Today, new technologies are the basis of many companies’ products and services. Choosing the best software vendor dedicated to your business is one of those dilemmas that can decide of the business’ success or lack of it. Find out why it is worth choosing IT outsourcing in Poland and how to increase the chances of the success of your venture.
Why is it worth outsourcing IT services?
Creating applications dedicated to the needs of the business brings as many opportunities for success as for failure. Basically, you have two basic options to choose from:
- creating your own software development department and independent software development within the organization or,
- using the knowledge, experience and resources of an external software provider, i.e. a software house, such as Stepwise.
So why should you outsource IT services?
Decision-makers should be aware of all the advantages and disadvantages of available solutions, so learn about all the benefits and risks associated with outsourcing IT services, as well as with internal application development.
Software development cost
What you are wondering about at the very beginning is probably the software development cost in both variants. As a rule, higher financial outlays are naturally generated by your own software development department.
Every conscious entrepreneur and manager knows that the total cost of human resources in IT projects consists of much more than the remuneration of developers. On the one hand, the company bears the costs of employment, and on the other, the expenses for HR services, understood as caring for the morale of members, efficient communication and the functioning of the team. You should also add the purchase and maintenance of equipment, licenses and paid tools necessary for the implementation of individual stages. You also need to add know-how in the field of software development process. All of that can ultimately cost you enormous money that will far exceed your budget.
Moreover, a company hiring developers for an in-house project bears the risk of contract obligations, even if the project is cancelled or fails.
Outsourcing when creating dedicated software saves money and additionally relieves your organization’s resources. A company specializing in software development provides all the funds necessary for the project, so that you can focus on the actual development of your business and generating profits.
The price of creating an application does not only depend on the choice between the outsourcing of IT services and the independent development of IT systems. Once you decide on an external supplier of a dedicated application, choose a software house that will provide you with the best quality of IT services. Remember that when choosing a specific software house, “cheaper” does not necessarily mean “better”.
General Patton was famous for his saying, “Better a good plan made today than the best plan made tomorrow.” Quality over time? Outsourcing IT services from a good dedicated software provider allows you to respect both of these issues.
A good Software House has the resources, competences and know-how to create applications on the client’s request, in accordance with the highest standards, and what is more, within the agreed time. This is usually much better and faster than when you create the system yourself.
The best software developers are seasoned experts. You can use their experience and the resource estimation service needed to create a digital project. Stepwise experts always consider all potential risks and opportunities that may arise during the project. After analyzing your business and examining your needs, they are able to estimate already in the initial stages of cooperation how long it may take to create an application or a complete system you ordered, and what effects you can expect at each stage of the project.
Experience in software development process
Development is the goal of every company. For stable growth, you need specialists, an efficient work system and a great product. If you want to develop your business on a larger scale, but inside your company you lack people experienced in business scaling and building systems aimed at global markets, IT outsourcing is the answer to your problems.
The Software Development process is a complex system of planning, creating, implementing and optimizing software. Companies that create dedicated applications build their experience over the years, with many different projects.
IT service outsourcing allows you to use this experience and gain access to the necessary resources and specialist knowledge of experts, such as software architects, developers, UX/UI designers and Quality Assurance engineers. At Stepwise, we place a strong emphasis not only on the technical background of IT specialists, but also on high interpersonal skills so that the client can easily get along with each member of our team.
Remember! A software house that you can trust will not hide their previous projects from you. The best software houses boast about the opinions (testimonials) of their former and current clients.
Flexibility of work/activities
Let’s assume you have your own IT department and you develop web applications yourself. You are an employer, so you are bound by employment law. You may have to pay developers for idle time when there are changes to the staffing requirement in your project. On the other hand, if your staffing needs to increase, you must start the recruitment process, take care of formalities and introduce a new employee each time.
In the case of IT services outsourcing, none of these issues interests you. The selection of specialists, team building, employment and onboarding of new team members, legal issues, work system and the optimal use of all resources is in the hands of the software development company.
If at the beginning, to complete the PoC (proof of concept) or MVP (minimum viable product) stage, you need a smaller team to flexibly scale the project and increase the number of specialists, outsourcing IT services allows you to do it much easier than with your own IT department. A software house such as Stepwise has its own resources and proven processes for this purpose. You get solid support in risk management at every stage. If necessary, you can freely change the composition of the teams without the costs that anyone who runs the in-house IT department must take into account.
Check what you can gain from audit, PoC and MVP: Click here or read more about it in the article MVP creation process: Click here.
High level of IT specialists
The result of each IT project should be efficient software that will prove itself “in battle” and will be positively received by users. This can only be ensured by a high level of IT specialists. By using outsourcing, you gain a significant advantage over companies with their own IT departments precisely because of the qualifications of software house employees.
A programmer has become a very profitable, fashionable and prestigious profession today. For this reason, it attracts many talents, not only in the fields related to information technology. The versatility of programmers and practical commercial experience, many times gained from the beginning of studies, ensure the highest level of specialization in every good software house.
Strategy focused on results
The process of creating dedicated software has its own rules. Many factors determine its success. A trustworthy software house takes responsibility for the most important element, namely smooth operation of the application or tool.
This responsibility means that the activities of the expert team will always be focused on the result. A good software house treats each project as its own, and the experience, developed methodology of operation and cooperation models are conducive to the effective implementation of each order.
Meeting legal requirements
In the era of dynamic development of digital technologies, companies pay more and more attention to the security of systems and the confidentiality of personal data and sensitive information.
The best software development company is not only a technical background and a great team of qualified IT specialists. At Stepwise, in addition to the highest quality standards and brilliant know-how, we care about meeting all legal requirements, especially in terms of ensuring an appropriate level of security and GDPR regulation. Check our services!
