Table of contents
- What is software development outsourcing?
- Working with an independent contractor VS outsourcing to a vendor
- Characteristics of a good software development vendor
- Finding the best custom software vendor
- Interview with Blackthorn Vision’s CEO
In the digital age, software development outsourcing services has become a necessity for many companies. By choosing an experienced and reliable vendor to develop their digital products, businesses can focus on strategy and growth while reaping the benefits of increased productivity. But with so many vendors offering services these days, selecting the right partner for your project can be daunting.
This article explores why outsourcing software development projects is worth it and how to find the best vendor in 2023.
What is software development outsourcing?
Software development outsourcing is a process in which a company contracts with an outside entity to provide services covering full software development lifecycle and providing all needed expertise to the project.
The software development outsourcing process includes:
- Vendor selection
- Negotiation of terms and conditions
- Contract sign off
- Cooperation kick-off
- Ongoing management of the relationship
It's important to ensure that the vendor selected is highly qualified, follows industry standards and best practices, as well as has experience in delivering software development outsourcing services that covers technology expertise applied to your products.
Working with an independent contractor VS outsourcing to a vendor
Working with an independent contractor is great if you’re looking for someone who has specific knowledge and skills related to your project. This is a great way to bring in subject matter expertise with an understanding of your project needs. Plus, you’ll have more control over the timeline and resource allocation as an independent contractor is working solely for you.
On the other hand, turning to a software development outsourcing company might be a better option if you are unable to find someone with expertise in your area. Vendors already have a team in place and can manage the project from start to finish without you needing to allocate resources or provide direct supervision. This is ideal if you don’t have the time or expertise required to manage the entire project yourself.
By engaging with a software development agency, you can easily scale your team up or down, and be confident that knowledge of the product is not lost when one person decides to leave the project. You can also benefit from best practices and standards followed by the vendor that might be crucial for you (agile methodology, ISO standards, GDPR, HIPAA, and others).
The benefits of outsourcing software development are plentiful. Ultimately, it comes down to what works best for you and your project. Whichever option you decide to go with, make sure it’s the one that best meets your needs and fits within your vision and product roadmap.
Characteristics of a good software development vendor
Below are some of the core characteristics of a professional software development vendor that we at Blackthorn Vision regard as crucial based on our experience with customers from various business industries.
Nearshore or offshore outsourcing software development company should be one whose values and culture align with yours. This means that the vendor’s mindset, management style, communication methods and work ethics should match your own. It is important to find a vendor who understands your goals and objectives and is eager to help you achieve them. They should have an understanding of the issues that you face in the software development process, as well as any potential roadblocks along the way.
A successful software development outsourcing company should always have your business and product goals in mind when creating custom software solutions. They should understand the scope of the project, taking into account all available resources and timelines, to ensure that you get the most out of their services. A reliable software development partner will truly go above and beyond to deliver a quality product that meets your expectations, within budget and on time.
A good software development vendor should have the expertise and resources to cover all stages of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). This includes a comprehensive understanding of requirements gathering, architecture design, development, testing, deployment and user experience. They should be able to cover each stage and guarantee they would be a one stop shop and you won’t have to look for multiple vendors for any new service or expertise.
Furthermore, it is essential that they stay ahead of current trends in technology so as not to limit their capabilities when tackling a new project. It's also beneficial if they have experience with different programming languages and frameworks so that they can quickly adapt to customer-specific needs or preferences.
Finding the best custom software vendor
Curating the best software development vendor for your project requires a thorough and comprehensive evaluation process. To find the right match for your specific needs, you will want to pay close attention to each step of this process.
Clearly defining your project needs and goals
Before beginning the search for a software development vendor, it is important to take time to clearly define your project requirements and goals. You should create an in-depth description that outlines what you need from a partner, along with details about timelines, budgets, desired features, etc. Having this information ready will make it much easier to find potential vendors who are best suited to meet your needs.
Searching companies with profiles matching your needs and expectations
Once you have your project requirements in place, it’s time to begin searching for software development vendors who fit the bill. This will involve researching different software development outsourcing companies, comparing their services, and reading through customer reviews on platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, and The Manifest.
You should also look into their team structure and capabilities, as well as their portfolio of past projects. Taking the time to do a thorough review is key to making sure that you select the right partner for your project.
