So you are looking to develop a software project or perhaps you have already started one and are looking for guidance and help. With so many options available on the market when it comes to determining what route to take with your software development project it can become stressful to pick the best one for you.
Software consulting and development are fairly common terms advertised by software experts, but what do these terms really entail? While both terms sound very similar and can often be confused, they are actually quite distinct. What software consultants do differs from what software developers do. This post will clarify these terms as well as help you determine which option is the best one for you and your company’s needs.
Consulting vs. Development
Software consulting has various definitions depending on the source, but essentially it is the service of providing expertise in the software field. Consultants are people who are very familiar with software, often having worked as software developers previously, and are paid to share their valuable knowledge with companies or individuals.
These industry experts advise can help businesses to determine what their specific software needs are and what the most current and modern software solutions can help them with those needs. They will assess the company by various means including its goals and customer needs and then translate those requirements into technical solutions. Consultants will help configure large projects so that the best possible outcome can occur.
Software development is the service of providing a final software product. It is the labour side of the software process since it is the actual building and delivery of the final software product. They implement the solutions that are identified by the consultants. Some software consultants will also do development and so this is a question you should ask upfront before choosing to do business with a consultant so that you are fully aware of what you are paying them for.
Which is best for you?
Software consulting is often used when a company needs advice regarding their technical decisions. Consultants can provide a comprehensive software solution by helping throughout the entire software development process.
They are the better option to take when your company is unsure about how exactly to go about its software needs. A common situation in which software consultants are employed is when a company is looking to expand its presence into the online market and needs help with web and mobile app development.
These needs are often quite specific to a company and can be a challenge to organize, for example setting up an online store through either a web or mobile app requires coordination with the inventory database and other details of the physical store. Software consultants are able to provide the best, most customized software solutions to these companies’ challenges.
On the other hand, software development is better for situations in which the company needs a final software product and does not have the resources or abilities to produce it themselves.
In some cases, teams of software developers may employ individuals of the team to focus only on small portions of a software product where they have the best expertise. This can allow for very high-quality software products to be made, but it is also important that there is an overall understanding of the project and how it is related to the business’s needs. This is something a consultant would provide.
A consultant will help improve the business through its software, while a software developer will focus on the building of the software its self. If your company is looking simply for a final software product then software development is the best option for you. Whereas if you want a more complete and customized experience, then hiring a software consultant would be beneficial for you.
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