Business Solutions Offered By Great Software Development Companies
Many businesses require additional software to compile and store important information and data, host dashboards, and ultimately cultivate information used for “business intelligence.” Software development agencies can create business intelligence solutions for data reporting, both in cloud-based and traditional programs.
Not all software is used for web design. Some exist purely to improve business productivity. But the best software development companies don’t just focus on web -- they are ready for any business growth solution that comes their way.
An intranet is a private “website” only available to a company’s staff members. Because they are so safeguarded, they way they are developed differs from traditional public internet websites -- but top software development agencies can create them with ease.
It’s easy to forget the importance of intranets, but many large-scale companies or businesses with remote employees rely on corporate web-based systems to inform employees, onboard new hires, reinforce core values and improve overall workflow.
Great software development companies have expert teams dedicated to facilitating smooth integrations with third-party programs, such as customer relationship management systems (CRMs) or email marketing providers. These processes can be long, drawn out and complicated without a knowledgeable developer taking the lead.
Already integrated but need some guidance? Some software development companies are available to consult on CRMs. Should there be a bigger issue, those experts will remain on-hand to find a new, permanent solution and optimize your customer relations management process for better business growth.
The number of users turning to mobile apps is growing, thus, many brands are left evaluating if they should create their own and how to ensure it matches their existing digital presence and brand identity. Enter: Software development companies.
Top development agencies are well-versed in iOS, Android, Windows, while the cream of the crop is familiar with the Internet of Things and wearable technology, too. Through their knowledge, developers are able to create robust mobile platforms with easy-to-navigate mobile backends that integrate with your existing websites -- even your mobile-friendly version!
The best software development companies, of course, offer custom website design and development. A specially designed digital presence is highly coveted, and often increases conversions because it is tailored exactly for a brand.
In addition to building the software for the website, many software development companies can also design the site, secure data and information, improve sales and even market to consumers. Completing these tasks that the same agency streamlines the process and ensures simple communication between departments, ultimately fostering a collaborative and productive environment.
Questions To Ask The Top Software Development Companies
Not every great software development company offers the same services -- and that’s okay! You just need a top agency that can fulfill your immediate requirements as well as the needs you anticipate in the future.
- What software development services do you offer?
- Do you offer any integration assistance?
- Does your company do any software consulting?
- What additional services, outside of software development, are available through your agency?
- Are there any services you plan to offer in the future?
The top software development companies have access to the best experts. These professionals will be the people who are coding your new system, facilitating your integrations, and familiarize your employees with the new program.
- Who will be working on this project? What is their role?
- What experience do they have?
- Are they familiar with our industry and/or business growth problem? How so?
- Will our project require someone to be placed in our office? If so, for how long?
- Who will manage the implementation and onboard employees?
- Who will our point of contact be?
Coding is a complicated process, and it doesn’t end when the software is deemed “ready to implement.” In fact, reputable software development companies will have backup systems and security in place to ensure your data is protected and retrievable.
- Who will be building the platform/system/software?
- What experience do they have?
- Who will ensure the system is continually working properly and data is secured?
- Where will our source-code management system be stored?
- How often will our site or program be backed up?
- What is the process for retrieving data that has been lost?
- What cybersecurity systems do you have in place?
Before you commit to a software development company, make certain you have a strong understanding of their workflow and process. Then, be sure it aligns with your brand’s timeline. The questions below will help you find the best company that suits your business’s work ethic.
- How long do you believe this project will take?
- How will you formulate a plan of action?
- What process is in place to ensure deadlines are met?
- What information or work do you need from our internal team?
- What will the collaboration process between us look like?
Various levels of software development, consultation and integration will, unsurprisingly, set a business back in different amounts. However, ensure you understand exactly how a software development agency’s pricing is structured, how long your project will take, and the features and functions you are entitled to.
- How much will your services cost?
- Exactly what programs are we paying for?
- Exactly which experts and level of support are we entitled to?
- Do you charge by the hour, by the project, or a flat fee?
- How often will we be billed?
- Are there any additional costs we should expect?
- How much will it cost to add additional services to the project after it has begun?
How To Choose The Best Software Developers
Before you commit to a software development company, assess your brand’s needs. Once you’ve determined the systems your business requires, you’ll be better equipped to find the software company that can find the right solutions.