If you are looking for a good software house, check whether the legal system of your potential partner’s country of origin is similar to the system in which you operate on a daily basis. For example, if you come from Europe, you can say with a high level of certainty that it will be much easier for you to work with a company that is located in a developed EU country.
When you run your own IT department, you can often have your hands tied when looking for and recruiting the most promising programmers, e.g. from abroad. It’s not just about the cultural gap or communication problems. It is also about requirements related to labor law, depending on the political system of a given country.
Legal requirements can also be challenging when a project uses different technologies and tools that may not be available in some regions. In Belarus, for example, there is a very big problem with the embargo on some of the technologies that companies creating dedicated software in other countries use on a daily basis. As a customer, you too can benefit from them.
An experienced software house, such as Stepwise, will build a team for you much faster, reach for all the necessary competences of experienced programmers and start building a product much more effectively using all the useful technologies available on the market. At the same time, it will ensure that all related legal requirements are met.
Greater availability of IT experts
Creating a well-coordinated team of IT specialists is always the greatest challenge for companies. This is related to the entire recruitment process and then efficient onboarding of new employees. There is no guarantee that the new team member will find their place in the company.
A good software house already has such teams or is able to build them efficiently. At Stepwise, in addition to employed and proven experts, we have developed methods of efficiently reaching new talents. Greater availability of experts allows you to use outsourcing of IT services provided by the best programmers on the market, frontend and backend developers, cloud service architects, database engineers, UX and graphical interface designers, and many others.
Access to the latest technologies
A high level of technological expertise and comprehensive experience is something that is much more difficult to achieve in IT departments within an organization. At Stepwise, we pay special attention to this. Regardless of whether you want to create a new technological product or recreate existing software in the latest technologies and transfer it to a new business model, e.g. SaaS, outsourcing of IT services will allow you to gain access to the latest technologies and methods of creating dedicated software. The best software houses have the competence to do it better.
Working on many different projects allows for extraordinary use of proven solutions in subsequent initiatives, what is extremely special for software companies is the dynamic development of employees. Programmers very often combine work with passion, which they also devote to after working hours.
The lingua franca in this environment is English, so the exchange of information between specialists from different parts of the globe can be very effective. This way the best suppliers of dedicated applications can always offer the latest and best solutions for companies from many different industries.
If you develop the applications yourself, all responsibility for potential failure is yours. IT service outsourcing allows you to manage risk more efficiently and significantly minimize the likelihood of failure.
By choosing a good outsourcing company that has an advanced project management system and a proven application development process, you can more easily manage project risk, meet deadlines on time, and constantly control the quality of services.
The collaboration methodology at Stepwise makes each specialist take responsibility for the success or failure of their actions. Thanks to a clear division of tasks and efficient communication, we can effectively support our clients in managing project risk.
Why is Poland the best choice in outsourcing software development services?
Poland is dynamically building its competitive advantage on the global market of technological services, mainly by consistently increasing the qualifications of IT specialists. The country has an established and stable socio-political situation, and the government supports and promotes this sector of the economy.
According to the latest Eurostat data, the number of ICT employees in Poland exceeded 500,000 in 2020, which puts it in 6th place in the EU. In 2010, this figure was only 354.5, which is one of the highest growth rates in Europe. For comparison, a large part of our neighbors do not have even half of this talent pool (Czech Republic – approx.. 200 thousand; Slovakia – approx. 95 thousand; Romania – approx. 197 thousand; Bulgaria – approx. 89 thousand; Germany – approx. 1,686 thousand; Denmark – approx. 130 thousand; Austria – approx. 184 thousand; Switzerland – approx. 253 thousand; Belgium – approx. 204 thousand; Luxembourg – approx. 16 thousand). There is much more evidence that Poland is the best choice in outsourcing software development services – check them!
Polish developers are among the best programmers in the world
Developers from Poland occupy leading positions in the rankings around the world. HackerRank – a famous platform in the industry that evaluates and classifies engineers on the basis of their coding skills, placed Poland in third place on the podium, next to China and Russia. Polish developers in the list turned out to be much better than their colleagues from the United States, Great Britain or India. In this respect, Poland is the leader among all OECD countries.
Programmers from Poland were also among the top 5 countries in the TopCoder ranking, a well-known organizer of competitions for developers, together with Russia, Japan, China and the USA.
Combination of theoretical knowledge with extensive practical experience
Specialists in Poland start to learn coding very early. We belong to the global leaders in this respect. According to a StackOverflow report, the average age at which developers begin coding is 15. For comparison, in Brazil and India young people start their education on average 2 years later. Poland ranks best in this ranking of all OECD countries!
In Poland, software development has enormous potential and strength for dynamic business development. There is a lot of investment in new generations of programmers. According to research by HackerRank, Poland ranks 4th in terms of the ratio of the number of young programmers aged 5 to 10 to senior IT specialists. This gives great hopes for the future of this market in Poland.
Polish universities have over 500 units adapted to education in the field of software development. More and more universities from Poland are also distinguished in outstanding world rankings, such as QS World University Rankings® 2019. The prestige of Polish research units means that more and more students from abroad decide to choose them. According to the latest Eurostat data, around 18,000 people graduated from all studies related to ICT each year.
It is worth noting that many programmers in Poland graduated from faculties not directly related to software and application development. A large proportion of developers graduate in faculties such as physics or mathematics and statistics, thus we have many interdisciplinary IT specialists at hand.
90% of programming experts in Poland have a university degree, but we also pay great attention to practical experience. In addition to the education provided by the state, there are many alternative technological schools in Poland, like programming bootcamps and alternative and grassroots programming schools, which attract many participants each time.
