Software development companies help businesses build everything from web and mobile apps to custom software platforms to meet unique needs. Some of the world’s largest companies rely on the expertise of software development companies to build apps and software for their internal needs as well as for their customers.
There are hundreds of software companies that offer end-to-end and specialized services for businesses of all sizes. We looked at two dozen of the most established companies in the space and chose the best based on reputation, specialization, consulting and team development services, and more. Here are some of the best software development companies available to help businesses with their programming needs.
The 7 Best Software Development Companies of 2021
ScienceSoft started as a small artificial intelligence (AI) product company in McKinney, Texas, in 1989. In 2002, it made the switch to IT services and has since become a leading IT consulting and software development company with over 700 employees and customers in 37 countries. ScienceSoft is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating from the organization. It tops our list due to its impressive roster of clients and large pool of talent from around the world.
ScienceSoft’s professional software development assists the healthcare, banking, finance, retail, telecommunications, education, transportation, and logistics industries. The company’s clients include IBM, eBay, Deloitte, Leo Burnett, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Nestlé.
Among its primary offerings, ScienceSoft lists software development outsourcing to support business growth and digital transformation, custom software development for Fortune 500 companies and mid-sized businesses, and software product development for mobile and desktop apps and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products.
Building on its origins, the company has also become an innovative leader in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, Internet of Things (IoT), computer vision, and augmented and virtual reality.
Among the company’s highlights are a product lifecycle management (PLM) software used by global companies, including Coca-Cola, Tesco, L’Oréal, and Procter & Gamble. It is also the creator of Viber, an instant messaging and VoIP app that has over 900 million active users around the world.
Although ScienceSoft’s website doesn’t provide any additional details, it uses a combination of fixed price, time and material, consumption-based, and monthly subscription pricing models.
Founded in 2007, Intellectsoft specializes in custom software engineering, with over 350 employees in five offices around the world and 500 clients. The company’s top service offerings are UI and UX, DevOps, and mobile apps development. Intellectsoft is not accredited with the BBB but enjoys an A+ rating from the organization. It comes in second on our list because, though smaller, the company’s talent pool is still very impressive and has a long list of specialties.
Intellectsoft’s commitment to quality has gained it an impressive list of clients, including Universal Studios, Guinness, Eurostar, Harley-Davidson, and Land Rover. The company uses a boutique-style methodology for customized approaches that help build long-term partnerships with its clients. Intellectsoft also employs a 360-degree approach covering the full lifecycle of application design, integration, and management.
Intellectsoft uses a five-step software development roadmap that begins with offering its clients access to its top-tier team of engineers. Clients can also choose from multiple collaboration options designed to scale projects quickly. The company also boasts that its development and delivery process and pricing models save clients up to 50% in research and development costs.
In addition to custom software development, Intellectsoft also offers quality assurance (QA) services and has tested complex enterprise software for Fortune 500 companies. The company can also hire dedicated development teams and provide strategic IT consulting to help its clients digitalize operations and implement new technologies.
Founded in 2005, Oxagile is a software development company based in New York and specializing in business intelligence, big data consulting, AI, and custom software and web development. It boasts more than 450 clients in over 30 verticals, including media and entertainment, healthcare, finance, e-learning, and banking. Oxagile is accredited with the BBB and enjoys an A+ rating from the organization. It comes in third on our list since its focus on complex data management may be more than most businesses need.
Among its list of custom software development services, Oxagile specializes in online video management, including over-the-top (OTT) streaming media technology, video conferencing systems, and multi-screen apps for top clients like Google, MIT, Vodafone, Telecom Argentina, and Discovery Communications.
Oxagile employs a tested agile process tailored to its client’s needs and transparency standards. The company uses active communication and reporting to optimize performance and maintain the flexibility to make changes along the way. Oxagile also achieves outstanding code quality by maintaining сode style guidelines and best practices around source code workflows across all teams.
Oxagile also offers several engagement models to suit the needs of its clients. The first is project-based with fixed bids, a clear project scope, and a detailed release roadmap to keep projects from going over budget. The time and materials model works best with loosely defined requirements and offers budget flexibility so clients only pay for the resources used. Finally, Oxagile’s team-based model helps its clients quickly bring in highly specialized talent and save on recruitment costs.
Founded in 2010, DockYard is a digital product agency based in Boston, Mass., offering custom software, mobile, and web application development. As a 100% remote company, it is able to draw upon the best talent from anywhere in the U.S. and can collaborate digitally with ease. DockYard is not accredited with the BBB but enjoys an A+ rating from the organization. It comes in fourth on our list since the company is relatively young and its completely remote workforce might be off-putting to some businesses.
DockYard specializes in product strategy and design, engineering, testing and QA, project management, and training and support. The company serves a variety of industries, including financial, retail, IT, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and entertainment. Among its roster of clients are Netflix, Apple, Fidelity, Constant Contact, and Harvard University.
DockYard is a full-service software engineering company offering every aspect of digital product development, including product strategy, product design, and full-stack engineering. The company also puts a strong focus on superior user experience (UI) bolstered by smart usability scrupulous coding.
DockYard is also at the front line of advancing web development technologies. The company utilizes proven, open-source technologies including Progressive Web Apps (PWA), Ember.js, React.js, Elixir, and Ruby—technologies adopted by Google, IBM, and Microsoft—for easy migration, long-term maintainability, and security.
One additional service DockYard offers is staff augmentation. This allows it to provide short- or long-term staffing support for its clients who only have to pay for what they need. DockYard can also embed its consultants in its clients’ companies to help accelerate the success of any project.
OpenXcell is a software development company founded in 2009 focusing on open-source software solutions like Drupal and WordPress. Two years later, it moved into mobile app development and currently has over 400 employees providing solutions for more than 500 clients. The company is not listed with the BBB but does have a 4.8 out of five rating on Clutch.co based on 21 reviews. It ranks fifth on our list due to its lack of transparent pricing.