Do you need a brand-new website or just a few integrations? Is your company growing rapidly and in need of business intelligence software or an Intranet system to increase productivity? Take stock of where your business is currently and how you see it changing in the future, too -- it will save you a lot of hassle and money to partner with a software development company that you can grow with.
The best software development agencies have large teams of experts who can provide support and assistance to clients. Although smaller projects and implementations may not need a lot of guidance, complex projects or big companies may need dedicated professionals.
Ask potential partners how they determine which projects need support and if they plan to place dedicated experts in your office for a period of time. In addition, determine how long you can expect to receive that specialized assistance.
With an increased digital presence comes a great possibility for data breach -- and great software development companies know this. Take the time to understand how they build their programs safely and what processes they have in place to protect your information.
Many software companies may have recommendations for hosting platforms, third-party integrations, and cybersecurity providers. Ask potential agencies for their suggestions, opinions, and logistical reasoning behind them.
A secondary piece of protecting data is understanding who writes the software code that powers the system and knowing where the source-code is stored. A source code management system backs up your digital destination regular, ensuring that you can re-establish a website or system quickly in the event of a crash or compromise.
If this is a little out of your realm of knowledge, don’t fret! All developers use source codes and should have a solid answer as to which central location the source-code is stored at. And don’t forget to ask software companies how often a site or program is backed up and how that process works.
Commitment is a two-way street, and brands need to ensure that are on the same page with their software development companies. How much will their services cost, which experts are you entitled to, and how long with the project take?
Once this is solidified, finalize all points in a signed contract. This extra step will protect your brand, the project, and the software development agency, ensuring that everyone knows their tasks and communication is clear.
Top Value Propositions And Differentiating Factors Of The Best QA Testing & Engineering Companies
Quality assurance is the last step in the development process, but it’s also one of the most important ones. Without QA, companies run the risk of launching products with bugs that will degrade the user experience and negatively impact their reputation.
Still, most companies do not have the internal resources required to handle large scale QA projects. These projects require QA expertise and solid experience with software testing -- skills most businesses do not regularly maintain on staff.
Third party QA companies exist to fill this gap. They can provide a huge range of QA services to ensure bugs and issues are identified in time to be fixed prior to launch. Outsourcing QA, however, isn’t a decision that can be taken lightly. It’s essential to find a trustworthy partner to execute this important task.
Below we cover the basics of QA outsourcing and identify key differentiators to look for in a partner.
What Do QA Companies Do?
Quality Assurance testing companies carry out tests on software, web platforms, or apps in order to discover and document bugs that will affect performance. QA is essential to the development process as it gives developers the information they need to resolve performance issues before a product goes to market.
Though some companies maintain QA teams in-house, many prefer to partner with third-party QA testers when quality assurance services are required. QA vendors offer a range of services that cover all aspects of the quality assurance process for businesses in a number of different industries.
QA services can include any of the following: mobile application testing, software quality assurance, user interface testing, ecommerce testing, game testing, accessibility testing, and many more.
Top QA Companies Have A Solid Process In Place
Communication is difficult under the best of circumstances (ie; between coworkers working in the same office, speaking the same language), but it can become a deal-breaker in more trying circumstances, such as when dealing with individuals working for a third-party in another country. Because geographical, cultural, and language differences can make communication challenging, you should aim to find a QA partner that will be able to transcend these barriers. Top QA companies make effective communication a core differentiating factor.
How Top QA Firms Market Themselves
From a marketing perspective, QA companies need to appeal to decision makers at the types of businesses they target. As B2B companies, QA firms seek to define themselves as industry authorities through content marketing initiatives that demonstrate thought leadership. Though digital marketing channels are key to their efforts, they may also focus on traditional, offline methods as well. These may include event marketing and trade shows, as well as print advertising campaigns.
Search traffic is also important to the marketing efforts of a QA company as many businesses turn to Google to find qualified partners. As such, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising are channels in which they invest much of their efforts.
Location May Be A Factor In QA Outsourcing
In any partnership with an outsourcing partner, location is always a consideration. The physical location of the people doing the QA work on your project determines your ability to get in touch with them and to manage workflow. The physical location will also dictate the native language of QA engineers, which may or may not be the main concern for your business.
It’s important to take location into account when selecting a QA partner. Would you prefer to be able to visit their headquarters? In English fluency an important stipulation? Will the team’s working hours align well with your own?
