Whether it is for working with your vendors, your clients and customers or even internally with your employees, chances are your business already uses web applications every day. Web Applications are a necessity in today’s business world because they offer so many benefits like easy deployment, availability of data, and direct access to up-to-date information, just to name a few. They come in the form of social aggregators like Hootsuite, file transferring tools like Dropbox, customer service tools like Zendesk and many more. We can easily conclude that due to the incline in web application development in recent years, the amount of industry providers has skyrocketed. Now, when looking to outsource your development project the issue is not finding a partner, but rather finding the right partner in a saturated market. If you are looking for how to effectively choose an agency to develop a custom application for your company, you have come to the right place. These are the 10 areas to look into when analyzing prospective providers.
1. The Company Itself
Today, the power of opinion is truly with the user and within minutes you can understand a company’s culture, success, personality and much more with a few simple searches online. Simple attributes such as age and location can give you a quick idea of whether or not this is a web application development company for you. Take a deeper look into the company’s social channels and overall website to see if the culture, interests, and business solutions are in line with your needs.
2. Track Record
To find the best web application development company suited for you, look at where a company is headed and if that is in the direction you want to go. One of the most effective ways to see where a company is headed is to see where they have been. Research what clients the prospect has worked with and continues to work with. Look into projects they have taken on in the past and what has come of them. These findings will give you a better idea of what kind of projects and people this company caters to.
This may seem like a very obvious attribute, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate. Expertise can come in many shapes and forms in web application development, but the most important, is that it comes in a way that is beneficial to you. See what verticals the company has developed expertise in and compare your industry and business focus to those verticals. Has this company worked with businesses similar to yours? Just like in your Track Record research, review past projects and look for measurable success and similarities to your project.
4. User Experience
Make sure the company you choose has the tools to get you where you want to go. A commendable UX is very important in web application development and should be considered when looking for a partner. Companies that have a strong team skilled in graphic design, user experience and interactivity ensure optimal functionality and tend to produce better results.
Each prospective company should walk you through a proposed process of the project and how they intend to carry it out. The process must be thorough and proven. A strong web application development process may look something like this: Discovery and Planning, Statement of Work, Development, Testing and QA, User Acceptance Testing, Production Launch, and Maintenance. Make sure that the process laid out is one that fits well with your company and expectations.
This is clearly a no-brainer. Of course we all would like to make the money back that we spent and more! Many development companies will actually include a proposal including possible ROI. Make sure to review thoroughly and ask about any questions you may have. Remember, Cost Effectiveness and ROI does not mean cheap or low price services only! In most cases, paying more for the right service will make you more in the long run.
Agility is sometimes forgotten when looking into a vendor. It sometimes can only be achievable by smaller, younger companies who are willing to modify processes midway because there are not as many relative actions effected. A good example is how much better a small speedboat can navigate through the water compared to a freightliner. Very large companies may not be able to adapt and adjust to unexpected changes in the web application development process like smaller providers can. The key is to find a happy medium in between with a mid to large size provider that can still navigate successfully through the process.
Turnaround time can absolutely be a deal-breaker. Do your research to ensure that the development company has proven success with reasonable timelines. Every web application project is different, so just ask! Almost every company offers free quotes that include timelines, so take advantage of it. This can be referred again back to Track Record where knowing some past project details can help you make a decision. Similar past project timelines can give you a good idea of whether the time goal is a possibility or just a number thrown out there to impress.
10. Maintenance and Support
All projects come to an “end”, but not all projects end. All activities post-project launch are as important as those carrying the initial process. If you are looking to have continued support, make sure and ask how maintenance and support is carried out with the company. Updates and bug fixes are inevitable no matter what web application vendor you choose. The last thing anyone wants is to be given a one-time service and left without the support or knowhow to maintain necessary activities.
Today, web application development is no longer exclusively for fortune 100 companies, but rather is available and necessary to any sized business. The growing amount of options, however, makes the deciding process a difficult one. The key is to find a partner that fits your specific needs and expectations. Research the areas above and you will find that some companies fit your needs much more than others. Good luck with all of your future web application development projects!
Plasma Computing Group is a Global organization specializing in Enterprise level web-based process automation, analytics & dashboards, and web application development. Plasma has helped some of the largest organizations in the world develop and launch custom web applications, including: AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Freeman, Tupperware & Builders First Source. Plasma specializes in helping clients realize their business potential through the development and deployment of highly dynamic enterprise-level web-based applications, consumer and corporate portals and web-ready mobile applications.