From the first years of study in Poland, students often work in companies from the ICT sector or startups, improving their skills and developing competences. At Stepwise, we can clearly see that thanks to this young programmers gain not only theoretical knowledge, but also commercial experience and a typically business approach to creating dedicated software for companies.
Highest ranks in international programming competitions
Another proof that Poland is the best choice for outsourcing IT services is the results of our programmers in well-known international competitions. For IT specialists in Poland, work very often coincides with passion. Thus Poles are eager to participate in coding and problem-solving competitions. Their results speak for them:
In the 2018 Google Code Jam competition, a Polish programmer was ranked 2nd.
A little earlier in the 2012 edition, the Polish representative won. The top rank in 2005 was also taken by the Pole.
Polish representatives took places on the podium several times and won in various categories of the international Microsoft Imagine Cup competition.
In 2019, Polish programmers also dominated the Central European Programming Contest [CEPC], taking all the top ranks, as well as many other positions in TOP 20.
Great achievements in international competitions are not enough to say that Poland is the best place to outsource IT services. However, they show that Polish programmers are confident in their abilities and are not afraid to compete with specialists from much richer countries. They not only compete with the best, they win.
Best code quality
For a Polish programmer, coding is more than just a job. It is a passion that software developers ambitiously develop and turn into business. According to a report by No Fluff Jobs, learning new things is a pleasure for 85% of them. Self-motivation while developing your own skills and the constant need to test your skills mean that the quality of the code provided by IT specialists in Poland is at a really high level.
According to Infoshare, Poland is the largest market of talented young programmers in Central and Eastern Europe. Looking at the capabilities of Stepwise developers, we believe this scale is much larger. Our programmers prove that coding is an area where you can easily combine work with passion. Creating the best digital products that work great and translate into customer success is our top priority. Our specialists also do this after hours, unleashing their creativity, creating and testing their own solutions, the best of which they later use in their clients’ projects.
Use of the latest technologies
According to HackerRank, the best Java developers come from Poland. It is also the most widely used coding language alongside Java script, C#, and Python. Despite the popularity of these languages, programmers in Poland have a very wide range of skills. We also see this trend in Stepwise.
Technological novelties (e.g. Kotlin languages, Typescript or Flutter framework) are quickly gaining their fans in Poland. Programmers from Stepwise and other Polish companies like novelties and eagerly acquire additional skills, contributing to the knowledge resources of their software houses. Thanks to this outsourcing of IT services in Poland is so different from other countries.
Communities form naturally around individual software development technologies. IT specialists can easily exchange knowledge, dynamically build their competences, and stay up to date with the latest trends, tools and updates.
Due to Poland’s stable position on the international stage, Polish software houses such as Stepwise have access to every necessary technology in the world. Knowledge and the latest technologies allow Polish suppliers of dedicated applications to provide better, more effective and safer software, which is already appreciated by the largest companies in the world.
Polish software companies set the trends
According to Polish Agency for Enterprise Development the most developed Polish specialization in the ICT market is custom software development and the production of computer games. The market of creating dedicated mobile applications at the customer’s request and applications in the as-a-service model is also developing very dynamically.
Poland has become a software trendsetter in many areas related to payment services. Polish applications from the FinTechs industry set trends on the European market. According to Deloitte, several of the largest Polish banks are even called FinTechs abroad, and some solutions are already licensed in many countries around the world. The value of this market in Poland is EUR 856 million. For comparison, the value of this market in the entire Central and Eastern Europe amounts to EUR 2.2 billion. This makes Poland a leader in this region.
Mobile payments are very popular in Poland. They are used by nearly 2.5 million people via phones and smart wear devices. Thanks to the well-developed mobile payment infrastructure, 86% of transactions in Poland are contactless. The average across Europe is around 60%, so we are much ahead of other EU countries in this respect. Tokenization and one of the most popular BLIK mobile payment services are flagship digital projects with potential for development on a global scale.
Brands such as Mastercard have decided to invest in the development of mobile payment software, with their plan to implement the so-called payment terminal on the phone, or Visa, which, with the help of Polish programmers, works on many solutions in the field of cashless payments and their digital security.
The time of the pandemic increased the demand for mobile and desktop applications dedicated for the food tech industries as well as applications for remote communication and learning. Poland adapted very efficiently to the situation related to the coronavirus, focusing on remote cooperation solutions.
Poland competes with the largest countries in Europe as equals. The decision to invest in Polish IT specialists was made by such giants as City, Credit Suisse and HSBC. Microsoft plans to co-create a regional technology hub in Poland. This is an investment with a planned value of $ 1 billion. As a result, the company’s first data processing region in Central and Eastern Europe is to be created.
Google also chose Poland as a partner for its own huge investment. The company wants to allocate $ 2 billion to create an infrastructure that supports cloud services. The resulting technology center will become part of Google’s global computing infrastructure, which already includes branches in Tokyo, London and Los Angeles.
A diversity of IT services
Poland is a huge market of multi-talented programmers that are really easy to reach. The number of IT specialists allows you to efficiently find exactly the developer you need at a given stage of project development.
At Stepwise, we repeatedly recruited people with a specific set of competences and experience to join the team at an express pace. As a result, even the most complex and unpredictable projects can be implemented according to the adopted schedule. What IT specializations can be outsourced in Poland?
- Software architects analyze the needs, develop a plan, create, manage and develop technological products They choose specific technologies to best serve the achievement of business goals, not the other way around.
- Software engineers participate in all phases of the project. The comprehensive backend, frontend and mobile competences as well as the extensive experience of our specialists allow them to create advanced IT systems.
- DevOps engineers are wizards of technological infrastructure and actions in cloud. They ensure efficient cooperation between application development teams and groups responsible for their management.
