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Avoid a Messy Divorce from Your Software Development Supplier

Maybe your software isn’t performing the way you expect or failing to meet your individual business needs. You might be unhappy with the support you’re receiving, or you simply feel it’s time to move on. Regardless of the reasons, transitioning to a new software development provider can be daunting. 

However, with a good plan of action combined with the support and resources from your new bespoke development company, making the transition can be a lot smoother than you would imagine.  

Over the years, we’ve gained valuable knowledge on the challenges businesses face when parting ways with their current supplier, and how these issues can be alleviated. With input from one of our industry experts, we’ve put together this short guide to help you prepare for the switch.

Knowledge Transfer

The Challenge

One of the biggest concerns is how knowledge will be passed to the new supplier. In an ideal world, software developers will have documented everything. However, in reality, the documentation is rarely sufficient. This isn’t entirely unexpected, as software developers by nature want to spend more of their time coding. However, they’ll need to understand the software enough to be able to make modifications and fully support your software. 

The Solution

Firstly, any documentation that exists from your current providers should be thoroughly reviewed. What can be practically useful? What is missing? What are the most critical parts from a cost-perspective standpoint? Once this information has been documented, a successful handover can be achieved. If all goes well, the people receiving the documentation will have a clear list of features, functionality, and code that they can be briefed on. 

Taking Receipt of Artefacts and Intellectual Property

The Challenge

It’s often the case that certain digital assets involved in running the current software were bolted on overtime. This means that when you split from your software development supplier, these may not be packaged up when everything is handed over. Unfortunately, this issue isn’t always picked up immediately and is discovered later down the line when someone tries to modify something. 

The Solution

The key to preventing problems with digital assets is to make sure you can run the software in your own environment.  Many software development companies will build and host the software in their own environment, on your behalf. Fortunately, with simple access to public cloud providers, provisioning your own hosting environment shouldn’t be difficult. By transitioning the software in this way, you can prevent up to 90% of the issues related to digital assets and IP.

Objective Evaluation

The Challenge

Taking a step back and evaluating what has, and hasn’t been done, is a really important step for a successful transition.  From an IP perspective, you need to understand who has ownership of the IP. For example, your current software development provider may have only completed 20 of 50 features in the contract. Therefore, you need to understand the additional costs of getting these completed. 

The Solution

You’ll need to carefully look through the signed contract you have with your provider, particularly looking out for the IP clause. Ideally, you should request help from a lawyer, who can provide a better insight into the intricacies surrounding IP elements.

If it turns out you don’t own the IP, you need to evaluate whether it’s viable to buy out the IP. This is a significant point to consider because if the IP is your unique selling point, you’ll want to obtain a higher market valuation. There is also the risk that your software development provider will sell your software to one of your biggest competitors.

Overall, overlaying the contract with what’s been delivered, what hasn’t, and what you still need to pay for, will allow for a cleaner handover. 

Are you looking for software development services in London, and want to avoid a messy divorce from your current provider?

As an award-winning digital transformation agency in London, Synetec can prepare you for a smoother transition. Learn more about our free discovery phase, which carefully works through the points described in this guide.

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