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What’s It Like Working with a Development Partner?

What’s it like working with a software development partner? It is easier, faster, more secure, and more cost-efficient than you might imagine, especially when you partner with the right team.

From software development for web apps, mobile apps, and business process automation to software selection, working with an external development team can be an incredible long-term solution for not only creating the best technology for your specific needs but also keeping it up to date and secure.

Continue below to find out what the process looks like and how partnering with an external development partner can help your business do more with less, reduce risk, avoid technical debt, and get to market faster.

What Does the Development Partnership Process Look Like?

At Swip Systems, our custom software development team begins with discovery – we get to know your business, thoroughly assess your current technology, and help determine the specific products or applications your business needs to accomplish your goals.

We also ensure all aspects of your custom software, web application, or mobile app project are well organized, clear, concise, and cost-effective from start to finish and thereafter.

Let’s look at an example of the process and how we partner with businesses on web apps and mobile apps.

  • Brainstorm ideas with the client team
  • Narrow the scope of concepts that come from in the idea phase
  • Take good ideas into discovery and go forward with those that are actionable
  • Create a mockup or “wireframes” of the actionable concepts and ideas
  • Identify the Minimal Viable Product (MVP)
  • Hash out suggested core features and develop those that make sense
  • Keep communication open and flowing throughout the project
  • Develop the Minimal Viable Product (MVP)
  • Work out any bugs; beta test and fix any quirks fast
  • Communicate, hold people accountable, communicate some more
  • Perform market testing with focus groups and execute on their feedback
  • Develop a go-to-market strategy and work toward a “go live” date
  • Go live and manage initial functionality as the app is downloaded and used
  • Work with the client team and support the technology going forward

When we develop custom software for business process automation, the process is clearly defined and thorough, with communication at the heart of every project.

Graphic with process steps

Why Work with an External Development Partner?

An external software development partner can be an extension of your team while offering an objective point of view, skillsets and expertise you may not have in-house, and the ability to keep the project moving without daily business responsibilities getting in the way.

Here are seven ways collaborating with a reputable external development partner will get your software or app project across the finish line and help your business thrive.

1. You don’t have to search for, hire, and manage the talent.

One of the biggest benefits of working with a reputable, knowledgeable external software or application development partner is that you don’t have to search for, hire, and manage new talent.

Good developers are extremely difficult to find and when you finally hire one, that person may or may not turn out to have the skills they claimed to have when interviewed. From vast experience, I can assure you, the person you interview is NEVER the person you actually hire. Furthermore, bringing a new hire up to speed and managing developers is time-consuming. Both take a unique skillset.

You can avoid this often-frustrating endeavor and put your development project in the hands of your external team.

2. You have someone to lead you through the process, step-by-step.

Your development partner can focus on what needs to be done, step-by-step, and keep the project moving. This is the #1 problem with finishing the project. Without an external collaborator to keep your project on track, daily activities get in the way of the project. The custom software or app project gets put on the back burner until it’s so far behind, it never sees the light of day. This leads to technical debt and impacts profitability.

When you work with a reputable, caring development partner, you can have confidence that your project will go to market or be implemented internally because your development team …

  • … is adept at identifying the best technical solution(s) for your goals.
  • … can help you decide on the right technology for your project.
  • … has been down this path before.
  • … knows how to do this.
  • … can design an API to allow for interoperability of a web application or mobile app.
  • knows the technology, coding language, database, APIs, and architecture they are recommending.

As IT professionals and software developers, it is our responsibility to ensure your company receives the right solutions for your needs and the best software for the value with benefits that outweigh the cost of the system.

Team of workers in a room with a whiteboard talking aBOU

3. An external development partner provides an entire team and team resumé.

Technology changes so rapidly, it is nearly impossible to have the expansive knowledge needed to develop new software in-house. Many companies only have one IT person or one developer who is expected to know everything, which is unlikely, especially in a junior developer.

By contrast, an experienced development partner has an entire team that knows every aspect of what is needed for software, web application, and mobile app development, as well as best practices for architecture and design, including:

  • Front-end to back-end efficiencies
  • User interface and user experience (UI/UX)
  • Database architecture
  • Server configurations
  • Mobile platforms
  • Cloud architecture
  • New technologies

An external software development partner provides expertise that results in an immediate increase in the technology savviness of your internal team and each person’s bandwidth, and the freedom to manage it all from a higher viewpoint.

