Computer Economics reported that 60% of businesses in 2021 leveraged outsourcing for app development. Records from Syntax during that same year showed that more than 80% of IT leaders are reviewing outsourcing options for managing and scaling cybersecurity efforts.
And it’s not just the big enterprise firms outsourcing. Even small businesses are getting in on the benefits.
A recent study from Deloitte showed that more than 60% of small businesses interviewed cited that outsourcing allows teams time to work on core business functions, and it lets them cut costs while getting the solutions they need.
Despite so many small, medium, and enterprise-size businesses taking advantage of outsourcing their tech needs, there is still some resistance to this trend.
One of the biggest factors stopping people from outsourcing includes not knowing what custom software development solutions they want or need.
Most businesses have transactional relationships with their business partners. In other words, they know what they need from each other, order it, pay for services, and move on. But software development solutions are not always so transactional, which can make risk-averse leaders uncertain of how to move forward.
Not knowing what you need is actually when you need to talk with a team of software solution vendors.
Many custom software development companies offer more than just a transactional relationship. They offer you their collective decades of knowledge and success at implementing similar solutions in business settings like yours.
Beyond the opportunity to talk with experienced consultants, if you take the time to work with business solution professionals, you’ll also get some other coveted advantages, including:
- A well-educated second opinion and software development recommendations.
- A clear outline of your business problems, root causes, and potential solutions.
- An in-depth discovery plan that outlines every step of solution implementation.
- A technology roadmap to divide your transformation process into manageable phases.
Discover What Software Solution Experts Know & Recommend for Your Business
The philosopher Socrates once said, “I know that I know nothing.” In the 21st century, we’ve translated this into the concept of, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” This modern version rings true for most people tasked with finding and hiring a custom software development company.
Gaining access to current tech knowledge and trends is one of the key reasons you go to a custom software development solution expert. You’re paying them for the information you don’t have the time or means to attain in-house.
Getting the latest information can breathe new life into your business’ tech stack. Likewise, the opportunity to sit with a team of people who are passionate about technology and problem-solving can help invigorate your team and leaders to move forward on software initiatives.
When you sit down with a team of software development professionals, you should always feel comfortable expressing what you think may solve the problem, even if you don’t know what tech you’ll need.
Our team of solution experts here at AltSource, for instance, often prefers to hear what customers think may solve the problem. It helps our team better understand what’s going on in that business.
For example, let’s imagine you work for a shipping and distribution organization. Managing inventory in your warehouse has become problematic due to improperly maintained stock records and clunky order fulfillment processes. When you explain this to our team, you tell us that your main interest is discovering a simpler way of maintaining records and fulfilling orders.
Just from this short conversation, our team of experts gains a better understanding of your world and your priorities. From there, they can ask in-depth questions about your business, your current tech stack, goals, and key metrics. All of this information helps us become a better partner and consultant for you, so we can give you the best recommendations for your specific situation.
If you ask about custom software development solutions related to your problems, our team could explain if those solutions are a good fit for your business. They can also share recommendations on other options to solve your immediate problems and long-term technology investments that can help scale and grow your business.
Uncover Your Real Business Problems and Identify Software Development Options
Let’s pretend that you and your leadership team are looking over key metrics from the last year. You notice some worrisome trends. Sales have been on a decline all year. You also have seen supply chain issues with getting your products to retailers and into the hands of customers.
Your team decides that the problem must be supplier-related.
To fix the problem, you and the team want a solution that helps review and rank multiple suppliers. By implementing this solution, your organization could avoid being supplier-dependent and increase product fulfillment efficiency for retailers and customers.
If you were to take this idea to transactional software developers (i.e., “dev shops”), they could produce exactly what you’ve ordered — a supplier review and ranking system. But will that solution accomplish the goal of fixing your decline in sales and order fulfillment problems?
When you work with custom software development solution experts who act as your consultative partner, they’re going to dig a little deeper into a problem like this before they write a single line of code. It’s not that they don’t trust your team’s analysis. Rather, they want to ensure you get the right-fit solution that accomplishes your goal and delivers a return on your investment.
