19 March 2019
Hidden champions in IT. Why choosing an SME software development company has great potential
Have you ever heard about the Klais company? Or maybe Medtronic? No? But you must have heard about Koenig & Bauer! Still nothing? Well… To be fair, I’m not surprised. All aforementioned enterprises are – what we call it in the business world – hidden champions. In short: their market coverage and revenues go through the roof, yet they are not recognisable like big corporations with the same achievements. Looking at the ever-changing IT market, I’ve started to notice that the hidden champions theory might fit this industry perfectly.
In this article, I’ll try to explain why choosing a small or medium software development company, a.k.a the IT hidden champion, maybe the best decision if you’re looking for a technological partner.
See also: A few magic tips for hiring developers👇
Giving back to the IT community
Software companies definitely deserve the title of hidden champions because they don’t follow the market blindly but create their own standards. This includes sharing knowledge with the community and educating young developers, instead of jealously guarding their secrets and hiding them away in a big tower with trenches, labyrinth, dragons and password including big letters, numbers and special characters. They organise meetups, open online training, webinars, write blog posts and so on.
Learning through experience
As I mentioned before, software companies have been implementing projects for global clients from the very beginning. They reach foreign markets not only for profits but also for experience. Therefore, the hidden champions have mastered working with customers no matter of cultural or communication barriers. They’ve acquired competencies for effective cooperation in even the most specific backgrounds. Not only cultural but also industry specifics (you need a different approach for fintech, travel, art, etc.) and related to the type of necessary software (ERP, CRM, e-commerce…). The bigger the variety the better!
No price wars
Hidden champions don’t get involved in price wars nor get under pressure to lower their prices – their strategy is directed towards value not price. They know the worth of their products and employees. After all, top quality costs. As we’ve pointed out in our free e-book about outsourcing: “Western companies begin to notice that labour costs are not the only important factor to consider and tend to “focus more on cost-effectiveness and proximity, rather than just low cost”. This approach is agreeable with a recent trend to replace IT offshoring (India or China) with nearshoring to neighbouring countries (rising popularity of Central and Eastern Europe).
IT hidden champions will never offer you a generic solution. They always cooperate closely with every client on every step of the project, offering thorough research and consultancy in order to achieve the highest quality product possible. Why? The market is very competitive and SME software companies rely mostly on references, customer reviews and building up a portfolio. It means, they have to satisfy their clients and treat them in an above-average way. Only then, they can count on a good referral.
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Benefits of choosing a small software development company
We’ve already established who the IT hidden champions are. Now let’s see what’s in it for you. Of course, you could just pick someone with a famous name in the IT industry and get yourself a decent product. But you know what they say – when working with such huge and famous enterprises, you often pay for the logo. 😉 So, why should you hire an SME to develop your software instead?
- Because the true power of software houses is their know-how, you can be sure that your product will be up-to-date in accordance with market requirements, and user experience and include brand-new technologies, modern trends, new tools, useful tips, and owned solutions.
- They work with limited technologies, which means that they’ve really mastered them. Such software houses will boldly accept a project from a large company as well as one from a trading niche – for them, it’s all about the technologies used, not the “type” of the customer.
- Individual approach to the client and close cooperation. If you’re looking for a partner who will say “no” when needed and give you a piece of better advice – you need a hidden champion.
- Flexibility is hard to obtain for big players. Due to the agile processes, a smaller team is able to adapt to the most demanding client and quickly kick-off the project.
- Professionalism backed up with a massive experience from previous projects, tested methods, quicker implementation – all this so your project is risk-free.
- Finally, security. Is your company working with fragile data? Because, in case of any breach, small software houses have everything to lose (especially with the GDPR laws!), they treat the security issues very seriously.
What are some signs of hidden champion wannabes?
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As far as web development is concerned, we specialise in Symfony, React, Laravel, Angular, Node.js, Vue.js. We also develop mobile applications for iOS, Android and hybrid apps using React Native. If you’re thinking about choosing a small software development company fluent in one of those technologies, give us a shout!