Conducting RFP (request for proposal)
After narrowing down your list of potential vendors for outsourcing software development projects, you should send out an RFP (request for proposal) to each one. An RFP is a document that outlines your desired product specifications, timeline and budget expectations, along with any other relevant information about your needs.
Your RFP should also include a timeline for feedback and any additional questions you have. Receiving detailed responses from all the vendors will give you an even clearer picture of which one is best suited to meet your needs.
By following these steps, you can be sure that you choose the right software development vendor for your project. With a well-defined process in place, it will be much easier to find the perfect partner who can help you achieve success with your project.
It would be helpful to make a shortlist of at least three vendors. Once you have the list, schedule some live meetings. During these meetings, each nearshore or offshore outsourcing software development company will present their proposal and explain how they think, analyze and approach problem solving. This way, you will get a better understanding of what each one brings to the table.
Ask questions and listen to their answers — it's important to evaluate the quality of their solutions in order to make an informed decision. After all, you will be entrusting them with your project and its success. So take time and carefully review each proposal before making a final decision!
Interview with Blackthorn Vision’s CEO
To help you understand more about the outsourcing of software development, we asked Blackthorn Vision’s CEO — Maryana Horlach several questions.
What inspired you to enter the software development outsourcing industry?
I’ve started my professional career in the technology industry after joining a short project led by Google in 2012 that was called “Word of Mouth” and was aimed at collecting data for training a speech recognition engine in the Ukrainian language. It lasted for 3 months and was so exciting that made me wonder how I apply my skills to other technology projects.
That’s how I initially started working in IT outsourcing business as a Business Development Manager and, over the years, became responsible for running the whole company and making sure we provide top level services for our customers.
What distinguishes Blackthorn Vision from other vendors in this domain?
Blackthorn Vision initial key expertise covered Microsoft stack technologies and from day one we have been delivering top-notch products built on a proven stack. In 2023 we have gained a Microsoft Solutions Partner with Digital and App Innovation title and are gaining more and more certifications and areas of expertise every year.
Another thing that distinguishes Blackthorn Vision is our love and genuine interest for innovation. By working with biotechnology industry customers we have succeeded in developing most innovative products and this is proven by one of the recent patents in cell engineering technologies where our team is listed as innovators.
Quality of service is our top priority and that’s why we started introducing project success metrics on every customer project in 2022. We have also initiated a preparation process for the ISO9001 audit and plan on gaining the certification by the end of this year.
For 2023 one of our key goals is developing our own custom approach to analyzing and reviewing projects from various perspectives and by taking into account industry best practices. This approach will become the basis for quaterly reports and insights for our customers on their projects and opprotunities for their products.
Could you tell us about a successful project that you have completed in app development outsourcing?
One of the best examples is probably the history of our cooperation with unTill as it lasts for over 10 years already. Over the years we faced a great deal of challenges and achieved very exciting milestones. We are proud to say that we have become a trusted vendor and technology partner for them.
Apart from delivering a high quality software solution, we also monitor and keep track of the business success – amount of locations the software is used, amount of countries it’s used at, etc. For us this project is the best example on how we perform at the highest level possible being a technology partner understanding customer’s needs as well as expectations of their end customers.
What would you say are the advantages of using Blackthorn Vision for software development outsourcing?
Being a medium size company, we exceed in fast decision-making, flexibility, and adjusting the services according to customer needs and priorities. We are agle in services delivery and can easily adapt the change at any step of cooperation with the customer.
For some of our customers we have become not only a trusted vendor but also a business partner. Sometimes we even put our customer business needs as key priority for us to support them in the turbulent times.
This was the case with a few of our customers working in hospitality and entertainment industries and the crisis they underwent during the Covid outbreak. Together we went through all the challenges, and after 2 years since that time, our cooperation is as strong as ever.
How would you define success when it comes to an outsourcing software development projects?
A successful project is a project that reached its goals. So there’s no unique recipe that would fit all the projects. For us it’s crucial to keep close contact with our customers from a very first email and meetiting keeping focus on their goals and needs. To build a great software solution, you have to understand what challenges it is aimed to overcome and in what ways it is intended to simplify its users routines.
So, in general, I’d say that a successful project is one where the team is focused on the customer’s business, strategic vision and steps to reach the set goals.As a medium size company, we exceed in fast decision-making, flexibility, and adjusting the services according to customer needs and priorities.