Step 3: Select a nearshore software development company for project implementation
Once you reach the stage of looking for a nearshore vendor, you’ll notice there’s a huge variety of options out there. Many companies provide outsourcing services, but that doesn’t mean that they’re genuinely experienced or competitive. To identify the real experts, you’ll need to examine both your portfolio and your future partner’s in-depth.
Here’s a shortlist of the key elements to research when looking for the right nearshore software development company:
- How is the vendor managing cybersecurity risks? A remote workforce creates security vulnerabilities. Thus, it’s essential to know how a vendor mitigates this risk. Learn more about the provider’s security strategy and protocols, data storage locations and its standard procedures in the event of data breaches or service disruption.
- What will the communication process look like? Nearshoring offers the least disruptive time difference between a company and provider, with overlapping working hours. This means teams can communicate seamlessly and solve any problems that arise during the development process in real-time. To ensure effective communication, you’ll need to make sure your external team’s language skills are adequate. A lack of language knowledge could lead to reworks and delays, extending your time to market.
Once you’ve conducted this initial research, select three to five candidates that you consider to be the best in their field and can meet your needs. You can then start exploring each in more depth. Schedule an interview to meet each of the vendors in person to discuss both its requirements and yours.
Try not to overdo it with the number of potential providers. Remember, quantity doesn’t equal quality. The fewer candidates you select, the more thoroughly you can get to know each company. You can also check out this article to help you make the most out of your nearshore software development team.
Now, let’s think about how you narrow down your nearshore partner. Some of the most important questions to explore are as follows.
1. What outsourcing experience does the vendor have?
The most valuable thing you need to know about a vendor is its previous experience because this indicates the likelihood of a successful partnership and whether the provider can deliver a high-quality product. There are many ways to learn more about your potential supplier’s expertise, including:
- Getting acquainted with its service portfolio.
- Reading case studies that prove its success with similar industries/technologies.
- Carry your research so that you can have a comprehensive, nonbiased opinion about your potential vendor’s reputation and expertise.
- Looking for third-party reviews and client references (customer reviews on marketplaces, video reviews and customer testimonials).
2. What’s the nearshore software development company’s technological expertise?
Nothing is more revealing than a technical interview with the software company’s CTO, PO, and senior developers. Analyse their skills in working with your technology stack, architecture, and infrastructure. If ongoing communication with the internal team is central, you can involve third-party developers in testing to assess the external team’s ability to think and reason with your people.
Also, in addition to a technical interview, you should:
- Analyse the experience of the company and the development team.
- Consider the number of employees and the attrition rate. If the resignation rate is high, it’s a bad sign.
- Check if the company dedicates enough effort and resources to developing its experts and helping them improve their skills.
- Find out if the potential technology partner organises or actively participates in educational and community events like conferences and seminars. Are there any master classes conducted by the company’s experts? If the answer is yes, you’re probably onto a good thing.
3. What’s its program development process?
If you can, examine the vendor’s software development process, the quality of its development projects and how it meets with your requirements.
- What stages of development does the vendor go through?
- Does it analyse the market?
- What methodologies does it use?
- What project management, reporting and development tools does it use?
4. What’s the stability and safety of the development project?
If you‘re seeking a long-term business relationship, make sure the company is reliable. It’s important to:
- Perform targeted background screening covering possible regulatory violations, criminal convictions, bankruptcy cases, etc.
- Ascertain that the company’s policy is transparent and clear to you.
- Understand if the profit and financial condition of the company is stable.
- Check if it has a solid reputation in the development industry.
- Verify its credibility. Can you find some additional information or references about the company on trustworthy third-party resources?
- Check if it has all the essential up-to-date certifications, like SOC, ISO and other, relevant partnership statuses and known industry awards to back up is expertise.
- Check that the expected information security controls, policies and processes are in place.
For insights on how to avoid the pitfalls of outsourcing, read our article: The Risks of Outsourcing That You Could Have Avoided.
5. What will the relationship and cooperation look like?
When seeking an outsourcing partner, you’ll want to choose a vendor with which you can foster a mutually beneficial and secure relationship. During the selection interview, try to get a feel for if you can walk hand in hand until project completion—both during day-to-day work and also in the event of a critical situation.
When interviewing, try not to place too much importance on the managers or executives of the firm. Talk to its specialists and find out what they think about the company they work for. If possible, try to also talk with the developers who actually worked on the project that caught your attention.
When it comes to generating the legal arrangement—meaning your software development contract—there are certain important aspects you’ll need to bear in mind, as well as some pitfalls to watch out for. Our blog post Software Development Contract Warning Flags is dedicated to this topic.
6. Bonus tip: study your vendor’s sales process and interest
During the very first meeting and any subsequent interviews with your potential partner, you should aim to get an extensive and non-biased impression of the company and the people you are going to do business with. While first impressions count, you can’t rely on them entirely. So you should try to analyse as much information you can get before you make your decision.
Apart from all the practical aspects we’ve mentioned in the previous sections, use your instinct and intuition. Pay attention to the nonverbal cues you get during the meeting with the vendor’s representatives. Watch closely for gestures, facial expressions and emotions, etc.
To help you get the full picture, ask leading questions:
- What is their assessment of your vendor selection process?
- Can they point out what they don’t like and what would they change?
- Who will be responsible for the project delivery, who will be involved from the management side?
After communicating with potential providers, talk with their specialists, including developers, designers, project managers, etc. These could be the people who end up working directly with your team. And, since this is a nearshore cooperation model, you should be able to visit the vendor’s office for things like workshops and casual meetings.
Finding the right nearshore software development team is tricky. We’ve outlined some of the key ways in which you can identify the right a nearshore outsourcing company for your business, including:
- Performing background screening and in-depth analysis of the partner you want to work with.
- Taking your time to investigate all possible risks and pitfalls.
- Shortlisting three to five companies with whom you’ll conduct in-depth interviews.
- Trying to communicate not only with managers but with other specialists too.
- Gaining as much information as possible during the interview to help guide your decision.
Once you’ve found the right fit, a nearshoring partner can significantly improve your business efficiency and decrease costs.
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