- UX/UI designers are highly specialized experts whose actions are always focused at delivering the business value to clients. They make sure that the final shape of the application interfaces meets the expectations of the target users.
- QA engineers are more and more focused on automation of software testing. Their tasks, apart from testing, include measuring the software quality, optimization of the process and the whole life cycle of the digital product.
- Data engineers are interdisciplinary IT specialists who are responsible for the processes of collecting and processing raw data. They need to understand the entire product. They collect and evaluate the usefulness of new information sources and datasets in the project.
- Data Scientists are the masters of data. They are multi-talented IT specialists who have a good understanding of business, are not afraid to go beyond the box and provide relevant information in digital projects.
- Product Owners are responsible for the product.t. They can control the most complex software development processes. They know their specificity and make sure that the project develops as planned and that the final product meets the expectations of the client, especially the business.
Thanks to the access to so many specialists, Polish development companies are able to provide the highest quality of IT outsourcing services at every stage of the software development process.
Whether you’re at the stage of creating your business goals or already creating a product, Stepwise always gives you the best support, no matter how advanced the process is. Our know-how guarantees the quality of work of each team member. Your success is always the top priority for our employees.
Many outsourcing models
Companies that choose to outsource IT services in Poland can choose from many advantageous models of cooperation. After analyzing the partner’s needs, software houses are able to flexibly adjust the optimal methods of cooperation. The most common outsourcing models include:
- Dedicated team – development company compiles a team of necessary IT specialists for the project. This solution is perfect for creating MVP (minimum viable product), for software development, business scaling and for projects created from scratch.
- Staff Augmentation – means supplementing the client’s own competency resources for a specified period of time. A team (or a dedicated part of the team) of IT specialists is available for the partner. It can be assigned to the entire project or selected activities.
- Technology scouting – an outsourcing service that provides the most promising technologies in accordance with the developed customer specification. This model of cooperation is aimed at companies that go beyond the boundaries of internal structures and look for solutions and inspiration outside the organization.
- Proof of Concept – outsourcing of services that allow you to check the technology. They increase the chances of a project’s success. These activities help to crystallize the concept and verify any errors. The software house is able to verify the potential of the system solutions and the software development process itself.
- Time & Material – a convenient model for settling outsourcing services, in which you pay for the work actually done. The client has constant access to actions in the project, which allows the developer to maintain transparency, and the client has certainty of the services provided and constant control over expenses.
In addition to the above-mentioned methods of cooperation within the framework of IT outsourcing services in Poland, there are many others. If you want to receive a fixed price of the project at the beginning, you can use the Fixed price settlement model. A fixed price may be tempting, but as a result, the final product can cost you much more than with other settlement methods.
Another solution worth mentioning is also Body leasing, that is, “renting” IT specialists, which can be treated as a complementary one. It can work for smaller projects, but for larger digital ventures, it is better to outsource IT services to a whole team of appropriately selected specialists.
Fixed price and Body leasing solutions are not used in Stepwise. Our extensive experience proves how important the client’s specialized business expertise is in software development. Neither of these two methods allows for it. The team of experts is separate from the expertise of the business, which is a big problem.
Both solutions represent a typically corporate approach, where only the imitation of reliable actions counts instead of quality and good result. Rigid collaborative frameworks kill business and prevent you from taking advantage of many of the great and innovative solutions that naturally arise from sound software development.
Polish developers work wisely and effectively
Modern Polish software houses, such as Stepwise, have developed a methodology of activities that allows customers to achieve the best results. What gives us an advantage over others?
- Work in a highly competitive environment
With almost 1,000 software companies, we at Stepwise place great emphasis on continuous development. To stay ahead of the competition, we focus on the best people. They are independent, creative and experienced specialists who always contribute a lot to each project.
- Autonomous teams of experts
Stepwise has a decentralized organizational structure. This allows us to flexibly create multidisciplinary teams of IT experts. Each team can independently carry out its tasks and efficiently make own decisions. This work structure supports risk management as each team member is accountable directly to the client.
- Quick adaptation to the environment
The development caused by high competition not only drives the development of Polish IT services. Thanks to constant changes, software houses have developed the ability to react quickly to any changes and efficiently react to unforeseen circumstances. This is largely due to independent teams of experts with versatile skills that go far beyond their respective positions.
- Reacting to changes effectively
No sector is developing as dynamically as new technologies. Polish developers love digital innovations and this way they can easily adapt new solutions. In Stepwise, an additional driving force for efficient operation are exceptionally multidisciplinary teams of specialists. People who work on quality, efficiency, design, coding or UX on a daily basis have direct contact not only with themselves, but above all with the customer. Thanks to this, we are able to meet the most complex projects.
- Focus on effects
The work methodology adopted by Stepwise allows you to operate in a build-test-make decision loop (similar to the Lean Startup methodology). This ensures efficient evaluation of the idea after each looping. We believe that such process flexibility is the key to achieving the best business results.
- Business approach
Characteristic for Stepwise specialists is a typically business approach to software development. Regardless of the position held, in addition to extensive technical facilities, we focus on excellent communication with understanding the client’s business needs. This is ensured by, among other things, regular training with an English Native speaker. Everyone in the team can communicate fluently with foreign clients without any problems.
- No cultural gap
Companies from the USA and Europe appreciate that in Polish companies they find a similar culture and customs. The lack of a cultural gap gives a sense of mutual understanding and greatly facilitates joint action. For this reason, the outsourcing of IT services in Poland is preferable to India or China, which in the eyes of many foreign companies differ significantly from us in terms of culture, customs and approach to business.
