A few days back, I was talking to a friend who is an entrepreneur planning to move his business to digital. He was telling me how he was researching the software domain, what it takes to become a digital entrepreneur, get a competitive advantage, etc. I asked him if he had hired software development consultants to help streamline the process. To my surprise, he said No and that he was getting all the information from the internet and several software entrepreneurship bootcamps.
Now, while I am all pro for primary research, when it comes to something as vast as the software domain, there’s only so much that Google and courses can teach you. While it can get you an understanding of the best technologies and approach, high ROI marketing activities, a software development consulting firm will tell you the whys specific to your business, find plan Bs when the anticipated outcome is not reached, and make you a lean business.
The conversation I had with my friend made me realize that there are so many entrepreneurs who believe in going solo and not taking guidance from people who have been in the software business. And that made me feel how important it is to promote the need for partnering with a software development consulting company. This article has been a result of that realization.
I hope that by the time you reach the end, you would have an understanding of why it matters to partner with a software consulting company who has an experience of working with multiple brands and industries.
What is software development consulting?
Software consulting is an approach where the company’s software needs are analyzed and the best technology set is chosen to ensure high operation and delivery success. The software development consultants or firms provide technological solutions to the different problems a business faces, while also helping them create a roadmap of the digital journey.
They mostly come in useful for companies that have limited technical understanding and they need outside opinion when making business decisions, specially around the introduction of new technology or their existing system’s updation.
Reasons why you should invest in software development consulting services for business
Now that we have looked into the high level role of a software consulting company, let us get down to the reasons why software development consulting services might be the best choice for your business needs.
1. Get insight into software approach
Software development consultants can offer you insights into the best process that you can add in your business model for it to run smoothly. What they do is that they analyze your ongoing approaches and routines and then give advice around automation, using technology, or even updating your current systems.
The main role of a software development consultancy company is to ensure that the practices you are following align best with the long-term business needs.
2. Help prioritize the software efforts
As a growing company, it gets very easy to get caught up in a high innovation mode, leading to you taking up more activities than what your business necessarily needs at that time. What a software consulting business does is that they create a roadmap of the journey, leaving out space for errors and a fail-fast route. They help prioritize the list of software activities you are planning to work on in different milestones and expected business outcomes – giving you a much streamlined view of your software development and upgradation journey.
3. Come at par with the new technology movements
Software development consulting firms help you maintain a competitive edge by keeping you updated with the new technologies you can incorporate in your business model. Now, what is unique in partnering with a software development consulting company is that they won’t just inform you of the new-age technologies but will also help implement them in your model by taking the development responsibilities on themselves.
4. Get hands-on training on technology or software usage
A software development consultant company often provides hands-on training to the in-house team on how to use a particular technology or software. They help your team with lessons and hacks on the technology or software usage approach, making it easy for you to adapt a new system with minimal learnability timeline. In fact, with a long term partnership, you can also reach out to them later in the software journey to clear any doubts or work on new feature additions.
5. Save excess/unplanned time and cost spends
It is no surprise that IT downtime leads to losses across all fronts – customer experience, internal operations and business revenue. But when we look at reports highlighting that outages can cost around $100,000 in losses, it becomes all the more real.
Now, a software development consulting services firm can help you tackle digital transformation without downtime by fixing the issues at a speedy rate, leading to minimal revenue loss.
6. Power focus on core business operations
If we sit down to list out long-term IT activities, it would look like this –
- Redesigning of the business processes
- Building effective technical strategy
- Achieving maximum efficiency at minimum cost spend and time
- Improving employee productivity
- Tracking the software performance
Now, all of these long-term activities get addressed by investing in software consultant services. These firms help strategize the roadmap and create a process which can be tracked against all the different IT requirements. With an essential part now being automated or streamlines, you get ample time to concentrate on other core business activities.
7. Get access to varied experience
One of the most pivotal benefits of investing in a software development consultancy firm is that you get access to multi-experienced teams. Typically, the software development consulting firms also have design, development, and deployment expertise. This way, they don’t just guide you on the best tech stack or approaches but also provide development and deployment services, helping you deliver high-quality software in record time.
8. Achieve measurable results
The only reason why businesses outsource activities or tasks is to achieve their key metrics in a fixed timeline. The same idea holds true when you partner with a software development consultant company. The firms work on fixed deliverables – setting off a new software approach, overlook development of a product, update or train employees about a software, etc., meaning at any given point in time in the contract you can measure the impact they are creating.
9. Know the areas of improvement
A key part of software consultant services is helping you find gaps, assess business or technical risks, and give advice on closing those gaps. Software design consultants study your complete business – the way you approach software implementation and usage, which features do you use and what you need as your business grows, the software your team currently uses and how, the impact you are looking to create, etc.
With a complete understanding of your business needs, the software consulting company creates a list of improvement areas and the ways to approach the situation.
10. Boost productivity and business outcome
The last, but crucial nonetheless reason for investing in software development consulting services for business is streamlining of the business operations in a way that the employees’ productivity remains on a high. By having a clear view of what is needed in the software development and usage journey and what to expect as an outcome, you are able to do proper resource planning with employees focusing on what is important and what can be put on hold.
