What do I need to know before asking for a quote for a customized software
Developing a tailor-made software is initially a demanding choice. However, it is a choice that pays off in the long term, especially for medium-large companies with complex processes and workflows.
Common companies’ mistakes
It may happen that a company turns to a software house when it still does not have a clear idea of what it wants and what it expects to get from the software. The risk is to completely delegate the decision-making process to the technical partner and end up with a product that does not meet expectations and needs.
On the other hand, even having a too granitic vision is not helpful. If the customer provides ready-made flows and leaves no room for discussion, the software house will not know the context in which the project will operate and the output will inevitably be incomplete. It is essential to share the design part, and not just the operational one, with the software house to allow it to serve at its best.
The collaboration between company and software house in the development of a digital product
The development of a customized software comes from a path of close collaboration between the software house and the customer. It can last for months or years, start with a group of professionals and go on with others. Whatever happens, the company must constantly share information to integrate the product into the structure and business processes in each development step.
What should the company ask itself before contacting the software house?
Some information is very relevant to understand where the company is and where it wants to go. For example, it may be helpful to be able to answer questions such as:
– What are my management and business objectives?
– Do I already use any software that I am comfortable with? Do I need special additions?
– Where do I want to go (in 6 months / 1 year / 2 years)?
– What steps is my workflow composed of and who is involved in them? What mistakes do I want to avoid? What resources do I want to redeploy?
– What life cycle do I want the product to have? Do I foresee any changes over time?
– How long will it take for employees to learn how to use the new product?
– Do I conceive the software as a management support tool or as the heart of the business?
– What is my budget?
The last point is crucial and deserves further study.
How much is it worth investing in a software?
In the world of software there are many tools, technologies and methods to achieve the same goal. Your starting budget is used to establish, together with the technical partner, the solution that is most in line with your possibilities and your goals.
To understand how much it is worth investing for you, try to understand:
– How much time will I save each year and how can I make the most of that time?
– How much will I earn from the investment of that time in excess for other profitable activities?
– What mistakes will it allow me to avoid?
– What benefits will the company, employees and collaborators derive from it?
– How far can I go with the available budget? What are the priorities and what could be any subsequent developments?
First of all we listen; then we ask the customer as many questions as possible to try to extract the information necessary to identify the context in which it operates. When requested, we arrange a call or a meeting to show a demo and take note of the features the customer is more or less interested in.
Once objectives, processes, workflow and budget are clear, we suggest the most suitable digital solutions for the client. We summarize what emerged in the first meeting by listing the operational flows and identifying the actors involved. We usually arrange a second or third call to make sure we understand all the client’s wishes.
We are well aware that each sector has its own peculiarities that are often taken for granted by those who work there, but it is by no means certain that they are known to those who will be involved in software development. To provide correct estimates and not run into subsequent misunderstandings, the software house must be properly instructed by the customer on as much detail as possible about its sector.
Have you had experiences with software houses? Do you think we can help you in any way with your business? Do you know where you want to go but you don’t know how? Do you need technical support?
Contact us without obligation! We will be happy to help you.