When choosing a software service provider, what should you consider? Software quality or price? While price is very important, it is essential that you take into account some factors that speak of the quality of development and that, at the end, will mean profit for your company.
In today’s economy, perhaps the first and most important question that arises when you want to purchase a product or service is, “How much does it cost?”. Undoubtedly, the weight of the price to make a purchase decision is essential; however, it is important to be clear that the concept of Price is closely linked to the term Quality.
Price and Quality are not synonymous words, but they are a difficult pair to separate, especially when it comes to software development. Is it in your business to think about money or software quality? Which one must be the priority?
Perhaps the best way to answer these questions is to raise some other ones: Is your company thinking in the short or long term? Are you looking for solutions that are scalable and sustainable over time? Do you want to make an investment that means profit for your company? Let’s see…
Price versus Software Quality: An everlasting dilemma
Understanding that Price is the value that someone is willing to pay for something and that Quality is an attribute and a subjective appreciation that is inherent to things which enable us to compare various products. Which matters the most, price or quality?
It is important to keep in mind that quality is built through a process of hard work and underlying costs (labor, materials, different processes, quality controls, etc.), which often explains its high cost.
Understanding what it means to make software and measuring its quality is not anything simple. This has been a constant debate in the world of software development. Many think that quality simply cannot be measured accurately while others ensure that the quality of software can’t be known until the project is totally finished and functioning.
For this reason, when a company decides to hire for the development of a customized system, it usually faces the decision to choose the best supplier and technological partner that meets its particular needs and, in addition, guarantees quality, long-term benefits and a good cost-benefit ratio that will be reflected in earnings and growth.
From our experience, we consider that the quality of software can be measured –even before its implementation– examining some factors that influence, directly or indirectly, the final cost of the development. So, what do we mean when we talk about software quality?
The first and perhaps the most obvious of the points and which, however, is not always evaluated, is the people. The software is developed by people (teams of developers, architects, testers, etc.) who are the talent and creators of the product. The quality and excellence of human capital is a key aspect that ends up translating into quality results. A software development team must have people who occupy the distinct roles with professionalism that are required when making systems. Making good software is not just programming.
It is also important to know the conditions under which these people perform their work, so when evaluating the quality of a development team, it is good to know the context of work, the work environment, the tools they have, the infrastructure or workplace, human resources policies, and incentives, among other factors, which stimulate and facilitate a better performance.
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Own and others’ experiences
As we mentioned earlier, quality in developing a system might be difficult to measure before it is developed, so choosing a software development provider should be based on other aspects.
After evaluating the capacity and knowledge of the development team as well as the work environment of the company, it is important to ask yourself this question: “Has the software company done this sort of work before? What was the result?”
Knowing in detail the age of the company in the market, their clients, the industries in which they have experience, and the current situation of the projects or the cases of similar projects are essential to account for the quality of development and therefore, understand its value.
Also consider how the company grows every year, research satisfaction metrics, or ask for referrals and talk to other clients to know about their experience.
Finally, a very important factor is the definition of processes. If a software development provider has defined processes, and these results are good, it is valid to think that applying these processes to each project will achieve similar or better results.
It is of tremendous value for the level of quality that processes exist that ensure good practices and even better if those processes are certified (by the ISO, for example). It is relevant to know and understand the processes of the software provider, as these provide a certain level of guarantees in the results.
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To Sum Up
The consequences of making poor quality software will always have a negative impact on your business not only because it will be a solution that may work in the short term, but it will not work if you need to scale the solution to meet new functionalities and needs.
Investing in software is a decision that should not be taken lightly, so in order for it to mean profit for your company, it is crucial to consider some factors to determine if your potential software vendor is capable of offering a sustainable and quality product.
The price is important and can give us an idea of what is behind the product, but software quality will be, at the end, more profitable. It is essential to detect other elements that give you the security of hiring quality products and services that offer added value to your own company.
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