Questions YOU need to ask when choosing a contract software development company

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It’s a big decision, so you want to make sure you are getting it right. If you are contemplating choosing new business software soon, and looking at using a contract software development company, here are some questions you need to ask to help narrow down what is the right choice for you.

What do you want the software to do?

It sounds like a no brainer, but a list of must have functionality is a great starting point for figuring out what is important to your business. Whether you are working from a myriad of spreadsheets or a mix of different applications, think about what will make life easier, save on time, and enhance your customer service. For example if you choosing accounting software, you would want to have items such as; Simple invoicing, Financial reports, Ability to send receipts.

Look at supplier location

Different countries have different laws and requirements. It’s always best to find a contract software development company in your own country, or at least in a country which has data sharing agreements in place, and a regulatory environment you are happy with.

What do other customers think?

Do some research, if you are looking at ‘off the shelf’ software read customer reviews, see what other customers think. If you are looking at a bespoke piece look at other pieces of software the contract software developers have built, read their customer reviews and case studies.

What are the ongoing costs?

Any reputable software company will give you a full breakdown of all costs upfront, to make sure there are no hidden extras or surprises down the line. If you are choosing an ‘Off the Shelf’ piece, many software companies have a short trial period, and then start charging either by month or annually. Some software comes with certain additional costs, such as per feature and per user . Ensure you get the full costs up front, so you can determine the ongoing costs from the off set.

Should I pay for a consultation report?

When looking at a bespoke piece of software, many software companies will look at writing a proposal or consultation for an upfront fee. Project consultations can save you money in the long run, by fully scoping out your project, looking at where you can potentially save time and money and give you a written report with full costings, detailing how your new system will work. Many companies will then refund the cost of the report, if you then choose to go ahead with the project. If you decide you don’t want that company to complete the project, you have a detailed report documenting how your system could work, that you can give to another developer to implement.

What security is included?

GPDR is so important, there has been news of security and privacy leaks by software companies that have ended up costing millions for their business customers. You want to ensure the company you choose understands GDPR and have the tools in place to support you and your company.

In summary

Business software should always be about taking the stresses and strains out of running your business. A good contract software development company, will look at your workflow, process and applications and write a system around streamlining your processes, securing your data, making planning for the day, week month and year a walk in the park… whilst ultimately keeping you in full control.