There are a number of amazing AI companies. You may want to create an equally successful one. However, you won’t be able to do this without the best experts at your side.
There are a lot of factors that you have to take into consideration when hiring a company to help you develop AI applications. There is a huge lack of qualified AI developers, as a recent report from ZDNet recently showed.
Many companies will outsource their AI development projects, since they have trouble finding qualified experts on their own. Fortunately, this process can be a lot easier when you work with the right agency.
However, large companies and enterprises must be especially careful when outsourcing software development services to handle their AI projects. The right IT services & staff augmentation can make all the difference in the product you produce, which affects your bottom line.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some key criteria when hiring a custom software development agency to help you make your AI startup succeed.
How Do You Find the Right Software Development Agency for Your AI Startup?
AI startups need the most qualified experts to help them create new applications. Unfortunately, choosing the best AI software development agency is easier said than done. The good news is that the process will be a lot easier if you follow these guidelines.
- Choose The Right Service Type
There is a huge difference between ‘outstaffing’ and ‘outsourcing’ that many hiring agents do not fully understand until it is too late. Outstaffing means hiring employees housed under another company. Outsourcing is the more commonly used technique, which involves hiring independent contractors. Both are viable methods of IT staffing augmentation; deciding which to use is usually a function of the following metrics:
- Decide On The Budget
Your budget will be one of the deciding factors in whether you outstaff or outsource. Outstaffing, because you are hiring employees, is much more expensive than outsourcing. Depending on the budget, outstaffing may be outside of your wheelhouse, and the software development staff augmentation decision could be make for you!
If you have a choice of whether to outstaff or outsource, then you may want to pay more attention to the other metrics below. However, most companies that hire out for IT staff augmentation services do prefer to outstaff for long-term needs. Although employees cost more, the benefits far outweigh the costs of having to re-teach company culture and projects to new people over and over again.
- Rates & Business Goals
Developing AI software applications is not cheap. You want to make sure that you aren’t skimping on rates. However, you also want to make sure that you aren’t overpaying for a service either.
What are the reasons that your business is in need of staff augmentation? Does the work require highly skilled or low skilled labor? Does the scope of work involve deep dives into sensitive material that your company needs to keep private? If you are looking for highly skilled labor or the work involves company secrets, then you may want to consider outstaffing over outsourcing.
All told, what is the productivity of work that you are getting for the money you are outputting? When you consider rates, you may want to consider not only the wages you are paying, but the potential cost of insurance and education. Education is a cost that many companies do not consider. The learning curve that every new hire must take on, where (s)he is learning and low on productivity, is a real cost of business. There is an opportunity cost here of dealing with long term employees that also must be deeply considered.
You want to make sure that the software development team that you hire understands the best practices. This includes ensuring that they know the relevance of agile development when developing AI applications.
You have to make sure that they actually have a good reputation for doing a good job in these regards. You should really only deal with companies that have been marked as a top rated software development agency. Software is an intense industry that obfuscates a great deal of itself from the outside world. If you are not an insider, you can get taken for a lot of money and time before you find the right fit, because everyone knows the lingo that makes the agency sound good. If you aren’t a tech person by trade, you can easily be fooled into thinking an agency can get you the right people when they are really not of the specialty you need.
The reputation of a software agency is essential to consider. This is the way that you, as a tech outsider, can know how effective an agency is in creating true synergy between the employees who will be helping you and your core staff. This synergy is essential in getting work done in a productive way.
You may not think that communication is a big deal when you are dealing with employees or contractors that you do not expect to make a part of your core staff. Nothing could be further from the truth. In order to generate successful projects in a productive way, you must have good communication between your new hires and your core staff.
If your core staff does not have a tech background, it is essential that your software agency bring you people who know how to explain what they are doing in a non-technical fashion. After all, the products that you come out with as a group most likely need to be usable to a non-technical audience. Why not start with you?
Even if your software agency is creating software for internal use, the communication aspect of the process is still a huge part of success. Your employees need to know what the new software can do in layman’s terms so that they can make best use of it when the software developers are not on hand. This is especially true if you are making remote hires — these people will not be in the office, and may not even be in the same time zone to ask questions of.
- Troubleshooting capabilities
There is no software project that goes perfectly from the very beginning. A few hiccups here and there should not upset you or make you believe that you have hired the wrong team. You should look at how the team responds to the inevitable bugs in the system, however.
Where to Find the Best Software Development Agency for Your AI Startup?
When you are running an AI startup, word of mouth is the best way to find a software development agency that you can trust. You may also take a look at successful products that come from your competitors. If you can find out who built their software, then you may have a great candidate for your own.
Make sure that you take the appropriate time to go through the entire hiring process for a software agency. You may take a bit more time up front, but this due diligence will definitely pay off in the end. It is much better to spend a bit of money and time looking for that perfect fit than it is to hire quickly and face communication issues or a team that cannot handle troubleshooting.
Even worse is if you outsource when you should have outstaffed and vice versa — make sure that you understand the goals of your company inside and out before making this crucial decision. Keep this in mind, and you can help your company immensely with the right staff augmentation!