How Partnering with a Software Development Firm Benefits Your Budget

Partnering with a software development firm offers a variety of financial benefits that could make a positive impact on your company’s budget.

Here’s one example: Diesel Direct operates mobile refueling services in 43 states nationwide. They have grown over the years to become the transportation industry’s largest national mobile refueling company.  As the company prepared for growth, they realized the legacy system they were using couldn’t scale up to accommodate more users, customers and transactions, and partners and acquisitions. Instead of dedicating internal IT resources to developing and maintaining a new proprietary financial management system, the company decided to partner with an external software development firm.

Bringing in a partner for custom software development freed up internal staff to focus on new business acquisition and integration, which has given Diesel Direct a competitive edge and accelerated the company’s growth.

Calculating The Benefits

Here are four factors to consider when calculating the financial benefits of partnering with a software development firm:

  1. Would The Vendor Reduce Your Management Overhead For The Outsourced Team?
    A reputable software development firm should provide the necessary resources and expertise to effectively manage the external engineering team, and factor these services into their hourly rates. Unfortunately, many lesser firms expect your company to shoulder the burden of managing resources, along with the associated hidden costs. The key is to look beyond hourly rates when comparing firms, and make sure you understand what’s included in the software development agreement.
  2. Would Outsourced Teams Improve The Effectiveness Of Existing Internal Resources?
    Shifting ownership of certain custom software projects and deliverables to an external team gives you the opportunity to make better use of your internal team’s time and resources, often resulting in lower costs and improved efficiency.
    To achieve these benefits, however, your company must be ready to let the external team steer the process. If you try to micromanage a partner’s work or insist that they follow your processes, you’re likely to lose any advantages of working with an external team.
  3. Do The Vendor’s Processes Facilitate Fast Time To Market And Innovative Software?
    Excellent communication and collaboration are essential to achieve fast time to market and develop truly innovative software. The right partner should bring a broad range of skills to your organization, along with mature software development processes that unite your internal and external engineering teams as well as business stakeholders.Agile software development is one of the most effective approaches to use in this type of project. Following this methodology ensures early and rapid consensus on what to build, and helps you prioritize specific features, so you’re always creating the most important functionality. As a result, agile offers a useful framework for innovation and often provides a faster route to completing viable software products.
  4. Does The Vendor Add Value By Providing Relevant Technical Advice?
    The right software development firm should also serve as a strategic partner, advising you on the most appropriate technology investments for your company. As a strategic partner, the firm should help your development team meet deadlines and deliver more to the business while staying within the budget.

As you weigh these four factors, remember the importance of partnering with the right custom software vendor. If you partner with the wrong vendor, your project could backfire. Choose the right firm, however, and you’ll be a hero to both your team and the rest of your organization.

This was originally published on the Small Footprint site.