In a world where technology advances happen every day and consumer expectations are a lot higher, depth of expertise has never been more significant. There is a lot more at stake when choosing a software component partner as technology and brand recognition are hugely important. Your partners can hurt or hinder your hard work if they do not hold the same values for their products as you do. From our experience, as both a consultant and software component provider we have found the below to be the most important things to consider when looking to choose a partner.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Technology Partner
When shopping around for a new software provider, you should consider how active they are in all of the below. The more active they are in all six, the more you can rely on the quality of the product.
1) Well-known and Financially Sound – Fiscal strength is hugely important when choosing a technology partner. It is a good indication of the strength of the company and if they will still be around in five years time. The financial strength of a technology partner will enable you to achieve the goals you have set as a business.
Top Tip: If a potential technology partner has been in business for years, do your research into the history of the company to ensure they are financially sound. If you are considering a newer company don’t be afraid to ask for references and financial statements to make sure you are 100% happy partnering with them.
2) The steep technology obsolescence curve – Just like hardware, software is continuously changing and needs to be kept up-to-date. If not updated regularly software stops being supported and you will be forced to do a huge upgrade that could result in lost data and maybe retraining.
Top Tip: Find a software provider who updates their products every three to six months to ensure that the product you are buying is the most up-to-date that it could be.
3) Technological advances happen everyday – It is no longer the case that we can read an article once a month about technology in our industry. If we are passive we will miss notifications about the newest advances and technologies. It is essential to read consistently, attend conferences regularly and incorporate learning into our routines frequently in order to know what is happening in our industry.
Top Tip: Find out if there are any conferences coming up in the software area you are seeking and speak to providers there. It is the ideal place to find a good provider and also learn about the technology that they are talking about. In the PDF industry, we have PDF Days where thought leaders from across the world come together to talk about trends and topics happening each year.
4) Developer’s behavior adapts – Whether it is chosen or forced upon us, people adapt how they do things over time. Apple has announced Swift as their official language, replacing Objective-C meaning that mobile developers now can code in Objective-C and Swift. Good developers keep themselves ahead of emerging innovation and technology, making it extremely important for technology providers to move quickly to fulfill their requirements. Good technology providers follow these trends and offer SDKs in newer language but also cater for languages which have long since been in the marketplace.
Top Tip: Research what technology the provider runs their software on and make sure it is recent and will fit into your development specifications.
5) Advancing Security Measures – The older technology gets, the more likely vulnerabilities are to be exposed. Security patches need to be added to packages to ensure the safety of using software, regardless of if utilized internally or externally. If your software is up-to-date, security features tend to be more advanced. This results in it being less likely for someone outside the organization to find a vulnerability within your software, therefore keeping your company databases safe.
Top Tip: Request a change log over the past few months to discover the effort they put into updating security. If you are looking for software that will store information, it is important that this information is safe.
6) Adding more features – As the market becomes accustomed to improvements within products they use and love, developers have had to learn to develop in an agile manner to quickly move to fill customer’s requirements. Newer versions of applications and software happen more often with new features that are eagerly anticipated.
Top Tip: Make sure you have a list of features that are both wants and needs for your company and find a provider that will supply all, even if some are due out in the next version. Don’t stick with a supplier who will hold your company back.
7) Fixing bugs – No matter how many QA analysts and beta testers test your technology, obscure bugs can be brought to your attention years after launch…even ones that no one can explain. The only way of fixing these bugs is to update your software, and if you are using an obsolete version of a program, chances are you are not benefiting from those fixes.
Top Tip: Check a suppliers change log to ensure that they manage bugs frequently.
We took all of this into account while planning and executing the development of our newest product. That is why Foxit PDF SDK has:
- A common core API across all platforms making cross develop easy keeping our product up-to-date with technological and developer advances.
- Support for common environments and languages, so any developer can use it in their applications, making our product adaptable to developer needs.
- Higher security and 2.0 compliant, with 256-bit encryption to keep your applications safe from vulnerabilities.
- The most current features which our customers and the market require, making it relevant and future-focused.
- A focus on making sure our technology is free from bugs so our QA team and support team work around the clock to help our customers.
- Over 475 million users and have sold Foxit products to over 100,000 customers located in more than 200 countries.
- Offices all over the world, including locations in the US, Asia and Europe.
Try our Foxit PDF SDK on any platform for free with our 15 day trial.