Written by: Daniel Haurey on 07/13/17

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How do you price software development?

We leverage a comprehensive process of business needs discovery and solution design to deliver a full solution, including a Fixed-Fee (not to exceed) quotation for the development of all custom software solutions.  Costs are based entirely upon the effort (number of hours) required for each level of development staff to execute on and deliver the solution that comes from the discovery process.

What are some “gotchas” to watch out for in software development contracts?

Clarity and transparency are crucial to building a software development partnership between developer and client. Some development contracts lack clarity or don’t address unforeseen “gotchas” that might come up during the development process.  It’s nearly impossible and quite cumbersome to try to predict every possible contingency in a contract for development.  Exigent’s iterative development process combined with contingencies built into all of our contracts for the most common pitfalls of development provides all of our bespoke software development clients with peace of mind in understanding the process can address later, “on the fly” features and adjustments can be accommodated without breaking the project or breaking the bank.

How do I decide between custom software or “off the shelf” software?

There are several key considerations in making this decision, but two primary reasons: feature set and cost.  If the feature set of an off the shelf piece of software matches your business requirement and also meets your budget needs, it’s an easy decision from that point.  Typically though, it’s not quite that simple a decision, which is where the Exigent Software Architects come in: we’ll discover your business needs and provide experienced consulting services to help steward you through the complications of that decision.  Sometimes a hybrid off-the-shelf/custom software solution fits the needs best.  Whatever turns out to be the best path, our Software Architects will guide and design that solution for you.

Which software stack is right for my organization?

There are a number of factors that weigh into this decision (scalability, existing platforms, client’s existing infrastructure, etc), but it primarily depends upon the business needs and feature set required of the application being developed.  Microsoft’s .NET Framework is versatile enough to be used for nearly every solution, but certain cases may be better executed in a PHP/MySQL stack for a lighter footprint or interaction with a specific similar technology, for example.  Exigent’s Development Team is versed in nearly all available development technologies, and applies the appropriate technology to the appropriate solution.

What is meant by Agile software development?

Agile is an iterative and collaborative process by which software development teams deliver logical “chunks” of software that can be tested and adjusted on the fly to meet ever-evolving business needs during development.  Agile allows for adaptive planning, continuous improvement and implementation, and promotes rapid response to the changes that inevitably crop up mid-development.  Exigent leverages a version of Agile called ‘Scrum’.

If I have a legacy system can I preserve it and integrate that with newer technologies?

In most cases, yes.  Many factors must be taken into account to determine if that’s a good move, but the Exigent Software Architects will assist by analyzing the needs, scalability and supportability of the older app, then make the appropriate recommendation from there. The ability to integrate existing apps with other, newer apps is dependent upon the access our team would have to the older app’s base functions, or if an Application Programming Interface (API – a built-in feature that permits outside connection to an app’s data) is made available by the app.

What is entailed in integrating different software systems?

There are a number of ways to achieve cross-app integration.  Most often, it’s by either leveraging an existing Application Programming Interface (API – a built-in feature that permits outside connection to an app’s data), or by building one to link the apps’ data and features together.

What is Business Intelligence and how do I know if my organization needs it?

Business Intelligence, or BI, leverages a set of custom Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s – business-specific data points that provide insight into financial and operational performance) to provide reports to help business leaders make more informed financial and operational decisions.  BI is usually delivered in a simple-to-read dashboard.  The Exigent team leverages numerous technologies and thorough discovery of the business needs and KPI’s to deliver BI dashboards that are timely, succinct and accurate.

How do I get started with developing a mobile app for my organization?

Concentrate the business need and end user features you’d like the app to deliver.  The Exigent Software Architecture team will focus on how to deliver that.  All too often, the downfall of a conceptualized application is that its conceived focus is more on how to deliver the app instead of the end user features the app should deliver.

Is there any difference in software development for the cloud, such as Azure?

There are massive benefits to running applications in cloud environments like Azure. On a wholesale basis, developing software that runs in Azure is not much different than developing something that runs on a standard, non-cloud server. The true difference is realized in the portability, scalability and application business continuity (uptime and reliability) that Azure gives your app.  Azure is a powerful and feature-rich environment, and hosting your application there gives you the peace of mind to know that it’ll run reliably and scale with your needs.

What is the big hype about DevOps?

DevOps (a compounded word for Development + Operations) is a process that promotes collaboration between Operations, Product and Technology groups in order to most effectively leverage evolving business and technology needs to achieve growth and efficiency goals.  Because business needs change quickly, the software that delivers them also need to change quickly.  DevOps provides the ability to continuously update, test and release software that fits the ever-evolving needs of the business.

How can you make your software HIPAA compliant?

HIPAA prescribes a specific set of security requirements for applications, and was implemented to protect the privacy of all patients and their personal information.  As such, a HIPAA-compliant application will include such measures as encrypting all data in the application’s database, securing transmission of data in transit (between the user and the application) and ensuring secure authentication to devices with access to the application and its data.

Exigent provides custom software development services for organizations in the greater New York, New Jersey Tri-State areas.

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