For in-depth problems like these, our AltSource team likes to conduct root-cause analyses on all the parts of your business related to the problem areas. In this example, the problem areas would include:
- Product sales
- Product fulfillment logistics
While it may take more time to truly define the problems, gather all related data from different stakeholders, and use appropriate tools to determine the true root causes, it’s well worth the time upfront to do this investigation. Finding out these answers first can save you money and get you closer to achieving your goals more quickly.
For instance, let’s say that you went to a dev shop and had them build your supplier review and ranking system for $100,000. It takes them 4 months to build and deliver. About six months after implementation, you’re still seeing a decline in sales and only a little improvement in product fulfillment logistics. In other words, it just cost you $100,000 and 10 months to get stuck with the same problem.
Had you taken the time to talk to a group of custom software development consultants, you could have:
- Spent a fraction of the $100K on an in-depth discovery and root cause analysis.
- Verified that the suppliers were not the problem.
- Discovered that the real problems included an ineffective marketing plan, an outdated website ordering system, and poor customer service.
- Asked the consultants to design you a technology roadmap built to fix your real problems from the start and get you to your goals faster.
Knowing the real problems plaguing your business is crucial because you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.
Participate in the Discovery Process to Get a Step-by-Step Software Project Proposal
One of the best reasons to go to a team of custom software development experts is to have them build your project proposal.
If you’re unfamiliar, a project proposal is a document that outlines and describes what a software development company recommends to address your business issues. While every software vendor has their preferred proposal template, most cover the following key points:
- Business problems and goals
- Proposed solutions
- Budget & timeline
- Roles & responsibilities
- Risk mitigation
As you can see, this type of document includes all the information your leadership team demands before they are willing to approve a project. Having this document assembled by a team of software development and technology gurus takes the stress away from you and lets you present the best answer possible to your superiors.
But to get that ideal project proposal, you and your team of stakeholders must be willing participants throughout the discovery process.
At AltSource, our Reimagine Discovery process starts with collaboration.
We dig deep into your business because we take a holistic approach to software solutions. So many parts of your company impact others, which is why our team identifies all key business workflows, points out areas that can be improved, examines your current tech stack, and makes recommendations on how to streamline business processes to improve your organization.
We feel that the collaboration stage is vital to finding the right fit solution for your organization. After all, your business is unique, so a one-size-fits-all solution may not be the best option.
Develop Your Technology Roadmap to Scale Your Business for YoY Growth
If you and your team find yourself in a situation where you have a lot of business problems to solve but you don’t know where to begin, it’s often best to work with a consultative software development company that can help you build your technology roadmap.
Whereas a project proposal outlines recommendations to solve a particular problem, a technology roadmap examines how your organization will implement custom software solutions over time to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.
When we build technology roadmaps for clients, for instance, we usually have a more in-depth discovery process because we need to understand your business trajectory. As clients tell us where they want to be within a specific timeframe, our solution experts come in and make recommendations on what’s needed to get from point A to point B and so forth for year-over-year growth.
Developing a technology roadmap also provides an easy way to align every department in your business concerning what software development investments you will make to grow and enhance the company. It can also help with budgeting, training, and addressing hiring concerns.
Many of our customers have also enjoyed how technology roadmaps allow them to divide projects into phases.
For instance, instead of solving every problem all at the same time, which could cause endless slowdowns and bottlenecks, separating your projects into smaller, more manageable chunks allows for incremental growth that is more conducive to how the business operates. It’s also a more budget-friendly method that can lower your risk quotient.
How Does AltSource Provide Custom Software Expertise?
As discussed above, collaboration and discovery take up the bulk of our early partner conversations. While we maintain deadlines and act accordingly to deliver products and solutions to market for our clients, we value our long-term partnerships. That means we’re willing to dive deeper to deliver what our partners truly need for success.
For example, Consumer Cellular Incorporated (CCI) came to us with the problem of how to update their outdated billing system. Their company had gone through a rapid stage of growth, and they needed a system that could handle their unique billing workflows, but also accommodate their 55+ customer demographic who were not tech-savvy.
You can also learn about our software solution expertise firsthand by reaching out to our team members to discuss your business needs: firstname.lastname@example.org