Benefits Of Outsourcing QA To A Third-Party
Though it’s technically feasible for larger companies to maintain QA teams or at least a single QA professional in-house, this isn’t the most cost-effective solution for most. It’s hard to ignore the benefits of choosing to outsource the QA process to a third party.
Expertise - Just as your business has years of knowledge and experience in your industry, QA companies have built up unmatched expertise in theirs. The QA engineers working on your project know what they’re looking for, and they’re managed by a qualified QA manager. Teams follow a clear and established process that has been proven to work. It’s difficult to build up this level of expertise on an in-house team, and doing so may be totally out of reach for small companies and new businesses.
Objectivity - The people who build an application or piece of software are not the best people to actually test the thing. They are far too intimately acquainted with how it’s meant to function to be able to provide a fully objective assessment of how it is functioning. A third party QA company has no connection to your product other than that they are being paid to test it, so they are better positioned to execute an unbiased assessment.
Cost savings - Hiring people is expensive. The cost of recruiting, interviewing, and maintaining an employee on staff is far greater than that of contracting with a third party. Unless your business rolls out new software and products regularly, your QA needs will be limited to a relatively short time-frame, which means that in-house staffing is even less attractive. Furthermore, because many QA companies are based in emerging markets, labor costs are generally on the lower end.
Shorter time to market - Because they specialize exclusively in quality assurance, third-party QA teams are generally more efficient at their work than less specialized individuals would be. This means they can complete tasks quickly. Having a large, third-party team working on a project usually means it can be completed in a shorter timeframe, which allows businesses to get their products to market faster.
Quality assurance is critical to the launch of a successful website, app, or software, but few companies have the resources to complete a thorough QA process effectively. Partnership with a QA company can help businesses get products to market faster at lower costs, but only if the company is trustworthy and reputable.
A few things to know when searching for a QA company for your next project:
- QA services - QA companies identify and document bugs in a software, platform, or app. Their services are wide-ranging and cover a variety of specific needs, such as mobile app testing, game testing, and more.
- Benefits of outsourcing QA - Doing QA in-house is often cost prohibitive and puts undue strain on internal resources. Outsourcing the quality assurance process can save time, money, and produce better results.
- Location considerations - As with any outsourcing function, delegating QA to a third party based in another geographical area brings certain complications. The location of the company should be a consideration in the selection of a provider.
- Process-oriented - The best QA companies are guided by a process. Adherence to a proven process ensures consistent work product and keeps projects on track.
- Communication - Communication is key to the success of any vendor-client relationship, but it can become more difficult to manage when the vendor is based overseas as many QA companies are. Ability to communicate effectively should be a primary consideration in your selection of a vendor.
Top Qualities Of The Best QA Testing & Engineering Companies
As the client, you should expect to receive regular updates from your QA company. Top QA testing companies set expectations for when clients will receive reports and what information will be included in each report. They should also be clear about how often check-ins will take place and the maximum time you’ll have to wait for a response when you reach out.
More likely than not, you’re working on a tight deadline to get your site or product launched, so timing is everything. Top QA testing companies are reliable in hitting agreed-upon deadlines because they know the ability to meet these deadlines is key to customer satisfaction. Always enter an agreement with a clear understanding on both sides of when testing needs to be complete, with the understanding that adjustments are possible if requirements change.
Not only does outsourcing testing take the burden of QA off your team’s shoulders, it also reduces the burden on whichever internal employee has to manage the process. But that’s only the case if you can feel confident that someone at the QA company is managing the process effectively on your behalf. Top QA testing companies employ skilled project managers who work as client liaisons, keeping your team in the loop on the progress of the project at every step. These project managers are responsible for the work of the testers so that internal employees are freed up to focus on other things.
The average person might think they’re capable of doing QA on a site or application, but in fact, it’s a skilled job that requires experience. Top QA testing companies are staffed by experienced testing professionals who have completed many testing projects before. Look to enter an agreement with a company that has invested in a team of dedicated people, not one that has thousands of inexperienced testers working behind the scenes.
Outsourcing the QA process to a third party is a big decision. Their effectiveness in identifying bugs and issues is key to the success of your product, website, or app. If they fail, you’ll end up launching with a bug-ridden product that isn’t enjoyable to use. That means it couldn’t be more important to choose a QA company with a respectable reputation. Top QA companies will be positively reviewed online, and will often showcase testimonials from satisfied customers on their websites. You can also ask prospective vendors to provide references so you can speak directly to past clients and ask them specific questions about their experience of working with the company.