Innovation in the digital world can be tricky and very risky, especially when you’re in need of development skills outside your company. Few firms have the luxury of relying on a competent IT department full of developers who are skilled in the latest technologies and are just waiting around to contribute. The biggest challenge for those companies who do not have competent IT departments is that having the time and resources to find the perfect alternative isn’t always a given. Deciding on the wrong partner can be a costly and time-consuming task and can sometimes sabotage entire projects or even ruin companies.

To tackle this problem, we have analyzed & rated hundreds of software agencies in Eastern Europe on a technical, strategic and cultural level. We collected sufficient data on every one of their successful partnerships and put it all into one database – perfect for when companies don’t have the time and manpower to endure the quantity of work necessary to find the perfect partner.

But we don’t stop there! Even though we have found the ideal solution for a successful selection process, we want to help you to ask the right questions and gather the most important insights, before hiring a software agency for a project.

1. Nothing can substitute team experience.

A big advantage software agencies have in comparison to freelancers is their experience in working as a team and a history of solving problems efficiently. They have an unfair advantage over groups of developers that have never worked together. A tech partner with an experienced team that has been working together for a long time can sometimes move mountains and when the stress waves get higher and higher the experienced company tends to know what to do.

But this is not necessarily always the case. I have seen 15 year old software companies where no developer has worked there longer than a year and therefore the shared company knowledge was very low…

On the other hand if you are looking to develop a product in a new innovative technology (e.g. Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning) you will often have no choice but to work with a very young company that has a low amount of shared experience. In these cases it is especially important to evaluate that internal processes work efficiently and the company is able to deliver. We have seen many cases where companies chose an inexperienced software company far too easily and the product was doomed to fail from the very first day.

2. Does the Company Culture fit?

Many studies show that a mismatch in culture and communication is the main reason for unsuccessful IT partnerships. First and foremost you have to understand your own company culture very well. When this understanding is a given, you should make sure that the company you want to collaborate with has similar processes and communication structures in place.
The key behind this is to analyze numerous aspects of the potential partner’s culture to see if, when combined, both of the teams could work together efficiently. This way, you have a greater sense of understanding as well as your general compatibility. Teams which have similar processes in place and respect & like each other on a professional level can make a huge difference.

 

Most importantly: NEVER look at your outsourcing partner as just one of many vendors from a low-income country.Respect is essential for every kind of collaboration.

3. Is their Technology-Stack really the right choice for you?

Nowadays there are many different programming languages and frameworks out there. In order to program any system a multitude of different technologies can be used. They have all their advantages and disadvantages and depending on the situation one solution might be a better option than another.

In most cases, if you asked a software agency yourself what technology would be the best, they will always tell you that it is the one they are already using themselves. But this answer can be totally wrong. Lets say you are developing an e-commerce website. You can use preconfigured solutions like Shopify and Wix or CRMs like Magento and Woocommerce. Or you could just develop everything from the ground up on your own. Which solution is really the best for you depends on a vast variety of factors and a wrong decision at this point can have very costly outcomes.
Trust and transparency is of the utmost importance when outsourcing your project. Therefore, a clear technical documentation process that suits both the company and the agency can prevent unwanted outcomes and in return gives more confidence in every decision made.

4. Every business has its own strategy.

Every business in its nature wants to grow and earn money. A company that works in the B2B-Sector for that matter needs valuable clients to grow. If you yourself are in the B2B sector you will know very well that not all the clients have the same value for you with regards to your business strategy.

Some clients can help you to grow your business and open doors to other vertical and distant markets. Others may be valuable just because they bring in some money and it is relatively easy to serve their needs.

You have to consider that being a client yourself for the software company you are hiring means that you may or not be of high value for them. Your value depends mostly if the project they are developing for you fits their company strategy and their long term goals. If this is the case they will treat you with much more urgency and respect. You should always find a software agency where, as a client, you fit into their business strategy.

5. Check their communication channels.

An essential factor for a smooth sailing project, is that the language barriers between the project lead and the agency are non-existent. We only partner with companies where all stakeholders have excellent English skills. If on the other hand your own employees/colleagues do not have fluent English skills, then outsourcing might not be the best solution for you.

In addition to ensuring that the spoken language is a match, it is important to evaluate the communication tools that the teams use. During projects new things happen every hour, so it is crucial that both parties are familiar with the same communication tools.

Most importantly: to avoid misunderstandings, you have to communicate on a regular basis!

Making use of those insights can give you a huge head-start on how to decide on a potential agency but to be clear this list only provides a base for making an informed decision and it certainly isn’t complete. EASTCODE is of course open to welcoming everyone in order to provide the perfect fit for outsourcing your software development project to Eastern Europe.

With the analysis we do before every collaboration and our pool of hand-picked agencies you no longer have to worry about picking the wrong partner.