Software Development and Consulting Part 2: How To Choose Carefully?
In part 1 of our series on software consulting we discussed the why’s and how’s a developer or a software development house grows into consulting services and most importantly – how it is useful and profitable for their clients. We established that consultancy is not the opposite of software development, more like a natural continuation of it that offers something more than mere labour – experience and knowledge. Those can be achieved only through years in the business and understanding things that are bigger than your work at hand – the market trends, industries and their specifics and differences, the psychology behind the clients’ behaviours and much more. Software consultants offer their years of experience instead of simple labour.
It takes a lot of time and effort to piece together a full picture of the company that you want to consult you and pick the last software development house that will meet all your needs and solve problems you didn’t know where there.
The consulting criteria
In the first part, we also outlined that there is a huge problem with choosing the right software consulting firm – there simply too many “experts” on the market to trust anyone who calls himself a consultant or a consulting firm. That is why we tried to come up with some criteria for how to choose a good software consulting company:
A trustworthy software consulting company has all the guarantees of the quality of their work and that it will be properly addressed and delivered on time – and that it is all set in stone. More precisely, in a written consulting agreement. It defines what confidential information will come into possession of the software development company. It also contains a list of issues to be addressed that describes what exactly this company will deliver to the client.
When a company has a unified vision and this vision is transparently communicated to all levels of management and staff, it is a sign of good leadership within the company and that it is a reliable long-term partner.
It is always a red flag when a company is trying to be masters of all things and spreading itself thinly across the entire IT landscape. The broadness of confirmed(!) experience is a good thing but a cohesive portfolio that is needed to provide quality consulting advice is rarely possible. A company that firmly occupies its niche and understands its customer and their needs will provide far superior consulting services than those who know a bit of everything. Their experience and confidence in your niche will be worth more in the long run.
How the company treats its employees (Glassdoor reviews) suppliers and what their clients (IO reviews) think of the company is equally important (Tentacle Solutions, Glasgow). When the company presents itself one way and then its clients and employees are suddenly painting a completely different picture, it should immediately raise a couple of red flags. After all, how can you entrust to determine and solve your problems to someone who can’t solve their own?
Careful choices, quality results
Even after you discard all the LinkedIn “experts”, software consulting bloggers and other not-so-trustworthy consultants, it is still a tough job to find a company like Tentacle Solutions. It takes a lot of time and effort to piece together a full picture of the company that you want to consult you and pick the last software development house that will meet all your needs and solve problems you didn’t know where there. The above outline is just the beginning of the search, so if it was useful – help others and share it with someone who is looking for software consultants.