Software design consultancies – how can they help your company get ahead?
What point in software development have you reached right now? Is progress moving forward at full speed, or are you still stuck in the planning phase? Do you think you can handle everything on your own, or would it be better for you to get some external help?
Well, more often than not, consulting with an expert or another professional is the best way to kick off your project so that you can make the most of it later on.
What exactly is software design consultancy?
Software design consultancy covers a range of services:
- gathering and analysing data,
- defining business needs and technical requirements,
- conducting software audits,
- designing system architecture,
- planning software tests.
The goal is to prepare everything that you need to start your software development or system modernisation. For example, at Future Processing we can offer you very specific services such as Discovery Workshops, Software Product Design, Design Sprints, or Software Audits. Depending on your needs and the services that you decide to leverage, you will be able to clarify and confirm the validity of your ideas, receive a guide map to help you proceed with the next steps, and get a detailed business analysis of your present and future systems, including a reliable cost estimation, good software architecture design, useful visualisations or reports, and a working prototype, etc.
Unlike many consultation services in other industries, software design consultancy is not limited to recommendations alone. There are many specialists involved in the process, such as business analysts, UX/UI designers and technical experts (in different technologies), and the results that you get are very often tangible and actionable, ready to use in the next stages of the software development process.
What does a software consultancy team do as a whole?
The main goal of a software development consultancy team is to recommend a technical solution that will help your business solve ongoing problems, achieve objectives, and even answer future customer needs, which can often be predicted (to some extent). In order to do all that, you may expect that the design consultancy team will consist of specialists whose expertise reflect your project requirements.
They will want to gather as much information about your business as possible, so that they can properly assist you. Don’t be surprised if they ask questions that not only pertain to the software that you want to build, but also about your current situation, your products and the services that you offer, your workflows, resources, processes and business environment, etc.
The design team may also team up with software developers – especially while choosing technologies to implement, defining technical possibilities and limitations, and during prototyping and testing. And by developers, I mean either experts who are already working with the software design consultancies or those hired by your company. It depends on the kind of expertise that they need and who will ultimately be developing the designed solution.
How to spot a good software design company for your startup needs
Let’s say you’ve realised that getting some external help for the design phase of your project is inevitable. What now? There are already so many software companies for startups as well as more mature organisations out there on the market, that it can make your head spin…
The first thing you need to do is make a shortlist of software design companies that could potentially be a good partner for you. Then you will want to send out Requests for Proposals (RFPs), collect responses, compare offers and select the best match for your company.
Of course, before the final evaluation, you should make a list of the criteria that you are going to use in the selection process. So, what factors should you consider?
- Experience – how long the company has been in operation in the market, the kind of services that they offer and how successful they are.
- Approach and methodology – in order to learn more about their corporate modus operandi and see where you fit in.
- Case studies – these are often available directly on the corporate websites; you may find cases with problems similar to yours and then see how they were solved.
- Technologies – in case you decide to outsource the development process as well.
- Geographical location – the company doesn’t necessarily have to be in the same country as yours; oftentimes the most efficient option (both in terms of costs and work) is nearshoring, which means choosing a company in close geographical proximity to your own.
- Ratings and reviews – social proof is very important, especially when it comes from reliable sources, like Clutch.co.
- Pricing – the quality-to-price ratio.
- Compliance with terms – check to see if the company has covered all of your problems, concerns and requirements.
Choosing a design firm may not be the easiest task, but putting in the effort to choose wisely will pay off later on.
Conclusion: why you should look into outsourcing your design work with IT partners
Outsourcing your design work can really accelerate your processes and help your company get ahead. There are a lot of reasons behind this:
- Wide expertise – the tech competencies of the software development company are usually much broader than those within your organisation.
- Tools and methodologies – they already have an entire infrastructure of tools and methodologies that enables effective work.
- Work efficiency – you don’t have to involve your team in the design process, they can focus on their ongoing tasks and your work efficiency is not jeopardised.
- Focus on innovations – a company that specialises solely in IT engineering is usually an early-adopter of many new technologies, so they already know what’s promising and what’s not, providing you with up-to-date suggestions.
- Savings – you will save on internal resources and avoid making mistakes related to a lack of knowledge and experience.
- Fresh and experienced look at your problems – an independent team evaluating your problems from the outside may surprise you with their observations and propose solutions that you never would have thought of on your own.
- Comprehensive services – the design process among the best software development companies in the world may also involve solution prototyping and testing, which helps you find out straight away whether the solution is going to work. All your theories and preconceptions may also be verified with technical consultants. Plus, once you have a technical specification and a ready-to-use roadmap, you may decide to outsource the development stage to the same company, as they are already familiar with the project. This way, you don’t waste any of your internal resources or time on onboarding a different IT partner.
Get in touch with us to see how design consultancy services look in practice!