Common Mistakes While Selecting a Technology Development Partner
The most common search keywords amongst startups that look for app development are specific to the platform they look to develop; best android development company, best mobile app development company, website design company, are some of the most common search terms. And, it has been common that the startups fail to bring the product to the market on time or they dont get the right product they planned to introduce. There are few major drawbacks which I have noticed while talking to clients, specifically from startups or companies looking for digital transformation.
- - IT investment is generally thought to be inexpensive and they do not want to spend money on technology development. This attitude is very much common among technology oriented startups as well. They finally in tie up with companies that do not have sufficient experience in developing the products, or leave it to freelancers.
- - Too much dependency on SEO - People depend too much on the digital marketing aspects and believe that companies who are on the first page of google search are the best. Some of the digital marketing companies that are listed in the first pages are sometimes just a marketing face, and technology could be outsourced to third parties or freelancers.
- - Why company? I can develop it with the support of freelance developer! The developer knows how to develop technology based on your instructions and that is strictly within the scope of your work. There is a very less chance that he is exposed to business or market trends and customer behaviour.
Most of the local IT companies just gather requirements based on the reference that you share with them for cost estimation. Recently there was a post in Linkedin on Home services apps. The client had given two references and the Freelance UX designer posted a comparison of what he has done. The funniest fact is that he just focused on the functional flow based on two platforms and created a prototype. Most of the time the companies copy what is visible to them in the front-end, From an IT perspective it is right, and the effort estimate is also based on the reference given by the client. Do you think the right way to select a company is based on the company's digital presence and estimated cost of development? I would say a Big NO! This is from my experience as the product head of a startup and as a client service face of the IT services division.
Some of the aspects that need to be considered while selecting the right company, when you plan for a digital transformation or for launching a product are;
- 1. Consider the technology provider as your extended team, not as a vendor.
- 2. Consider the IT teams background on whether they have developed and launched a product in-house. This will help us to understand their ability to understand the business and operational aspects. And also consider empathy towards the clients needs as it is an added advantage in product solutioning.
- 3. It is important for the company to not only look at the reference products but to have a product team who does research on the product in the target market while gathering the requirements and documentations.
- 4. Do not force the team to deliver within a minimum timeline as per your plan, respect their input on the timelines as there is a specific time period always required for the solutioning. This is important to have quality deliverables from the team.
- 5. You should have the clear idea about the product in terms of the business plan, marketing plan specific to online presence, operations etc. It helps the technology team to understand what needs to be developed now, and what would be required in the upcoming versions. This is important to consider the possibilities while conducting the application architecture, and to prioritise development activities
- 6. Understand that various milestones are part of your product roadmap, so spend time to understand the scope of deliverables. Keep a buffer always while communicating the deliverables with other stakeholders.
Cost is definitely is deciding factor in any business, however, if the product does not serve your long term objectives, you will end up spending more than you had ever planned for