, implement and train their staff – no further assistance is offered or given – their developer or development team become un-contactable.

To ensure you get the best from your custom software investment take the time to know your potential software development company.  A reputable company will happily give a free consultation and discuss the life cycle process, costs and benefits to your business. They will also go that extra mile to ensure your solution covers all necessary mediums and platform whether it be a document storage solution or a mobile e-commerce platform.

Here at Vidappt our Consultants take all the time needed to review your requirements and ensure you get the very best possible service from your software development company.

By Christine Kinch.