At Stepwise, we value diversity, so our teams include only outstanding specialists. The mix of nationalities, cultures, religions, sexes and ages of our experts provide the maximum dose of creativity and the best skills. Highly developed interpersonal skills make communication at Stepwise simply pleasant.
Historical conditions and consistent development allow Poland to compete with the highly developed countries of Western Europe. The Balkan countries and the post-Soviet states are still fighting for such opportunities. Belarus, for example, suffers from sanctions, making access to many useful technologies very difficult or even impossible.
The lingua franca of today’s world is English. In Poland, you can easily communicate in this language. In 2019, the EF English Proficiency Index published the largest ranking of the countries that speak English best. Poland took 9th place in Europe and 11th in the world! In this respect, we perform much better than countries such as China, Russia, France or India.
Mutual understanding and efficient communication are the basis for the successful implementation of each project. At Stepwise, we have an iron rule: excellent knowledge of Business English is the responsibility of every employee.
At Stepwise, you will also find more than fluent communication. We believe that technology is only a tool that serves business. For this reason, our team consists of people who, apart from great technical and substantive background, have exceptional interpersonal skills.
- Not affected by time zone and distance
There are many benefits of outsourcing IT services in Poland. Location is an important factor when choosing a software vendor from this country. Location in the center of Europe, an extensive communication network and developing technologies such as 5G coverage are crucial when you plan to expand internationally.
During the implementation of projects for foreign clients from various parts of Europe, Stepwise repeatedly visited its partners. In any matter that requires face2face contact, we only need about two hours of flight from Warsaw to reach the client in every part of the EU and talk in person, participate in the project launch or help in presenting the product to investors. Stepwise has developed proven remote cooperation practices with its business partners. We regularly contact our clients, report the status of activities and are at your disposal at all times, regardless of the time zone.
The Stepwise office in the center of Warsaw is also an undeniable advantage, not only for employees. Every customer is always welcome, and the way from the airport literally takes a moment. We like to share with our partners the characteristic atmosphere of our office. You have to feel that vibe!
- Meeting the highest European security standards
Poland’s advantage over many countries in Europe is also based on a stable political and economic situation. In Eastern European countries, it is a contentious issue, especially due to recent events in Crimea or protests during elections in Belarus.
Poland, as an EU member, uses effective and very secure payment systems, such as SEPA. Money transfer in these systems is safe. For comparison, the payment system in Belarus is controlled and any transfer may be blocked.
Stepwise has a good understanding of its partners’ business needs and has gone a step further in ensuring safety and comfort. Besides ensuring the highest standards of cybersecurity, customers from different countries around the world can make payments in the currency of their choice.
- Proven methods of remote work
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how effective remote collaboration can be. In the case of outsourcing IT services in Poland, remote has sometimes proved to be even better than the traditional model!
Central and Eastern Europe is coping well with the escalation of the epidemic. Poles respect the safety rules, and IT specialists very efficiently return to standard face2face work with other team members. The same cannot be said of many Western European countries.
Developers hired by companies often work remotely during a lockdown. The basics of creating software independently or with the help of a software house in the era of coronavirus and remote work are no different. However, thanks to remote work solutions, a developer in a Polish software house can cost up to 3x less than an IT employee employed in-house or the services of companies from Western Europe.
Stepwise has developed an efficient model of remote cooperation. Practical tools, properly configured cloud services and a well-planned software development process allow for the same efficient operation as in the traditional model. We are happy to share this knowledge by implementing effective solutions for our clients.
At Stepwise, we believe in transparency of operations, which is particularly important in the case of the remote model. The client has a constant view of the activities of the entire team. Regular online meetings, efficient communication with everyone in the company, clear rules and flexibility of cooperation allow us to really enjoy our work. At the same time, customers have constant control of the progress in the process of developing their software.
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How to choose a software development service provider?
Choosing to outsource IT services in Poland is a good decision. But how to choose the best software development provider? What to pay attention to and where to seek help? Find the answers to all the most important questions you should ask when looking for an IT service provider.
What in particular do I need?
The question you have to ask yourself at the very beginning. Why are you looking for an IT service provider? For what specific actions do you need it? The search will be much easier if you identify the key areas of specialization that will be necessary in your project.
Sometimes it’s very hard to answer these basic questions. Stepwise always raises this issue on the first meeting. Our specialists will examine your needs and advise you what resources and competences you need to implement the project. Experts in Stepwise understand business and are well aware that it may be too early to talk about specific technologies at the very beginning. If you need it, we can help you refine your business model or product design.
We know that the main goal of any commercial project is financial success. To achieve this, you need not only a great product or technology, but solid market data and a carefully developed business model. Stepwise is competent to help you also at this stage.
What experience does a software house have?
The best software houses boast about their design achievements on the Internet. This shows their experience. A good software house is not afraid of the opinions of its customers. Stepwise presents its rich oeuvre on their website, in social media and on many other platforms.
One of the most interesting websites where you can find a lot of interesting information about software development companies is Clutch. It is a website that is definitely worth looking at when looking for an external supplier for outsourcing IT services.
It is also worth paying attention to the budgets of the software suppliers. Cooperation on small and large projects gives the company great versatility and allows you to optimally select key technologies when creating digital products. Only a software house with the achievements of several projects, in various cooperation models, will be able to construct effective and transparent rules of operation.
The experience of team members has the greatest impact on the company’s experience. You can check this aspect without much difficulty on LinkedIn. You will learn if IT specialists have the necessary qualifications, but also what the overall employment structure of the company looks like (the ratio of advanced experts to juniors, does the company have its own testers, is there a clear division of responsibilities).
What technological background does the IT service provider have?
Quantity can never replace quality. Pay attention to the technological background of the software house. The wide offer may be tempting, but then the question arises whether the company can ensure the highest quality of each area?