The roadmap of software development consulting
Software development is a multi-step process. It starts with the consulting agency getting an understanding of the client’s needs and market, and then building a product that would get them closer to achieving the goal, in addition to providing them with constant maintenance support.
On a stage-by-stage level, this is how the roadmap of a software development consulting process operates –
It is impossible to initiate the creation of any sound software product without gathering an understanding of what the business does, the market it is targeting, and the approach to make the process efficient.
The idea of the discovery stage is that the consulting agency sits with the client’s team to get an understanding of how they operate, what they expect from the product, and how it translates into a technical architecture.
The result of this stage is often finalization of features, technology, and the development roadmap.
At the back of the vision and features finalized in the previous stage, the app wireframe is prepared. This wireframe or prototype is a visual representation of the software and its many features, transitions.
These wireframes are then shared with the client and upon their go-ahead, full-fledged mockups are made and transferred to the developers for frontend and backend development.
This is the stage where the development process starts. Here the developers make the wireframe clickable, create features, add integrations and next-gen technologies to make the software future-centric, and make it secure. Moreover, the software consultants, at this stage, ensure the product is hack-proof and glitch-free.
Throughout the stage, the clients are kept in the loop on real-time tracking project management tools and communication apps.
Once the software is built, the consultants, after running a thorough quality check, launch them on the devices and platforms that the clients envision them on. Post deployment, they handover all the codes, files, and data to the clients, ensuring that they adhere to the NDA formalities.
Additionally, the consulting agency allocates a support team to help the clients maintain and manage the software post-launch.
Now that we have looked into what is a software development consultant, the many benefits of partnering with a software consulting business, and the roadmap of software development consulting, there remains a challenge.
The challenge of finding the best software consulting company. Let me make it easy for you.
How to approach the best software development consulting company?
Finding the best software development consulting firms can hold a long-lasting impact on your business. A wrong move here can lead to the initiation of incorrect software practices, slow development, and an inadequacy in getting your customers what they need.
As a rule of thumb, there are some fixed elements to keep in mind when approaching a software development consultancy firm –
Define your goals
Before you get to the stage where you start researching the best software development consultant company, you should spend some time defining your requirements and end goals. Here are some questions that can help answer that:
- What issue is your business or market facing?
- Have you identified a solution for the issue?
- What do you plan to achieve from providing the solution?
Knowing the answers to these questions would help you make better decisions in terms of which agency can address them effectively.
Make a list of consultants
The next stage would be to look for companies that offer end-to-end consulting and development services. You can easily find them on platforms like GoodFirms, Clutch, and Manifest, etc. that collect information and client reviews of different software companies.
When making the list, give preference to agencies that have an extensive work portfolio, expertise, team size, client reviews, and budget match.
Contact and take decision
With the list now made, it is time to contact the shortlisted agencies with the information you collated in the first stage. Talk to them about their offerings, pricing plans, suggestions on how they would approach development, and the delivery time they are quoting. By the time you have called all the shortlisted firms, you would know whom to partner with.
Why partner with Appinventiv for your software consulting needs?
Being in the business for more than 7 years, Appinventiv has helped thousands of entrepreneurs initiate and elevate their software journey. How? At the back of our varied service set and a very deep understanding of the software industry. Our team knows that irrespective of which industry you belong to, the expectations from software implementation and usage is almost the same –
- Better user experience
- Streamlined or automated internal operations
- Predictive reporting
- Timely upgradation of software offerings
Being a part of the software domain as a custom software development company, we achieve all of this at the back of our very specific software consultant services skillsets. Skill Sets that revolve around –
- Analysis of the current software usage and the gaps
- Fast adaptability of in-trend technologies and features
- Extensive knowledge of frameworks, languages, and technologies
- Problem solving abilities with a focus on fail-fast approach
- Excellent networking with professionals across tech companies
- Coaching skills
- Presentation abilities for sharing the software growth story with leadership teams.
At the back of these skill sets, we have become one of the most trusted consulting partners for startups and enterprises alike. Want to know what makes us so special? Get in touch with our team today.
FAQs about software consultant services
Q. What does a software consultant do?
A. The responsibilities of a software development consultant ranges across –
- Gathering client’s requirements
- Planning software design and architecture
- Recommending technology and frameworks
- Looking over the end-to-end software development process
- Collaborating with internal developers and testers.
Q. What type of software consulting model should I choose?
A. You will typically get three options when looking for a software consulting agency –
- Onshore – Those based in the same country as yours
- Nearshore – Those located near your operative country
- Offshore – Those which are in other regions altogether
The decision between them can be taken on the basis of cost and quality. While in case of onshore and nearshore the quality might be high, the cost of development will be equally greater. Comparatively, when you pick an offshore software consulting agency, you get a high delivery quality at a low development price.
Q. What would be the cost of hiring a software consulting firm?
A. The cost of hiring a consulting firm will depend heavily on factors like – complexity of the software, number of platforms you want it to be live on, geographic location of the agency, and the number of resources working on the project.
DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER