What is software consulting?
Software consulting is a service that helps other companies or self-employed individuals to meet their needs in terms of software infrastructure, development & support – by providing solutions to any software-related problems, also by creating custom software development solutions and providing training materials.
When is a software consulting company needed?
The current software market offers a wide variety of business software, however some of the available applications come at a high price, or are missing features. When this is the case, software consulting companies come to their rescue: with expert advice, better prices, more flexibility, multiple software development services and trained personnel.
Another advantage of hiring a software consulting company is the fact that this can be contracted on a project basis, with a certain time frame agreed upon by both parties. Also, software consulting companies can deliver software solutions for a wide variety of industries.
The good and the bad of software consulting
Let’s start with the benefits of employing a company that provides software consulting services:
* Expertise, prompt reviews and solutions
The main service that a consulting company offers is to provide solutions and recommend approaches that are suitable for the customers’ needs. Also, a consulting company runs feasibility studies and thoroughly reviews the available solutions on the market, so as to ensure the best approaches.
* Fast response to the company’s needs
The main focus of a consulting company is to provide fast response to the company’s issues, and also to deliver the necessary fixes and updates in due time. A way to diminish delivery times is to customize an already existing software (developed in-house or purchased) and customize it (or extend it) in such a way that it will cope with the immediate needs of the customer.
* Good prices
Nowadays every company tries to keep the expenses to a minimum, and reduce the losses. More and more companies resort to software consulting companies due to the fact that these companies are able to customize software and provide software development services at convenient prices. They are able to do this by being highly specialized in software development & consultancy, which brings savings in terms of management & scale (as opposed to an internal IT department from a company with a different industry focus; such an IT department is usually less focused on software development efficiency and best practices, and also may suffer from lack of expertise in certain specialized directions).
* Always keeping track of the resources
The amount of time invested in development, the number of developers involved in the development and how the resources are allocated, are established according the customer’s feedback and requirements. So it’s easy for the customer to keep track of the development thread and timetable.
So to sum up the main advantages of employing a software consulting company:
* It provides assistance in selecting the best technologies and tools
* It offers assistance and guidance in developing new features and functionalities
* It recommends solutions that are based on thorough reviews
* It gives the user constant feedback and updated information about every step of the process
* Different time zone
For some companies, hiring an offshore software consulting company brings the issue of the time zone difference – which can be seen as a disadvantage, even though most of the software consulting service providers are able to provide quick responses to their customers’ requests.
* Communication barriers and lack of professionalism
Different time zones can mean different cultural backgrounds and different languages, which in the end can lead to communication issues between the software consulting company and their client. Unless the software consulting company proves that it has good communication skills and a good understanding of the customer’s requirements, the results can be unsatisfactory.