Stepwise focuses primarily on technologies in the area of frontend, backend, cloud solutions and digital transformation. We also have extensive experience in scaling products and entire businesses for our clients. We do not supply all technologies. However, we focused on high specialization in areas such as SaaS or marketplace. We present the highest skills in coding, in Java and Kotlin languages, and Python databases. As for the frontend, we feel great about React and VueJS. We can also boast about well-constructed cloud services. We most often use Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services.
Selected technologies used by Stepwise:
- Backend – we specialize in JVM technologies: Java and Kotlin, however, we do not limit ourselves to them only and we also gladly reach for functional languages such as Scala.
- Frontend and mobile – we effectively use solutions: React, Vue, and Flutter.
- Databases – we specialize in graph databases, but the internal R&D department at Stepwise keeps its finger on the pulse and regularly checks the latest trends in the database area, so we can provide our clients with optimal solutions in acquiring, analyzing and using data to build a competitive advantage.
- Cloud – our experts are magicians in the business use of cloud services.
We most often use GCP and AWS.
Other technologies – other technologies that we use at a masterly level are: Elastic, Akka and Spark.
A good software house should always advise why a specific technology will work best in a given IT project. The best software house, however, if a specific technology is not their strongest side, will recommend another partner.
What does the contract software development process look like at the supplier?
A good software house will examine the client’s business needs at the beginning to optimally adjust the entire software development process. It tries to understand these needs in detail and determine at what stage the product is and what spectrum of services the partner needs. Read more about “Why do we start with the client’s business needs?” [here].
After the first meeting, it should be clear whether the companies fit together culture-wise. Already at the beginning, it is possible to precisely determine whether the business structures of both companies fit together and whether each team member is at the customer’s disposal. Collaboration in software development is not an exchange of information between robots, but a dialogue between people. When choosing a development company, it is worth paying attention to whether there is chemistry between partners.
Only subsequent meetings and workshops allow to present specific ideas. Then there are propositions of cooperation model, suggestions for the tools used, and initial team compositions. At this stage, you will get an answer whether it is worth cooperating with a specific company.
Even 90% of new products fail or require quick modification depending on the market needs. Stepwise is not your ordinary software development company. Our consulting services allow you to significantly minimize the risk of failure. We will advise you on how to increase the market potential of the project. Together, we will define a sufficient MVP so that you can check how the test users react to the product. We can effectively advise you on how to best prepare the methodology of operation, MVP and product core.
An experienced software house such as Stepwise understands that time-to-market today is a key factor in the success of digital ventures. Over the years, we have developed proven methods of operation, thanks to which we properly select people with the necessary experience and competences, depending on the stage of the project.
Stepwise respects their partners’ time and money. The efficient use of resources is especially appreciated by our customers. We do not rest and constantly develop the quality of our services, thanks to which our clients achieve success, and we gain valuable business partners for years.
What communication tools does the software house use?
A good software house is not only about people, but also about good communication practices. Stepwise focuses on the transparency of its outsourcing services and the constant exchange of information with partners. We provide our clients with paid and proven tools.
The tools we use that deserve special mention include Slack – for asynchronous communication, Zoom, Teams and Google Meet – for video communication. We use Confluence, GSuite and Office 365 to exchange information and share knowledge. And on top of that professionally configured Jira, thanks to which Product Owner and the client always have constant access to work on the product backlog. They can also follow the progress of the project on an ongoing basis.
What will my role be in the project (as a client)?
The client should be free to make decisions. A trustworthy software house will do everything to provide the client with the necessary information and resources to make the best decision.
The client should be treated like a member of the team and always have access to the tools and activities. When a client comes to Stepwise with a specific business goal, we decide together what role they are to play in the project. Will they appoint a dedicated contact person (product owner) who will drive the project progress and manage the product backlog within the organization. Is support from an external product owner necessary? In order to deliver an efficient product, such a person should have comprehensive competences.
The great advantage of working with Stepwise is the flexibility of the action model. The rules established at the beginning may evolve over time. The project is developing, the environment is changing, and your current requirements may change with it. We understand this and rapidly adapt to the current conditions. We care about the client’s success, which is why we treat these issues as a priority.
How does the communication work in the project implementation?
At the very beginning, check how efficiently the software house you have found responds to your inquiry, submitted by e-mail or via the form. This should already give you some idea of what communication can be like during the project.
A reliable software development company should offer you some communication solutions. Above all, however, it should be interested in how you would like to communicate.
At Stepwise, we take communication very seriously and focus on full transparency. The client has constant and open access to the code, project progress and team members login time. We update all information on a regular basis. We listen to your needs and advise the best solutions.
The client, apart from constant access to the code or the schedule of activities, can easily contact any member of the Stepwise team. In order for the software house to be able to efficiently implement the various stages of the software development process, it should be at the partner’s constant disposal.
Communication, however, is not only about constant availability. When hiring new employees at Stepwise, we pay special attention to ensuring that each person, in addition to a great technical background, presents above-average soft skills, including interpersonal skills. We’re always easy to talk to.
How do the former and current customers see the company?
We mentioned the Clutch platform earlier. This is a great place to look for opinions about IT companies. In addition to the standard written reviews, you can get a handful of useful information for making the decision.
You will also find Stepwise there. Comments, clear image of the company, current profile, rich portfolio and testimonials allowed us to take 2nd place in the ranking of this well-known portal in the area of Software Development Poland! This is a unique distinction that we owe to our clients.
Remember! The best software development companies never hide other people’s opinions. They boast about completed projects and proudly present the opinions of former and current clients.
How many people will be working on my product and will it be easy for me to scale the project?
