How to find the right software development support for your business

How to find the right software development support from a partner
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Managing tech debt and developing for the future at the same time is almost impossible without additional resource. And attempting digital transformation on your own is tough. But hiring new software developers isn’t always the answer.

Your team understand the tech debt in your system better than anyone else. They know your business, they care about the system (because they built it and they’re invested in success of the company.  So they may see new hires as a threat. But they don’t have the resource to develop something new whilst keeping on top of existing workload.

Enter the software development partner.

It sounds like a simple solution. And it can be. But selecting the ‘right’ partner is not without peril or problems. Lures of cheaper pricing, partners who promise the earth but can’t deliver, and failure to deliver on time are common complaints in the digital transformation industry.   

Because if it’s the first time you’ve used a software development partner, you may not know what you’re looking for. So here’s how to pick a partner that’s right for you and that can deliver:


1) Pick your partner before you plan

Choose your partner before you start planning.It sounds simple but it’s a common mistake. Companies create what they believe to be a robust plan, and then select a partner. But ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’, so involving a partner right at the beginning means you have experience in your corner at the most critical stage.  

A strong software development partner should help you:

  • Define a delay-proof plan
  • Give you clarity around how long it will take and what it will cost
  • Circumnavigate potential potholes and problems
  • Bring your team along for the journey  

It’s especially important to find the right partner your business which means finding a good cultural fit and someone you trust.  


2) Do your due diligence

A good relationship with your software development partner is critical for on-time delivery and success. After all, developing and future-proofing software is a long-term relationship, not a quick fix. So there’s got to be a good cultural fit and above all, trust.

So how you find out if a partner is a good fit? Try these simple questions:

  • Is it a partner you feel you could do business with over a long period of time?
  • Can they back up their shiny marketing with references and case studies?
  • Are they open about mistakes and delays and how they dealt with them?

3) Check for red flags

You can’t afford to waste time and money on a project that gets delayed or can’t be delivered. Especially if it’s simply because sufficient research wasn’t done by your partner in the early stages.


So here are some red flags that might give you an indication that a partner can’t deliver. Gather feedback from your team too as they’ll be the ones working alongside your partner


X     Do they sweep problems under the carpet and tell you what you want to hear (rather than being upfront and honest)?  

X     Do they try to dissuade you from speaking to their customers?  

X     Are they worryingly cheaper than all the other quotes you’ve had?

4) Consult their customers


One of the best ways to find out if a software development partner can actually deliver, is to ask their customers some questions, so you can hear their experiences first hand.

We’d recommend having a conversation with at least 3 of their customers, including one that experienced problems. Here are some of our favourite questions to dig below the surface:  

  • What was your experience of working with X?
  • Did you get where you wanted to?
  • How did they react when there was a problem? What did they do?
  • Was the planning to schedule? Or did the scope keep expanding?  
  • What was it like at the end of the project; were they still around to support you?


Selecting the right software development partner for your digital transformation project means you will deliver on time and in budget whilst up skilling your team at the same time. So pick a partner first, do your research and trust your gut.


If you want to drill us on those all-important delivery questions, book a 30 minute Clarity Call and we’ll show you how we guarantee delivery.  

Speak to a Software Development Specialist

If you would like to discuss a bespoke software development project, challenge or goal please book a 30 minute Clarity Call with us and we'll point you in the right direction (even if you chose not to work with us)

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