Everything we do these days is powered by software. We order taxis with a mobile app, pay for our coffees with contactless payment via our smartphones, work in web applications, and even our homes are powered by smart technology to improve our quality of living. But who makes all that possible?

Despite what we might think, many of the services we use daily were created not by the brands selling them but by a software development company hired for the job. And in today’s article, we will define what a software development company is, take a closer look at what it does, and identify the criteria to find the best custom software developer for your needs.

What is a software development company?

Software development companies are centered around software creation and maintenance. Their primary business is software, so they maintain a professional team with vast experience in technologies that enable them to take on various tech projects.

There are two types of software development companies:

  1. Product-based
  2. Service-based

These are not mutually exclusive, and you can easily find a company that does both. A product-based company generates profit from creating software from scratch and distributing it among clients and partners. A service-based company does not have its own solutions portfolio but builds products on demand.

Both types have unmatched knowledge in software solution development and project management because they constantly work with different technologies, making them experts and allowing them to cater to the needs of all sorts of third-party companies.

Key services that a software development company offers

The definition and the role of software development companies tend to change as time goes by. Nowadays, most companies of that type are expected to provide several core services.

Custom software development

Naturally, the number one service that is provided is custom software development. Some companies specialize in either mobile or web-based applications. However, you will see most market players offering the development of both.

It is also possible for the company to niche down and work with either one technology (such as blockchain) or write in a particular programming language, such as C++ or Java. But again, it’s not very common because it severely limits the pool of potential customers.

IT Consulting

As someone who dedicates 100% of their time to software and works with a diverse client base, these companies possess a unique collection of knowledge and insights that make them great experts in the field. Startups and enterprises can benefit from running their ideas by a software development company that can point out the strong points, identify potential risks and give suggestions.

Maintenance and support

The work with software doesn’t stop once developers finish coding. The long-term success of the solution lies in regular updates and upgrades that would include bug fixes, performance improvements, and new feature releases.

Staff Augmentation

Sometimes a business doesn’t need to hire the entire team to work on their digital product because they already have an internal team but might be missing a core skill. In that case, a software development company can outsource one of their specialists and have them join the clients’ team for the project or hire them periodically for certain jobs.

UX/UI design

The outlook of the solution plays an equally important role as its functionality. You might have the best solution on the market that does the things your competition can’t even dream of. Yet, if your interface is off-putting, you won’t become the market leader or win the hearts of thousands of clients.

UX/UI design helps build products that look good and are intuitive and convenient to use. It’s a much harder task than it might seem at first glance. That’s where software development companies step in and enable their clients to create unique and functioning designs for their solutions.

Legacy software modernization

Another service that is in high demand is the update of legacy solutions. Replacing aging tools with new ones is not always possible, especially if legacy software is deeply integrated into the workflow. A solution here is to modernize the existing environment and match modern performance, security, and functionality requirements.

Why use the software development company’s services for your business?

We’ve talked about what a typical software development company does and its services, but it might be unclear why someone would need to work with them. Theoretically, you can do anything they can do internally, too, so what are the benefits of such cooperation?

  • Easy access to expertise.
    Software development companies are constantly working on projects for different clients, and they have exactly the knowledge that you need, which they are ready to share with you, so there’s no need to spend time learning a programming language or getting first-hand QA testing experience. Instead, you can jump straight into development.
  • Fast project delivery.
    Their project management process is well-polished and streamlined, so you can achieve desired results faster than you’d have by doing everything yourself.
  • Cost optimization.
    It may seem that hiring an external company to build tools for you is expensive. But in reality, if you add up the cost of hiring, onboarding, and maintaining employees, the rate that most companies give you, the majority of the time, will be lower than the in-house alternative.
  • Focus on core business.
    Whenever you assign your employees to a project, you must consider the opportunity cost. Who is performing their job if they are busy with MVP development for the next couple of weeks? And what tasks are being pushed back? With a reliable partner overseeing the development, your team can focus on the core activities that will make your company successful in the long run.

How to find a good software development company?

A good partner will take the time to understand your requirements, pains, and goals. They will not rush through the negotiation process to start development immediately but ensure you are both on the same page before anything gets done.

In addition to that, look at the following criteria:

  1. Cases portfolio – it’s okay if the company hasn’t executed many projects that resemble yours, but looking at their previous work will help you understand what they’re capable of and what kind of scale of projects they’re used to working on.
  2. Customers’ feedback – do they have testimonials on their website? Do you know someone who’s worked with this company?
  3. The list of services that are offered. You’d need to talk with the representatives to understand what the company is capable of fully, but viewing their services listed will give you a rough idea and help narrow the candidates’ pool.
  4. Timeline. Everyone works differently, so before you do anything, double-check how long the project is estimated to take and if it’s possible to align it with your expectations.

Finding a perfect software development partner may take time, but it’s definitely worth it.

Final thoughts

Software development companies focus on creating and maintaining software solutions for their clients. They provide various services and enable other companies to benefit from top-notch products while staying focused on their core business. The details of software development companies’ services will vary, but all of them would gladly offload software-related projects off of your shoulders. Choosing a company to work on the solution for you requires a bit of work, but as a result, you will get a trusted partner who will empower your business and facilitate its growth.