An experienced software house from the very beginning, after examining your needs, will be able to give you indicative information on how many people should be involved in each stage of your software development. Team size and project duration will depend on many factors. At Stepwise, if the customer does not have the necessary information ready, we analyze the product together and extract the most important data.
At each stage of project development, we engage only the necessary specialists. At the beginning, there are several people responsible for professional consulting and planning the software development process. Later, the team evolves depending on the rules agreed with the client.
At Stepwise, we are able to act quickly and dynamically. A wide range of specialists in Poland is at your fingertips, which allows you to scale the product extremely efficiently. In most cases, however, it is worth taking care of MVP and Market Proof at the very beginning. When the target user or investor is satisfied with the results, then it’s time to scale and invest more.
How long will my software development process take?
The process of creating dedicated software is a complex procedure. Much depends on whether you start from scratch or whether you already have a precise product concept and business idea. Ultimately, you decide how long the entire process will take. Note that a short TTM (time to market) may be associated with greater expenses or the loss of valuable solutions that naturally develop in regular meetings and workshops with the software house.
You don’t have to talk about the entire system (and for example the whole year of cooperation) right away. In the first phase of cooperation, Stepwise usually proposes solutions for the next 3 months. We always suggest creating an MVP. This allows for a thorough analysis of consumer trends, as well as checking whether the idea will catch on the market. With minimal resource consumption and relatively low spending, you can determine if a product has the investment potential to scale globally.
How much will outsourcing IT services cost?
The cost at the beginning of the software development process should be relatively low, but sufficient to involve the best IT specialists in consulting.
A good software house should take into account the client’s needs from the very beginning. How quickly should the product be released, does it have development potential, what does the competition offer, has the client already done a thorough analysis of the concept and does he have an idea for the commercialization of the product – these factors can influence the outsourcing of IT services.
If you have a predetermined budget or time in which you want to achieve a specific effect, Stepwise tries to estimate at the very beginning what and how quickly they can deliver in a given budget. We always ask clients what they care about the most and advise the most effective solutions to achieve the goal.
Many entrepreneurs make their decision based on the price. But cheap does not mean better. It’s really worth getting involved with someone more experienced who has proven methods of cooperation, a multidisciplinary team and a great reputation, even if they are more expensive.
How to make the final decision?
Remember that the first meeting should not answer whether to start cooperation with selected software house, but may significantly reduce the group of potential partners. It’s a good idea to ask for help someone from your company who has a technical background.
Subsequent meetings and workshops, presentation of specific ideas, proposed models of cooperation, tools used and the arrangement of the team – at this stage you will get an answer whether it is worth cooperating with the selected company.
The decision-maker should pay attention to whether the developer of dedicated software can provide the product comprehensively, from A to Z. Do they have only a few employees, or in addition to developers, seller and marketer, UX / UI designers, researchers, product owners and testers on board. It is important that the software company has extensive experience in various projects (e.g. mobile, frontend, backend, etc.). The greater the differentiation, the greater the chance of success.
When making your final decision, ask yourself a very important question. What happens in 6 months if you don’t use Stepwise? How will the risk of your business collapse increase or how much may your company suffer? How much will you lose if your competition has already come up with the same idea and will launch it faster than you?
How does Stepwise ensure the success of software development projects?
The success of our clients is always our top priority. Regardless of the size of the project or the stage of product development, we carefully examine the client’s needs, advise and deliver the best technological solutions.
If you only have an idea
You have an idea worth millions, but you are not aware of the software development process and you have not tested the product’s potential in real conditions. You’ve never done that – you have right to not know many things.
Stepwise will explain exactly what the software development process is all about. Then we will talk about your needs and vision. We will ask you the right questions that you must always answer before starting any IT project. For example have you studied the market potential of the product (business model, market conditions), or did you carry out market research (researching the competition, determining the target group, creating personas and conducting surveys)
Our software house is not limited to the technical side of the application development process. We also offer complete support in the above-mentioned matters. It is up to you to decide whether to use our help or involve external agencies in these activities. We will take care of the work that you currently need.
If you have already explored the potential of the product in the market
When you have validated the product, it has a specific shape and a group of loyal users, it’s time to develop. One of the great solutions can be, for example, moving the product to the cloud (instead of old-fashioned software installation on clients’ servers, you can use modern SaaS solutions).
Stepwise approaches each project individually. We will listen to you and propose solutions that will work best in achieving your goals.
Commitment to client’s success
At the beginning, we sit down and discuss your needs. If necessary, we advise on the go. According to the Pareto principle, only 20% of the key system functions cover 80% of the user’s needs. At the beginning, we suggest you focus on those 20%.
The key functionalities of the system, i.e. MVP, should be the primary goal at the initial stage of project development. They can be delivered as quickly as possible, so test users can quickly check the operation of the system (and detect any defects). They strongly influence your partners’ investment decisions. Based on the results of the MVP tests, you can decide whether the product can be further developed, whether a concept change is needed, or whether it is ready to be released to the market.
The first meetings are attended by the most experienced IT specialists from Stepwise: dedicated software architects and UX/UI designers. They will be responsible for transforming the business concept into a functional system. As a result, the scope of work is determined: we define specific business goals, map activities and start work.
Clear rules from the start
We always consult the pre-designed UX design with the entire technical team. Thanks to this, we can eliminate all potential errors. It’s also about quick determining whether the initial assumptions are enough to create a product within the set time.
Stepwise tries to present the client with approximate project estimates as soon as possible, such as the required time and effort, and the budget necessary to achieve a satisfactory result. We advise and explain everything on a regular basis so that the customer has all the necessary information upon approval.
