When your business reaches a specific size, your processes become too complicated for you to manage them with off-the-shelf applications – let alone manually. That’s the moment when you need to turn to enterprise software to meet your growing demands. This kind of software is targeted directly to large companies that need to tackle numerous tasks on an enterprise-wide level, transcending individual users’ needs.
There are plenty of enterprise applications in the market. As any big company would tell you, any organization that has reached the enterprise level is better off with custom solutions that better accommodate their needs. If you have reached that level, then it’s time to consider working with an enterprise information technology services provider to help you customize your digital infrastructure.
With the help of this strategic partner, you can achieve higher performance, scalability and extensibility, and better security and robustness, among other things. Naturally, to get those benefits, you need to ally with the best partner out there, and doing so isn’t easy. There are many enterprise information technology services providers in the market, and it’s challenging to find the best one for you.
Your best shot at doing so? Conducting a thorough research process, guided by a solid questionnaire that lets you better vet your candidates. Though there isn’t a one-size-fits-all list of questions you can use, it’s best to guide your interview process with the following paramount questions.
1. “What Does Your Development Process Look Like?”
You might have a general idea of how a software development process works or might have been part of a development process before, but that doesn’t mean you can overlook this question. Each company has a somewhat unique approach to software development, a process you need to understand to see if it fits your way of working and aligns with your business goals.
There’s more than meets the eye in a traditional development process. It’s not enough for a company to say that they are “agile-driven.” You have to dig deeper than that and ask about specifics. What are the stages that cover the whole SDLC? How does the team go from design to deployment? How many engineers will be involved in a project like yours? What quality processes do the company follow? What does their deployment strategy look like?
Additionally, it’s highly recommended that you ask them about their communication process. You need to know how they’ll be contacting you and with what frequency. You need to understand the channels open for you to know what’s going on with the project and which feedback instances you have, as it is all an essential part of any successful development process.
2. “Have You Worked On A Project Similar To Mine?”
Even the most robust process can’t lead you to success without the necessary experience. Since we’re talking about enterprise development services, your development partner needs to have projects under their belt that show their ability to complete projects of enterprise size and scope.
But that’s not all. You should ask whether the development team has worked in projects for the same industry and on similar tools or applications as the ones you’re trying to build. Working in the same sector provides your potential development partner with industry expertise, which can come in handy to leverage their development insights when applied to your field. A company that has worked on similar projects, on the other hand, allows the development team to better approach the whole project.
Though you might find valuable partners that haven’t worked with your industry or on similar projects before, you can’t risk your project to become a pilot program for a company without experience. Always choose the company that’s capable of providing you with past projects that are close to what you want.
3. “What Technologies Is Your Team Specialized In?”
You might be more of a business-type person who doesn’t know that much about programming languages or frameworks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask about the technical aspect of things. If you don’t know that much about it, make sure to have someone on your company assessing you with the answers that come from this question – because they will be crucial in defining which enterprise IT development team will you end up hiring.
Why’s that? Because knowing the technologies that the development team is capable of using helps you better understand how suited they are for your project – and how much they can elevate it. On the one hand, assessing the technologies they know should have your potential partner discuss the best technologies for your project and a suggested path that will inform you of your candidates’ expertise.
One the other hand, you can check whether the development company knows cutting edge technologies, like AI, blockchain, data science, and AR, among others. Knowing so isn’t inconsequential, as those technologies can further your digital infrastructure and help you achieve a more rounded tool for your enterprise.
4. “Where Will My Company Stand During The Project?”
A part of the answer to this one should be available to you after you ask the second question in this questionnaire. However, there’s another critical part you need to know about your involvement in the project, which is why this question is paramount. Your enterprise developer should be able to detail what they’ll expect from you and what you can request from them in return.
On one part, they should clarify which kind of deliverables you will get throughout the project and which files you’ll be able to access. Will you have the source code at your disposal? What about access to the project management dashboard? Which kinds of reports on the progress will you get?
Even if you decide to transfer all project development responsibilities to an outsourcing company (something that you can do with BairesDev’s delivery teams service), you have to know what kind of things you’ll be able to access if you want to. Since it’ll be impossible for you to be completely detached from your project, it’s essential for the company to detail the role they imagine for you beyond feedback provision in certain stages.
5. “What’s Your Estimation For The Length Of The Project?”
A dynamic development pace is very important in today’s highly competitive world, especially in the enterprise field. That means that the development company should provide you with an estimate for the length of time your project will take to be completed. This feels like a minor detail, but it isn’t.
A company that’s capable of delivering your project in less time is ideally the way to go, but be careful. There might be companies that sacrifice quality for speed’s sake. That’s not what you’re looking for. You need to get your digital solutions quick to sharpen your competitive edge, but that doesn’t mean that you should settle for less than stellar quality. Often, this means that you’ll have to hire a senior development team to get your project going.
It’s important to note two additional things regarding this time estimation. The first is that you can’t expect these estimates to be set in stone. It’s possible that unexpected issues during development might end up delaying your launch date. That’s pretty common, so a seasoned enterprise development company should consider that when providing an estimate (meaning that they will give you a real assessment and a warning about those delays). The second is that a senior development team that works quickly can impact the cost, so be ready to pay a higher price.
6. “How Much Would This Project Cost And What Does That Price Include?”
Speaking of prices, you should ask for a price estimate for your project. Costs have always been a deciding factor when choosing potential partners, and enterprise development isn’t an exception. Naturally, it would be best if you didn’t use the estimates you’re given as your only relevant for decision making – all of the considerations above should be a part of your decision.
When discussing prices, try to dig deeper about what those costs mean and what they include. Some companies only inform their potential customers of prices based on hourly rates of development, leaving out some essential parts (such as testing, warranties, licensing, and implementation costs). There might be hidden costs you can’t imagine, so it’s better to discuss them openly for you to have a clearer picture.
It’s true that discussing prices is a somewhat sensitive affair that can initially shock you. However, having a list of all the things included in the final price might help you understand the figures you might receive and put things in perspective. Besides, talking about costs with your potential enterprise partners can help you see how transparent they are about their practices, which can provide you further insights about the companies you’re dealing with.
7. “Why Should I Pick You?”
Finally, here’s a great question to end your interviews. Asking this question can provide you with a lot more information than what you imagine. Sure, you might get the default answers about “being the most talented” or “having worked with the biggest companies in the world” but you should read between these lines. A question like this allows you to see what the companies think are their competitive advantages. If they use a generic line, then you know that they are just another development company.
You need to aim for the very best for your enterprise development, so you have to pay special attention to whatever companies answer you here. Those answers can show transparency, customer care, innovation, and other things you’ll want in your project.
This question shouldn’t overshadow the rest, mind you. The perfect enterprise information technology services provider is the one that best answers the whole questionnaire. It should offer you a balanced approach to your project, including experience, talent, a reasonable price, and a well-oiled process that can lead you to success.
The Bottom Line
Wrapping up, software development, or custom app development is the requirement of every business today. Without technological advancement, there is no future of business. This pushes enterprises to rely on development companies to amalgamate their internal process with software for automotive operations. Before finalizing the software development team, you should do a background check and measure the company so that it fulfills the organizational need for business growth.