App owners have often come across this problem.
What do they need to look for in a mobile app development company?
The answer lies in a variety of parameters and situations.
– What is the size of the company vis a vis your budget and support requirement?
Considering your support requirements and expectations, does the company have enough developers to support your requirements. The company may get overwhelmed by the work due to it’s small size and may not be able to ramp up quickly.
So, keep in mind the number of employees that the company would be putting in your project. Ideally the total number of people involved should not be more than half the strength of the company. If the ratio is more, your project may run into risk later on if there is attrition in the team.
– Does anyone from the management team has a technical background
Although this is not important but overall improves the quality of the app and the experience. If the management team understands the nuances of development or they themselves have been developers before, its easy for them to gauge the intricacies involved. They are able to manage risks better. The sales process is much smoother as they can project realistic expectations. If the sales process does not involve a technical guy, then you may get a lot of promises which may not be fulfilled. So, at least one of the management team should have worked in software engineering.
This also helps in cases of attrition if any of the management team is hands on with technology.
– Has the company used the technology before?
A lot of app owners look at technology as a means to an end i.e whatever is best at the cheapest possible price. Especially in mobile app development, there are a number of technologies to choose from ranging from platform native apps , cross platform development frameworks to simple mobile websites.
The app development company should be able to guide you to the best possible technology based on the app features as well as other factors like the number of platform to develop for, the size of the user base, the user experience required, the target market dynamics.
– How well the sales/pre-sales team understand your business requirement?
A lot of times, the sales team of a mobile app development company would rush to send you a price proposal.
One thing to look out for: do they have any questions? If they ask you questions, then it means that they have gone though the requirements and have discussed it internally as well. If there are no questions or suggestions from the app development company, then whatever be their price, do not even consider them as an option.
– What capabilities do they have in house and what they outsource.
It’s difficult for small sized companies to have all the capabilities in house. So, they outsource some bits like UI designing, testing etc. Make sure that you ask upfront. Outsourcing your work is not a problem as long as they understand and communicate the requirements to the outsource team correctly. So, be open to talk to the external team as well, in case the need arises. Make sure that things are clear from the very beginning and the mobile app development company is honest and upfront about it.
There may be other factors involved like your personal comfort level with the team or their location. Such factors depend on case to case basis.