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How to Thoroughly Evaluate Tech Providers’ Backgrounds and Capabilities

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So, you have found potential software development providers and you’ve narrowed down the list to three or four companies. Now, it’s time to evaluate them carefully.

But what exactly are you going to ask? Which areas of the business should you check? How do you gauge their work ethics, technical capabilities, processes, and all the rest?

In the next 4 episodes, you will see what are the 8 crucial steps in evaluating software development firms with concrete questions to ask. Evaluate the provider’s background and capabilities.

1. Research the Company’s background

How long has the Company been running? Who is Behind it?

Mutual trust plays a huge role in the success of any outsourcing partnership. So, I encourage you to learn as much as you can about their expertise, management style, and company ownership.

After all, we know that the values and experiences of the founders radiate throughout the whole business, right?

And if the company is run by the same people who founded it, say 10 years down the road, then you add points for that. It shows the level of commitment that the founders have for the business that they have created.

Make sure You share the same Values

If there is a match between your needs and the provider’s experience and if their long-term goals are compatible with yours. For this, there’s nothing better than an on-site visit to their offices, if you can. An actual visit gives you a more hands-on approach.

You get to observe them yourself rather than just rely on what you read about them.

A meeting with management and maybe some of the employees will also give you a feel of how things work. If you get the chance, attend an internal meeting. That would be an even better way to discover more about the capabilities, you get to observe the various roles in the team at work.

Talk to their Clients

Ask who their clients are and where you can find testimonials. As your discussions progress, you might even want to get in touch with one or two of their existing clients. You can do this at their office or through video chat.

Not only will this provide useful feedback about the client’s experience, but this may also give you tips about the beginning of the relationship, and maybe also how to manage a long-term collaboration with the provider.

Last but not least, as much as you want to know about the potential provider, also make sure that they understand who you are and what you need. They need to have a good understanding of how you operate and your expectations about the relationship. Make sure they know you expect them to propose the most relevant setup for your organization. This would lay the foundation for a solid collaboration between you and the provider.

2. Evaluate the Company’s capabilities

The second area to assess is the provider’s capabilities. Before you do that, you must know your strengths and weaknesses. This is so you are aware of the specific skills gap you need the provider to fill.

The 4 types of capabilities you need to look into are:

Primary Skills and Technologies

It is important to make sure that the provider has all the technical capabilities you’re looking for. Hiring experts with just the right skills for a specific project is not that easy.

Also, having senior engineers who can guide and train the development team can be an important plus.

After all, maintaining a pool of developers who are experts in a certain technology requires some work. This guarantees that the provider has the means to help you grow in the long term.

Other Skills and Services

Do you need other professional skills to help you with QA, UI/ UX design, software architecture, cloud monitoring, or technical support? Find out if the provider can also assist you in these areas, because these unsuspected additional services may be a real game changer in the long run.

Size and Structure of the Company

On one hand, you need a big-name provider that has a rich enough talent pool to help you out in the long run. On the other hand, maybe you don’t want to be working with a company that is so big that they give you the feeling you don’t matter.

Ideally, you want to outsource to a firm that has the right resources to handle your project but with a management that is still approachable.

Readiness to Deploy

Usually, a month of heads-up should be good enough for the provider to either ramp up or ram down a team.

Provided that your requirements are not too complex for the provider to supply. That’s all for this episode! There are still 5 other key areas in evaluating a software development company that we want to share with you, including things you don’t always suspect like company culture and security aspects, among others. So stay tuned for the next article.

This article was prepared by the EZtek team. We provide world-class enterprise software engineering, design, and technology consulting services.

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