How many times has someone asked you a question and your response is, “Why don’t you Google it?” Google has become such a critical piece of our Internet experience that it’s become a verb. While marketing experts continue to attempt to harness the power of search engine optimization (SEO) and everyone wants to sell you the perfect tips to hacking Google results, all that you really need is when you hit the search bar is an answer to your question.
For example, I’m sure that you’ve at least once searched for “software development companies,” which yields approximately 88 million results in Google. Once you get past all of the paid advertisements – now that Google has removed side ads – you’re left with company after company promising to be the best software developers the world has ever seen. While many may have the capabilities they say they do, the most important question is, are they the right software development team for you?
Google is a wonderful tool that has changed the way the world locates and discovers talent, but there are many things a search engine can’t tell you, so we’re here to help! Here are three things to consider when searching for a software development team for your next project.
- Do They Understand Your Work Culture and You Theirs?
Culture is a huge factor in success. Both company culture and your national cultural environment affect your company’s performance. When things aren’t going well for a company, culture provides a telling clue as to whether it will make it or break it. To help create the best recipe for success, you need a software development partner that understands your company’s mission, values and communication style.
Google can tell you what a software development company does and maybe even who they have done it for, but it won’t tell you how they communicate. Everyone communicates differently, and even if both partners are in the same country, communication styles and availability can vary wildly. Have you ever tried to get a Colorado developer to email you back on a powder day? It probably took a while.
If you’re considering a team offshore, their English skills are important; but even more important is your understanding of their culture and if they would be a good fit for your organization. Furthermore, are they using tools like Skype or instant messaging to effectively communicate during your business hours? How responsive are they to emails? These questions might seem very detailed, but for a successful software development engagement the devil, as they say, is in the details.
- Are They More Than Just Good Internet Marketing
Be honest, you rarely look beyond the first page of results, and that’s ok – 75% of people stop at page one. However, this means that there are thousands of results that you never get to see, evaluate or decide upon for yourself. In fact, the complexity of Google’s algorithm has created an entirely new breed of marketer, the SEO Specialist, to manage it. Some companies put a large amount of resources into their SEO to achieve a top 10 ranking, but how do you know that ranking is anything more than just marketing?
Clearly, finding out their flash lacked substance is no way to start off a healthy partnership. Engage with potential partners early in your search so you can quickly eliminate those that aren’t right for you. A good partner will sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), participate in a phone consultation or interview and even schedule an onsite visit, all before any money changes hands. The best developers want to prove their capabilities, not rely on Internet speak to convince you. If you can’t get anyone on the phone or receive timely communications, it’s time to move on.
- How Much They Cost for the Value You Get?
Many companies don’t list pricing on their website. They want to woo you by highlighting their latest and greatest projects and capabilities, hoping to justify the price they put in front of you. Come to the table already knowing your budget and at least a high-level understanding of how much the services you’re looking for should cost. Remember, sometimes paying a premium for the best is necessary, but conversely, a cheaper programmer might be for you.
All of the questions we’ve identified can be answered by digging deeper, going beyond what Google can tell you and setting up meetings and pilot projects. However, it all takes time. Researching and evaluating multiple software development partners both domestic and abroad can be a significant time commitment when you’re trying to run an IT group or software-enabled business.
Thankfully Accelerance can help. We do all the leg work so you don’t have to, and best of all, it’s free. If you want to engage with a new software development partner or you’re starting a new project, contact us. We’ll search the globe for the right partner for your business.