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5 Ways Government Can Engage Small App Developers

Google wallet mobile payment app at a Pete 2. Try It First The next tip may appear obvious, but its not always so. Tran recommends that officials selecting tech providers personally use the prototypes and demo the software. Dont trust the brochures or assume a software demo is as straightforward as it seems, he said. During a demo, the product may seem stable in the hands of the representative; however, this is a controlled environment, Tran cautioned. Independent developers benefit from hands-on use, Tran said, because accountability creates a more even playing field in which the tech speaks for itself. 3. Look at Goals, Not Flashy Features Tran encouraged municipalities to focus on their key IT goals and not be distracted by the total number of product features. Large companies have a lot of resources, which can manifest as additional features, but many may not be necessary for a particular project. When a big company makes a product, it usually will ask itself, How can we make money on this or will the features win a proposal? Whereas an independent developer may ask, Is the product that I am creating solving a big problem efficiently? Tran said. Basing decisions on whether a solution will meet specific project goals, versus its number of features, allows independent developers to focus their ingenuity in a competitive way. 4. Consider Trending Tech over Historical Tech Its no secret that the latest technologies are the indigenous environment for aspiring app creators. Tran urged governments to look beyond traditional technologies and consider what's coming. Too often, he said, governments miss out on opportunities because theyve grounded themselves too heavily in the technology they're already using. Sometimes, the government will ask for declining technology (for example, BlackBerry), and you have to be sure to offer those features even if you disagree with the request and even if you consider the feature to be a poor ROI for the government, Tran said. Requirements that include dated features often eliminate new developers, who might not have additional resources to dedicate to a declining technology. 5. Create a Unified, User-Friendly RFP Process There is no good centralized RFP site, with specific standards on the process, Tran said, although he credited the U.S.

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