OpenXcell’s specialty is mobile app development, using four fundamental principles: scalability, usability, security, and performance. It offers a full-stack of app development services, including UI design using statistical and psychological research, programming, testing, and ongoing support and maintenance.
OpenXcell also brings the same level of quality and transparency to its other software development services. These include a DevOps approach that encourages clear collaboration between departments and teams for faster results and code release, and business intelligence using advanced analytics, data management, and data visualization to create user-friendly systems that scale with each business.
While OpenXcell doesn’t offer pricing on its website, customers can request a free, no-obligation quote. All proposals include a free 45-minute consultation, a strict non-disclosure agreement (NDA), free market and competitive analysis suggestions on revenue models and planning, and an action plan to help clients kickstart their project.
Since 2012, Boston-based SumatoSoft has been building custom software and delivering turnkey projects to small and medium-sized businesses and startups. The company specializes in high-end web, mobile, and IoT solutions for the ad technology and marketing, education technology, ecommerce, and logistics and transportation industries. The company is not listed with the BBB but does have a 4.8 out of five rating on Clutch.co based on 14 reviews. It’s sixth on our list due to its specialized, narrower industry focus.
SumatoSoft is a relatively small company compared to the others we reviewed, with around 50 team members in 27 countries. Nonetheless, the company has successfully implemented over 100 projects and gained a 98% satisfaction rate from its clients, one of which is Toyota. Seventy percent of SumatoSoft’s staff are software engineers.
SumatoSoft also prides itself as a tech partner for startups and startup accelerators. It offers technical app development consultation including project estimations, proof on concept, and minimum viable product (MVP) development for early adoption users. SumatoSoft also provides its clients with a fast development cycle with dedicated team scalability and flexibility.
Like many of the software development companies we reviewed, SumatoSoft doesn’t list their prices on their website. However, customers can request a free quote. All details of each request are protected by an NDA and include a detailed time and cost estimation.
Altar.io was founded in Lisbon in 2015 by four professionals experienced in creating their own separate startups. The founders’ direct experience in building startups from the ground up gave them a mastery of lean product development that allows them to streamline development for their clients. The company is not listed with the BBB but does have a 4.9 out of five rating on Clutch.co based on 17 reviews. It ranks last on our list because it is a newer company that, while well-reviewed, has not yet gained any high-profile clients.
Since Altar.io had no direct experience in product development, they built the company by gathering the top talent in product, UX/UI, software development, and machine and deep learning. Paired with the founders’ savvy business acumen, the company has developed a user-centric approach to product innovation and software development based on fully understanding the business needs of its clients before building anything.
With a staff of less than 50, Altar.io doesn’t yet have a list of high-profile clients. Nonetheless, it has created many groundbreaking and innovative software solutions for its clients. These include Audio Test Kitchen which allows audio engineers to compare the sound of different audio gear, a Pinterest-meets-Quora-style platform for beauty products called Teezler, and a fintech tool that lets financial institutions assess the credit scoring of offline retailers.
Unlike most software developers who don’t even broach the topic of pricing, Altar.io offers a price simulator that gives customers an idea of costs based on the scope of their project. The company even explains its Seed program, which allows it to streamline production and development with modules that serve as the common foundation of most software projects.
What Is a Software Development Company?
Software development companies can build custom apps and software from scratch for businesses or help those businesses who are trying to develop their own software. Most companies offer a variety of services, from end-to-end development and testing to helping businesses build out their own teams.
Any business looking to develop software that will be an essential part of their operations or revenue should consider using a software company. These companies specialize in creating processes that create clean, working software that stays within budget and scales as the business grows. Many companies who go it alone developing their own software risk going way over budget and creating a final product that delivers much less than they expected.
How Do Software Development Companies Work?
Software development companies begin by consulting with a business to fully understand the scope and needs of the project. Many companies are full-stack meaning they can take a project from idea to completion if needed. Almost all offer à la carte services to help businesses build their own software where needed (extra staff, testing, quality assurance, etc.).
All software is made up of code that is typically owned by the software development company. In turn, that means the intellectual property (IP) rights of an application don’t necessarily belong to the business that pays to have it developed. It’s important for each business to understand whether or not it’s possible for them to own the IP of their own platform.
How Much Do Software Development Companies Charge?
Since there are so many variables that go into the scope of software development, most companies don’t advertise prices on their websites. However, our research shows that software development projects can range from $3,000 to $120,000. Many software development companies also have a minimum project size that can reach into the thousands of dollars.
How We Chose the Best Software Development Companies
We looked at nearly two dozen software companies for this review. We looked for companies with high ratings and reviews, a strong list of top clients, and that served a variety of business sizes. We also wanted companies that offered end-to-end as well as à la carte development services to suit any business need. Finally, we made sure to include companies that not only focused on development, but team development, training, and project staffing as well.
In the end, the best software development companies help a business take advantage of new technologies without having to become software experts themselves or worrying about not getting a good return on their investment.
Better Business Bureau. “ScienceSoft.” Accessed July 25, 2021.
Better Business Bureau. "Intellectsoft, LLC." Accessed July 25, 2021.
Better Business Bureau. "Oxagile." Accessed July 25, 2021.
Better Business Bureau. "Dockyard, Inc." Accessed July 25, 2021.
Clutch.co. "OpenXcell." Accessed July 25, 2021.
Clutch.co. "SumatoSoft." Accessed July 25, 2021.
Clutch.co. "Altar.io." Accessed July 24, 2021.
GoodFirms. "Remarkably Useful Stats and Trends on Software Development | GoodFirms Research." Accessed July 25, 2021.