First Steps in Choosing the Right IT Outsource Partner

Countless reasons make entrepreneurs turn to outsource software development companies in their pursuit of creating a perfect product.

Choosing the right provider becomes vital, and inexperienced small startup owners, as well as companies of bigger sizes, often struggle at this very first step on their path to glory.

What are the factors that have to be considered? Should you take rates, location, experience, self-promotion of the supplier into account? How to build your communication with a potential outsourcing partner?

We tried to sum up all our thoughts on the matter. Elinext operates in a highly competitive environment of custom software development companies for more than two decades, and we believe that there is a thing or two we could cover here.

Where to Look at while Comparing Outsource Providers

To assess your potential outsourcing supplier, you should weigh in quite a number of factors. From our communication with future customers, we know what those factors are. Usually, they include 6 components listed below:

These categories need to be explored thoroughly. Sometimes it makes sense to break them into subcategories and give marks based on their other customers’ feedback and other sources of information you could get.

Let’s dive deeper into those assessment categories and see what we’ve meant by mentioning them

Infrastructure

Basically, you have to make sure, you are not partnering with someone who is chained to the ancient computer in some basement.

A respectable company would rent or own a modern building for the office, would make sure their Internet connection is always up and running, and won’t use some prehistoric software and hardware.

Still, in a new COVID-19 reality, plenty of outsourcing company employees work from home, and it is not the end of the world if you see their homes instead of modern meeting rooms while communicating in Zoom or Google meet.

All you should care about is INternet stability and software/hardware issues.

People. Communication

This has a lot to do with the topic we’ll cover later in the blog post. At the RFI (request for information) stage of communication, you get plenty of information about the people you are about to work with. 

Should there be a well-put timely response to your request, you would definitely take a closer look at your future partner. 

Any reviews, testimonials are golden in assessing the staff. Also, you could use LinkedIn to study the experience of the team that would probably be selected to work on your tasks.

Reliability. Risk Assessment

If the company’s portfolio includes plenty of successful projects that are pretty similar to yours, that is definitely a plus. 

Directories and placement of outsourcing providers in them also contribute to the level of trust towards the outsourcers.

It is vital that the company you about to hire possess the knowledge of your domain: those who got used to making high-quality healthcare (fintech, manufacturing, telecom, etc) software have better chances of repeating their professional success in comparison with those who have zero experience in the field.

To assess risk, check certificates the software development company possesses. Elinext is ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified company. There are also specific certificates on industries – for delivering software of narrow specialization.

You can always ask for contacts of their current or past clients and verify references. 

Location

As the whole world dwells on cloud technologies, it’s not that important to be right next to your partner. However, it wouldn’t hurt to be in at least similar time zones. 

Also, you’d want to have the ability to have a short flight to the place where the people you’re dealing with financially, are located. This is perhaps not the most important point in communication with the outsourcing company, but their readiness to operate during your work hours could add some points to the company.

Requesting the Information as of the First Step in Cooperation

To establish the relations between you and your future software provider, you have to take steps towards the correct evaluation process.

Request for Information (RFI) can play a significant part in it.

You could assess your potential software development company by their reaction to your requirements.

In general, RFI is a standard procedure in business communication. It serves the purpose of gathering info on the skills and capabilities of companies delivering software development services. 

This is a several-page document that is an executive summary of the scope of work with some specifics.

A good sales executive (usually a first person of contact) will be able to answer most of your questions. In most cases, the request will be evaluated with the help of experienced business analytics.

Elinext has been providing outsourcing software development services to companies of different sizes and pursuing different goals, and we are proud of the business analysis department.

There are many factors that have to been assessed. Most of them are listed above, however, one could come up with additional ones that would cover different areas. That is a great way to assess the vendor’s capabilities.

Companies that choose not to use an outsourcing company at all often have to dedicate substantially more to research, development, and implementation. This results in two problems for the company: higher costs and more time for development. 

By taking longer to bring new products to the market, their competitiveness also suffers since other companies are moving faster. This is also applicable to a long choice of the vendor – while you are wasting your time on the selection of a perfect party, the others are already executing this choice.

At the same time, choosing the wrong vendor can doom the most perspective of the beginnings.

Elinext has a wide practice of taking over projects that weren’t completed by a less competent outsource software development provider.

In the end, it is not the end of the world – to choose the wrong partner. It will just cost you time, money, and, in some cases, business opportunities.

Choosing the right partner and the cooperation model that fits your needs is what this is all about.

Summary

We have overviewed some of the factors one should take into account while choosing an IT outsourcing software development company. 

There are special evaluation tools out there, there are also techniques that would help you in avoiding troubles that could come with the wrong choice you’d made.

In order to compare your suppliers (you have to have more than one option for sure), it is best to start with an RFI which will gather this information for you. Once you come up with the list of criteria, contact the companies that you find competent.

The trend of choosing to outsource over in-house development is not going anywhere, and if you’re ready to jump on this bandwagon, choose the people you’ll be doing that with wisely.

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