AI app development is the next big thing. Here, we'll discuss the basics of AI app development and why it's important.
How to choose an AI app development company
AI app development can be a challenging task.
Finding the right company to partner with is even tougher.
But don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of choosing the right AI app development company.
Table of Contents
Define your requirements first
Before choosing your AI app development partner, you need to be clear about your requirements.
This means you need to know:
- Your app’s goals
- The AI features you want in your app
- What type of team are you looking for
Once you’re clear about these requirements, you can start looking for a development partner.
They’ll act as selection criteria and a guiding star for your AI app development process.
For starters, you need to set clear goals about what you want to achieve with your app’s AI features.
This means defining the problems AI solves for your users.
Let’s say you’re building an e-commerce app with an AI recommendation system.
Your goal would be to provide a highly personalized experience to increase product sales.
Next, you should come up with the essential AI features you want to have in your minimum viable product (MVP).
This will not only help you decide which company to choose but also the direction you want your AI app to go.
So, if your app’s essential AI features use computer vision, you’ll know to look for companies that have experience with it.
If you’re having trouble deciding which features to prioritize, you should use one of these feature prioritization frameworks:
- RICE (reach, impact, confidence, effort)
- MoSCoW method
- Value vs effort
And finally, you need to decide on the type of team you’re looking for – a dedicated team or an extended team.
Hiring an extended team is a good choice if you’re looking to fill in skill gaps in your in-house engineering team.
A dedicated team, on the other hand, is a better choice for complex long-term projects or if your engineering team is busy on a different project.
They work and function just like an in-house team but they’re formed by a third-party provider.
Once you’ve defined your requirements, you can start your search.
Review their portfolio
Reviewing a company’s portfolio should be your first step when evaluating a potential AI app development partner.
Their portfolio and case studies will tell you about their previous work and experience.
When you’re developing an AI app, previous experience is a must.
And the best way to find out if they have any is by reading about their previous work.
You’ll get insights about:
- Their skills
- The problems they’ve solved for clients
- AI technologies they’ve worked with
- How they approach app development
All of these factors will help you decide if they’re the right fit for you or not.
Let’s say you’re developing a fintech app with AI-powered fraud detection.
source: Penta Security
If a company has a detailed case study about an app they’ve developed with similar capabilities, you’ll know they’re a good fit.
But, there’s one thing you should keep in mind.
Case studies and portfolios are written to present them in the best possible light.
You shouldn’t blindly trust what’s written in them.
That’s where third-party reviews come in.
Check their reviews
A company’s reviews and client testimonials are a more accurate reflection of their work than case studies and portfolios.
If you want to find the right AI app development company for your app, they’re an important factor to consider.
Anyone can write a wordy and exaggerated case study, but third-party reviews are out of the company’s control.
They’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to work with a company from a client’s perspective.
The first place you should look for reviews and client testimonials is on the company’s website.
Of course, those reviews will be cherry-picked and negative reviews won’t be featured.
Still, they can be a valuable data point.
But, the most valuable reviews will be on third-party websites, such as:
The reviews there will give you a clearer picture of what it’s actually like to work with a company.
And all of the reviews are verified, so you can be sure of their authenticity.
All 3 sites require reviewers to log in with their LinkedIn profile or a business email address.
And that’s why they’re so valuable.
Review their tech stack
An AI app development company’s tech stack is a key factor when deciding which company to partner with.
It will show you if your tech stacks are compatible and if you can even work together.
For example, if you want an AI web app, you’re not going to be able to work with a company that only does mobile apps.
But, that’s obvious.
What you should really pay attention to is their:
- AI frameworks
- Cloud platforms
- Database management systems (DBMS)
A company’s tech stack shows their expertise with AI app development.
For example, a company that lists a small number of tools and frameworks is either inexperienced or highly specialized.
On the other hand, an experienced AI app development company will have a variety of tools in their arsenal.
A diverse tech stack also shows they can build different types of AI apps.
So, which tools should you expect to find in their tech stack?
Some of the most common AI frameworks are:
They likely won’t use all of these, but if they have expertise with 2-3 different AI frameworks, that’s a good sign.
As for the cloud platforms and DBMS they use, you should prioritize compatibility.
This will make developing your AI app easier and faster.
See how they communicate
Effective communication is key to any app’s development.
And your AI app is no exception.
That’s why it’s so important to partner with a company that prioritizes effective communication and collaboration.
Make sure to find out how they communicate before committing to a partnership.
You don’t want to end up in a situation where the engineers on the team don’t respond or are unreachable.
The dedicated team you hire should communicate like an in-house team.
Luckily, most app development companies nowadays use Agile methodologies like Scrum which prioritize constant communication.
Also, make sure that the company you partner with values and prioritizes your feedback.
If you can, try to find out how often they hold meetings with their clients.
They don’t have to be daily meetings, especially for long-term projects.
But make sure to pick a company that schedules regular meetings with their clients.
Another thing to consider are the project management tools they use.
You need to have a way to see how their team is working on your app.
In short, you should make sure the company you partner with values transparent communication.
You’ll have a much better working relationship than with one that doesn’t.
Look into their pricing
The final step before making your choice is looking into a company’s pricing and pricing model.
You need to determine if their pricing fits your requirements and available budget.
Now, every project and app is unique and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to pricing – this is especially true for AI apps.
A number of factors influence the price of your AI app, such as:
- Your target platform
- The complexity of your AI model
- Integration with other systems and platforms
- The complexity of your app’s design
You’ll need to contact the companies directly to get an estimate of your app’s cost.
Now, the next step is to check their pricing model.
The two most common are the fixed price and time and materials models.
The fixed price model is a good choice for simple projects with well-defined requirements.
But, for an AI app the time and materials model is a significantly better choice.
- Control over the project
- Budget management
- Over budgeting
- Risk of a bad contractor
The AI field is constantly evolving and your app’s requirements could change with new advances.
Also, the time and materials model is the fairest compensation model for both the client and the company.
It reflects the actual hours put in and resources used to build your AI app.
And that’s why it’s the best option.
Developing an AI app is complex at the best of times.
And if you don’t have an in-house team that can do it, you need to choose the right AI app development company to work with you.
The key steps when choosing an AI app development company are:
- Define your requirements first
- Review their portfolio
- Check their reviews
- Review their tech stack
- See how they communicate
- Look into their pricing