How to Find a Reliable Software Development Partner
Finding a software development partner is a process that comes with a lot of nuances and stages. This model is incredibly beneficial, so it is no wonder that the global IT outsourcing market reached $92.5 billion in 2019 and is projected to continue growing.
As for looking for a credible service provider, this guide will show you the step-by-step process. We’ll also cover the factors to pay attention to and what to look for.
Step 1: Define What Do You Need From a Partnership
The first step in a software development partnership is to know what you need. There are plenty of software development companies all over the world, and they offer a variety of services. Before you even start your research, it is important to define the objectives of future cooperation.
Define the Goal
Start by answering the fundamental question of what software you need and what is its main purpose. Do you need a custom website, a mobile app, or an internal communication solution? All of these projects have different tech scopes and specifics. Define the goal you want to achieve, the audience that will use the end product, and the main tasks on how to achieve it.
Draft Project Scope
Do not worry; you do not need to be a software developer to create a draft. You need to make a presentation of what you are expecting in terms of functionality, front-end (the part of app users see), and backend (the server side where the processes take place). Project scope means what should be done and the expected result. One can use other solutions as an example to explain the features they want to have.
It also will be great to have a couple of user stories – the tasks and activities future users will perform with the solution.
Decide on Technical Details
Evaluate what platforms you use; for example, is it an app for iOS OR Android. Or would you like the solution to be cloud-based? If there was some work done already in this regard, define what technology was used (programming language, server management system, testing environment, etc.).
Of course, budgeting such a project at an early stage is tricky. But the amount of money you are willing to spend impacts the choice of partner in development directly. Think about the rates your company can afford and consider that there might be unexpected disbursements. For example, the environment might change, and a solution will require new additional features added. All of that is hours of work.
Explore Case Studies
It is an additional step, but do a little market research if you want to come prepared. Look at similar solutions out there and think of what can be improved or done differently. Check out case studies and define what is desirable and what is not for the future project. Sometimes it is easier to identify requirements based on real-life examples than only imagination.
Step 2: Decide On a Partnership Model
When it comes to outsourcing, there are three main partnership models. The one you decide on will narrow down the search for a reliable app development partner dramatically. So what are these models?
Traditional outsourcing means delegating tasks to a development partner in any other country far away. So, for example, a company in Japan can work with a Ukrainian software development partner on a project. They choose a company with a team of versatile professionals that cover all the project needs and tasks.
Nearshoring is different mostly in terms of geographical location. This model means finding app development partners in a neighboring or closely located country. In such a case, a US business chooses to work with a Mexican service provider, for instance. It means fewer time differences and a closer cultural fit. But it is also more expensive than outsourcing to distant countries as the rates in one region have a lower fluctuation index.
The third model is working with IT recruitment agencies. It doesn’t concern the geographical location but rather the type of partnership. Instead of getting a ready team like in outsourcing, an agency finds the suitable team for you. So every candidate is hand-picked and selected for this particular project and to be a part of an in-house team.
Here is a comparison table of all three models to make an informed decision on software partnerships:
Step 3: Choose a Destination
Now it is time to decide on the destination of your app development partnership. Overall, there are three main outsourcing destinations right now:
- Asia and Pacific (APAC);
- Eastern Europe;
- South America.
Each of these regions has several prominent countries when it comes to IT services. And major benefits and some concerns are attached. Let’s go over each one in some detail.
Asia and Pacific
APAC is one of the traditional outsourcing regions, with the major players being India and China. However, there are many partnering software providers in the other countries of this destination. India and China were at the forefront of the outsourcing market and remain attractive due to low rates. They are still the largest service suppliers worldwide.
The benefits include low wages, experienced providers, and a huge talent pool. The IT infrastructures of the countries are decently developed as well. There are also a lot of international companies’ offices and R&Ds.
The risks have to do with possible low quality of work and far destination. There is also a significant language and cultural barrier when it comes to business ethics. The option is not ideal for every business because of the time zone differences.
Eastern Europe is a rather new destination in comparison to Asia. But it has a strong presence already. The leading countries here are Ukraine, Poland, and Romania. The IT service market of these countries grows 4-5 times faster than worldwide, according to a recent report. The talent pool is also great; the same report estimates it as 580,000 professionals for three countries. The IT infrastructures are highly developed and the IT industry is supported by governments.
The main benefits include high quality of work, low wages compared to the US, UK, Canada, or Western Europe. Local professionals also have a good command of English and are well-educated.
Ukraine, for example, is conveniently located in the middle of Europe, which resolves all issues with time zones and communication. And as a European country, it has similar business ethics and culture. Not surprisingly, Ukraine is gaining momentum in the software development market as an ideal quality and price ratio.
South America is a large outsourcing market that US or Canadian companies mostly choose. Its main advantage is that it is closely located and there is often less time difference between countries. The main destinations here are Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. The countries have a huge talent pool, many developers know English very well, and the governments support the development.
Mexico, for example, has several tech parks while Brazil is investing in fast internet and advances IT infrastructure.
What Aspects to Consider When Choosing Destination?
As mentioned before, each destination has its specifics. So when considering which one to choose, think about the following factors:
- Distance from headquarters. It is a crucial concern as the farther the distance, the more problematic control and management get. Communication is a vital point when delegating a project, so make sure there is a comfortable solution for your business when you can have online or in-person meetings as well as fast response in case of any issues.
- Size of tech pool available. This one is another important factor that will impact the availability of the specialists needed. One of the contributing factors to outsourcing’s popularity is that it is often hard to find suitable employees locally as there is a talent shortage. For instance, Ukraine has more than 172,000 IT professionals, which is a significant number.
- Level of education and skills. Of course, it also depends on a person, but it is essential to look at the average education level and the quality of education in general. In this regard, Eastern Europe has a great reputation. The skills can be tested by tech interviews or tests task. And you can also look at international ratings like TopCoder for different countries.
- Cultural similarity. Some businesses disregard this factor, which is a mistake. Cultural fits help to build fruitful cooperation and communication. It ensures that the risks of miscommunication are much lower.
- Data protection rules. Business needs to be secure and protected in terms of sensitive data and information of future software users. Of course, it is usually taken care of by a software development partnership agreement. Still, one also needs to check whether the provider follows international guidelines and data protection regulations.
- English proficiency of the team and developers. This is a must as the ability to communicate directly is essential. One can check out the Global English Proficiency Index for different countries.
Keep in mind all of these things when looking for a software development partner. Easter Europe and Ukraine in particular, seem like a perfect fit for almost any business. But make a decision based on your needs, of course.
Step 4: Make a Shortlist of Promising Companies and Schedule Calls
After you are done with all the steps mentioned above, it is time to create a list of companies you consider as potential partners. One can find them online or via advice. There are also such sites as Clutch that have reviews and testimonials from former clients.
When researching vendors, pay attention to:
- Their experience in the field and with your particular industry
- Portfolio or case studies of the projects the vendor have already done, will be an illustration of their skills
- Reviews and testimonials from clients that have worked with them
- Regulation compliance and encryption as well as other data safety measures
- Scalability of the projects and flexible cooperation models
- Post-release support and management
Mobilunity – Trusted Ukrainian Vendor
If you decide on hiring a development team in Ukraine, search no more than Mobilunity. We are a Ukrainian outstaffing company with more than a decade of experience in this field. We have provided highly skilled teams of developers for many businesses all over the world.
No matter the scope of your project or the tech stack you are looking for – our team can find the top-notch specialists in Ukraine for you.