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How to Switch from One Software Provider to Another

How to Switch from One Software Provider to Another

Closing with your current software development provider is difficult, even if sometimes necessary.

The current team, as inadequate as they may be, controls the code, while the new team, as enthusiastic and prepared as they may be, cannot take over overnight.

Regardless of what prompted you to seek a new provider, such as low-quality deliveries, excessive costs, or a lack of interpersonal chemistry, there is one thing you must pay attention to above all else: your product.

At Colibryx, we have witnessed several provider transitions. We have seen smooth handovers leading to performance and cultural improvements, but we have also heard of others that have been complete disasters, with delays or even failures to deliver critical features and products for the business.

Certainly, provider transitions are full of technical challenges such as understanding system and server access, deciphering existing code, and making painful decisions about whether to eliminate or fix existing code, but in the end, it is more of a people management challenge.

Everything, from transferring knowledge and documentation to protecting your code, depends on how you guide and treat the people from both companies.

Learn from your mistakes

Most software projects fail not because of technical or engineering problems, but due to poor communication, inadequate software development processes, low morale, or insufficient funding (relying on inexperienced companies).

If collaboration with the development team goes wrong, don't blame others, but take responsibility and understand where and how things went wrong.

It may be that you did not dedicate enough time or attention to your developers, or there were conflicts that you could have handled better. You may have failed to communicate your expectations or confirm the results.

Always try to ask yourself how things could have gone better to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Don't expect anything

Do not expect the current company you are working with to provide detailed documentation for the successors. It is one of the most hated tasks for developers (if you don't believe it, search on Google).

To the question:

Why do programmers hate making documentation? Google presents over 40,800,000 answers.

Despite this, to avoid further issues during the transition, make sure the old team documents all knowledge about processes/products and provides their contacts to the new company for possible clarifications later on.

Don't doubt yourself

Always remember that if you are not satisfied with the current team, they are probably not satisfied with you either.

Remember that terminating the contract is the best choice for everyone involved - and your provider probably knows it too. They will not sabotage your systems or anything else; they just want to be properly compensated so they can transfer their knowledge.

At the same time, if you are hesitant to grant full permissions to the new provider in your systems right away, consider assigning restricted functionality to limit user access only to the resources necessary to perform the work, reducing overall risk or the impact of cyber attacks.

Entrust the management of details to your new team.

Your previous partnership has failed, and you may not yet be ready to trust your new development team, even though it is necessary.

Keep in mind that your trust in the new engineers is proportional to the chances of success for your software project. Let them lead the transition strategy to establish a culture of trust and transparency.

Remember that they are going through an onboarding process, which can be quite stressful, and your support is always important. Try to resist the temptation to be a control freak. Start by giving the new development team full autonomy in analyzing what is already in place.

In most cases, newcomers will be shocked by how "horrible" the code is and may suggest rewriting the entire app (rightly so, as it is often necessary) - let them express their opinion and analyze it as objectively as possible.

Here are some practical tips from us at Colibryx

"Plan the data migration process carefully to minimize the risk of losing important information." Paolo

"Remember, switching from one software provider to another may seem complicated, but with proper planning and preparation, it can be a smooth experience that improves your business." Francesco

If you are looking for a new provider, Colibryx will be your best choice 😁 Contact us to get to know each other and see if we are the right fit.