4. You don’t have to learn the “how to …”

Another huge time saver is not having to learn the tech yourself. As a manager or business owner, this can be challenging, even if you’re tech-savvy. Moreover, when you implement new technologies, if they’re not quite right, you’re stuck with them for many years, which results in increased business risk. Choosing wrongly can impact profitability for years to come.

A software development partner can be objective and pinpoint the exact solutions you need so you don’t have to decide which solution is best for you.

Additionally, when you work with an external team, you don’t have to keep up with the constant changes in technology, administer updates and upgrades, or troubleshoot and manage security.

5. You have a built-in accountability partner.

Successful custom software products, web applications, and mobile apps come from more than just knowing code. Besides the obvious skillset, developing new technology takes precise planning and detailed project management, organizational and interpersonal skills, great communication, and a willingness to be flexible while keeping the project on track. An experienced development partner will provide all of this, along with being your accountability partner to help you keep forward momentum on the project … all without impacting your team’s productivity.

Team looking at a laptop with coding

6. You benefit from go-to-market expertise.

If you are taking a mobile app or web application to market, your development partner is vital to working your go-to-market strategy. Though you probably wouldn’t think about a software development partner being involved in a product launch, it’s a natural part of the process.

Your external development team …

  • … provides go-to-market strategy and pricing expertise.
  • … knows how to organize focus groups and implement their feedback.
  • … understands the successes and pitfalls of going to market.
  • … has helped many companies go to market before.
  • … can share what has worked for other companies.
  • … designs pricing models (recurring, per user, ad revenue, etc.).
  • … helps you avoid additional costs associated with mobile app store fees.

7. Ongoing maintenance after the build.

After the build, your project will move into “Maintenance Mode.” Trying to perform maintenance on new software or an application can be tricky for your internal team or IT person. This can lead to wasted time, a “broken” product, and frustrated or unhappy customers.

Since your development partner designed the product, they understand the analysis of the business processes and how they interact, business rules that were coded into the user interface, and the logic built into the application that governs data collection and how it is retrieved. For example, don’t allow field A to be completed unless field B is completed.

They also know the …

  • … coding language used.
  • … database model and architecture used.
  • … cloud/server configuration.
  • … site security.
  • … site and database backups.

Additionally, your external team can quickly troubleshoot the application when something goes wrong, upgrade the technology to keep your business out of technical debt, ensure all components of the product work together as they should, and help keep your technology culture strong.

How to Choose the Right Software Development Partner

When you’ve narrowed your search for a development partner, take time to perform due diligence. This is not a short-term project without impact – it’s important to get it right.

Ask a lot of questions, get to know the company, ask for credentials, and find out if their developers are developers or programmers. Learn how many custom software and mobile application projects they have successfully launched. Ask for client referrals and check out their client’s mobile apps or websites, and lastly, look at their longevity in the market.

As technology and your company’s needs evolve, you need to know your development partner will be there to finish the project and be on your team for years to come.

Business man pointing at the word "success"

The Bottom  Line … An External Software Developer Provides Many Advantages

It can be difficult, if not impossible, to develop the most effective, efficient, and user-friendly software product or mobile application using internal resources. An external software and app development partner will look at what needs to be done objectively and with a depth of knowledge that provides many measurable advantages.

The Swip Systems development team takes a holistic approach and can help turn your idea into a custom, intelligence-based software product, web application, or mobile app that provides a superb UI/UX for your users and evolves with your business needs.

Our team partners with your team in a low-stress, synergistic way to give your company the edge it needs and satisfy customers, all with the goal of profitability.

Whether you’ve begun a software project that has stalled, or you have a concept that needs a professional opinion, we are here to help – we love to brainstorm and assist other businesses with productivity and profitability. Feel free to contact our team for a no-obligation conversation. 877.377.SWIP

Tom established Swip Systems in 1995 and has been providing business automation, software development, web application, and mobile app solutions ever since. As a business owner himself, he’s aware of the challenges and what’s necessary to stay competitive, which is why he is on a mission to help business owners grow and maintain profitability through technology. Tom is also the founder of Midwest Manufacturing Leaders (MML) and a keynote speaker.

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