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How to Choose a Software Development Consultant

April 29, 2024

The following blog comes from John Floyd, Senior Application Development Consultant at Superior Consulting Services.

Many companies are looking for outside help with their IT needs. Whether the help required involves data analytics, business intelligence and/or software development, one thing remains the same: you need a consultant you can trust.  

It’s important for an organization that is about to embark on hiring outside help to understand what qualities to look for in a competent software consultant. Below are just a few of the highlights of what should be considered.

Qualities of a Good Software Development Consultant

1. Demonstrates empathetic customer interaction

The selected consultant should be pleasant in manner and easy to talk to and should also make it clear to the client that they are there to help in whatever capacity they can. A good consultant will anticipate possible issues before they arise and will have already formulated a plan for handling these issues that can be related to the customer in plain terms. 

A consultant should never assume that the client is well-versed in technical terms and concepts and will relate to the client in a manner that can be easily comprehended. This is a part of empathetic communication that’s sadly often overlooked by software consultants.

2. Understands your needs and wants

Your application development consultant should be willing to discuss your requirements and/or issues with you in a professional and collegial manner.  Gathering requirements for your project can be an exciting opportunity to get the most out of the work for which you are contracting the consultant.  The process should be fun and informative and when completed should yield a complete and concise roadmap for all phases of the project.

When discussing issues or system concerns, a good consultant, when confronted with the details, will go about documenting and planning a resolution to the related issues without conflicts or blame. 

3. Is knowledgeable with multiple tools

Because of the diversity of the technical landscape in today’s world, consultants need to have a broad understanding of many different information technologies. This should be considered when hiring a consultant. A good consultant will be well-versed in many different technologies and will have no qualms about informing the client when faced with a technology that he or she is not familiar with. 

Most consultants are fast learners and may very well be able to navigate through something entirely new to them - but should always inform the client when the technology is completely outside their knowledge base and other more qualified help might be required. When vetting consultants, look for this transparency. A good consultant will acknowledge when they’re unfamiliar with a technology and not embellish just to make the sale.

4. Plans for the future

Any technology-based solution that is created for a customer will have a relatively predictable lifespan. This lifespan will usually be based on the technology used to create and utilize the solution that was developed as well as industry trends for the technology chosen. 

A good consultant will have this in mind when helping a client to create a new solution and will include in the plan those things that can be done today to make the evolution of a product more seamless in the future. 

For an organization seeking outside IT help, it’s important to find a consultant that not only has the technical experience, but also demonstrates interpersonal skills. A relationship between an organization and a good consultant can last for years, so it’s better to spend more time looking upfront for a good fit than to constantly have to fire and rehire.

Superior Consulting with SCS

Superior Consulting Services (SCS) is a Microsoft-centric technology firm providing innovative solutions that enable our clients to solve business problems, through:

  • Consultation
  • Solution implementation
  • Augmenting your staff
  • Training
  • Mentoring

Our number one goal is to be your trusted advisor within our areas of expertise. Whether recommending a technical direction, architecting a solution or turning a design into reality, we work to aid your brand and ensure your success.

Superior Consulting Services (SCS) is a Microsoft-centric technology firm providing innovative solutions that enable our clients to solve business problems. We offer full-scale data modeling, analytics and custom app development.