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How to overcome the 5 main challenges in custom software development?

Developers of
the Seemingly
Impossible
Posted bySylvie Brière in , , September 8, 2022

Custom software development is the process of conceptualizing, designing, and developing software for a specific product, individual or an organization. Custom software is built to address specific product or users' needs.

Whether it's a lack of time to recruit, the need for specific expertise, tight deadlines, or other reasons, in this competitive and evolving industry, OEM’s constantly face challenges in the custom software development process. Choosing the right partner to fit your needs can make all the difference in the success of your project.

In this article, we'll go through the 5 most significant challenges OEM’s face and how to overcome them.

1. Lack of technical capabilities

As technologies become more complex, the expertise required to maintain and develop new products increases. It becomes more and more challenging for companies like OEMs to have in-house staff with all the necessary technical skills.

The accelerating growth of technology, among other things, is driving the need for OEMs to work with technical experts such as Engineering Services Outsourcing (ESO) providers, to strengthen their internal expertise. The right partner will help you choose the best technology that meets the latest industry standards and fits your project requirements.

Make a list of the technical capabilities and expertise you need for your project. Prior to hiring a software development company, make sure that they have designers and developers with expertise in the technology you need, such as FPGA, security, cloud connectivity or embedded software. If you want your software development partner to train your internal team, that's possible. Be sure to ask this question.

2. Fastest isn’t always the best fit

In custom software development, companies are eager to move fast to meet their deadlines at any cost. However, the fastest is not always the best option. Difficulties and unplanned situations should not be put aside.  Beyond the basics, a team with long-term partnership potential will offer more than getting the job done. Look for a company that can meet your deadline the right way:

If you’re looking to partner with an ESO provider, there are a few things you need to be sure of for your project to be successful:

  1. Track record of timely deliveries

What is the outsourcing team’s track record of delivering projects? Do they deliver on time or have ready-made excuses for multiple project delays? How do they reuse knowledge gained from other projects to save time?

  1. Bench strength

What if a primary resource gets sick or becomes unavailable? Does the outsourcing team have the bench strength to assign another developer to complete your project on time?

  1. Research and development

A software development partner can help your internal team learn about new technologies and best practices in software development. How does the organization invest in research and development? Are team members staying up to date with the latest technologies and tools, to be ready to implement them on your project right away?

  1. Teamwork

How do they fit into your internal team? Sometimes a lone developer will offer to do the work their way. This approach can be quick, but it is extremely high risk. Developers with a team approach are better suited to large projects that require collaboration.

  1. Partnership

Is the company involved in the tech community? Do they have a network of partners that can support and accelerate the process of going to market with a new product?

  1. Communication

Are the requirements clear? Do they feel comfortable managing and receiving feedback? Are there cultural differences between companies that could be problematic?

3. Make room for innovation

With the talent shortage, organizations must take strategic actions to differentiate their offerings. For more established teams, these challenges can slow the pace of innovation.

Many OEMs struggle to create a comprehensive lifecycle strategy for their product offerings. They are finding it challenging to launch products and move them through the lifecycle rapidly.

To minimize risk, one option is to work with a strategic partner that has good project controls in place. Engineering Services Outsourcing providers help better manage and plan R&D expenses to maximize return on investment.

If creative problem-solving and innovative new solutions are a key criteria for you, you need to ask your potential partner for information that goes beyond bandwidth:

  1. Ask for specific examples of innovative thinking that the organization has done to similar projects.
  1. Introduce the requirements of the project and confirm that the outsourcing team is ready to work with these specifications.
  1. Find out if they work in a collaborative way and how they keep everyone in the loop.
  1. Communication is essential in this work relationship, so discuss how the team will plan and present their ideas.

4. Build a risk-minimizing strategy

Building an in-house technical team requires human resources as well as equipment and infrastructure that can grow quickly.

Good project control is also essential for cost minimizing. A project manager must keep a frequent eye on his team's workload to quickly replace a team member on another project. It is essential to consider all factors affecting development progress, including employee qualifications and associated risks, dependence on third-party services, and bug fixes. Sometimes a feasibility study must be done separately before creating a detailed plan and budget.

Keeping a project moving on time and under budget can look easy on paper but is challenging when inevitable changes happen. For this reason, some companies prefer to outsource custom software development and eliminate the risks associated with building an internal team.

An experienced team with a proven track record will greatly reduce the risk of making mistakes.

5. Benefits of a long-term partnership

If developing innovative technical solutions is likely to go beyond a one-time project, it is useful to carefully investigate the organizations you are interested in and evaluate their potential for long-term partnership.

Having a reliable, trusted outsourcing partner allows you to scale your extended team up and down as needed for different project cycles. This flexibility is a primary driver for many companies to develop long-term partnerships.

Knowing what to request from a potential partner can help you avoid common mistakes.

Download our customizable decision matrix for choosing a software development partner.

Whether you require access to talent with specific skills to accelerate development, or to strengthen your internal team for a special project, engineering outsourcing may be the ideal solution.

Expand your expertise. Co-innovate with us.

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