A clear presentation of rules, transparency of activities, constant availability and communication skills of our team allow you to efficiently go through the planning stages and start real activities. This is what we do. We prepare infrastructure, source code, basic components, code structure and implement all tools useful in software development.
The customer plays the most important role in the project
Years of experience have allowed us to develop an efficient cooperation model at Stepwise that you will surely be satisfied with. In this model, you have full control over everything. It is mainly based on the position of a product owner. As a customer, you can appoint such a person within your organization, or use the experience of a Stepwise specialist.
Product owner connects your company with a team of developers. They work on the so-called backlog (a list of all tasks that must be performed to create, for example, an application or website). The product owner reacts on an ongoing basis, answers any questions from the parties and monitors the progress of the software development process.
This way, issues of mistrust are eliminated. The client has constant control over his project and constant access to the created code. Stepwise uses the project progress tracking software (Jira) to monitor the performance of each team member – collaboration is clear, transparent and coherent.
This model of cooperation allows for a fruitful exchange of information. Clients take an active part in creating their own products and draw on Stepwise’s knowledge and experience. On the other hand, we, as a software house, learn something new from our clients with each project. Thanks to this, we strongly develop our experience, and we can use the best practices in next projects.
Proven work methodology and efficient communication
To ensure that work goes smoothly and efficiently, Stepwise implements the best communication solutions before starting work. There are many tools at the client’s disposal for asynchronous communication and regular video conferences. You can choose the best option for you.
At Stepwise, we use a flexible agile methodology (similar to scrum). This allows for flexible changes at every stage of the software development process. A team of IT specialists works on a product backlog, prepared and managed on an ongoing basis by the product owner.
The work is carried out in short iterations (usually 2-week intervals). It starts with planning the scope of work in the near future (sprint). The team plans what it is able to prepare at the end of a given sprint. Sprint should end with delivering a demo, i.e. specific functionality to the client. It is about presenting a working solution so that you can feel the progress of the project.
During the sprint, there are regular team meetings (daily, or on selected days of the week). Developers discuss current events in the project with the product owner. Client’s participation in such meetings is voluntary. Each team member answers 3 questions:
- What I did yesterday
- What I plan to do
- What problems I encountered
In general, after 3 sprints all underestimated or overestimated assumptions disappear. After each sprint, the team summarizes the activities carried out. Such a retrospective allows to eliminate possible problems (technical, communication, resulting from misunderstandings). We quickly analyze such issues, draw conclusions and implement the necessary improvements.
This system allows for the efficient exchange of information. All problems are resolved in real time. The methodology adopted by Stepwise allows operation in a build-test-make decision loop. The client is invited to open cooperation and maintains full control, and Stepwise proposes solutions for efficient idea evaluation after each loop.
You can develop your idea and Stepwise focuses on work.
Easily project scaling
After the MVP has been developed, if the reception of the product is positive and additional funding emerges, the Stepwise specialists who made the initial assumptions and plans are still present. The team may expand with new talents most useful at a given stage of the project (e.g. QA specialists at the testing and evaluation stages).
During the development of the project there is a problem of process regress (errors in functionalities). Stepwise solves them quickly with test automation. We mainly use proven open source tools and frameworks.
Stepwise focuses on automating all possible processes. The effect of automation in the software development process is time and money saving. Developers use appropriate tools, and patches and new functionalities are implemented as quickly as possible.
Stepwise invests heavily in know-how
The customer always comes first. At Stepwise, we realize that customer satisfaction is closely related to a qualified team of specialists. For this reason, we invest heavily in the development of each member of our team.
Our experts regularly meet to discuss current activities, encountered problems and solutions. Mutual learning accelerates the software development process and increases the knowledge resources of each team member.
External and internal hackathons help a lot in developing one’s own know-how. Working together with many different IT specialists, such as programmers, UX/UI engineers, graphic designers and project managers with specific software development problems, gives great results in everyday work for clients.
Every week there are so-called tech-Tuesdays. These are regular presentations on selected technological issues. Selected people present specific material to other employees in order to then start a dialogue on the potential possibilities of using the obtained knowledge in practice.
At Stepwise, we use an internal R&D department that analyzes trends, provides current market information and constantly tests new technologies. If they work, we use them successfully in our projects.
At Stepwise, we want your investment to be as efficient as possible. Hence the recommendations of the product owner, agile methodology and automation. We treat the success of the MVP tests as our own. Our extensive experience in many different projects allows us to act in such a way that cooperation with the client is equally fruitful at every stage.
We focus on the best IT specialists and good people. At Stepwise, developers code even outside of working hours developing their own programs. Apart from other passions, they participate in open source initiatives, blogs and forums. They also have rich profiles on GitHub, where they share their knowledge and experience.
This open approach is also visible inside Stepwise structures. In a specially created channel, developers share knowledge and exchange information. As part of the so-called tech-Tuesdays, our programmers share their knowledge on selected technological issues during an hour-long presentation. This allows for super-dynamic competence development.
We believe that a software house should take care of the client’s success by providing access to outstanding IT specialists and the latest technologies. Only then is it able to stay on the market. Our developers treat each project as their own, they are responsible for success and failure. They make every effort to ensure that the customer is satisfied and that his business can earn.
Stepwise also helps with project risk management. If market conditions force us to quickly provide an application dedicated to clients, Stepwise will not only advise you on which technologies will work best and will give you the fastest results. We will also provide you with accurate information related to controlled technical debt management (you can read about technical debt here) and about any possible problems that may arise in focusing your attention on time instead of quality.
We are always there for you. Our consultations guarantee that your every decision is supported by the necessary knowledge. If you are interested in outsourcing IT services in Poland, you like our approach to software development and you are looking for a reliable partner in this matter, we invite you to cooperate with Stepwise.