Top Software Development Companies In Chicago

Chicago is a booming Midwest city for software development and technology. Software companies in Chicago build solutions that improve employee productivity, increase customer experience and more. 

Our expert analysts researched the best software development companies in Chicago to determine the leading firms that can deliver results for your brand. See the top 3 below.

1st place - gold - top software development companies

NEXT/NOW™

NEXT/NOW is a creative technology agency that designs and develops innovative experiences across both digital platforms and real-world environments. They combine elements such as user interfaces, motion interactivity, creative display concepts, and other emerging tech trends to connect consumers with world-class brands.

2nd place - silver - top software development companies

Intersog

Intersog helps clients surpass their competition with the help of custom software solutions. The Chicago-based software development company has a qualified team who can handle all aspects of a software project, including conception, design, development, and implementation.

3rd place - bronze - top software development companies

Highland Solutions

Highland Solutions builds customer-centric digital experiences that humanize online interactions with brands. They partner with organizations that are driven by their core values. Highland Solutions strives to provide fair prices, effective methods, and collaborative guidance to help clients grow.

Top Chicago Software Developers Of 2019

Because the market is so robust, there are plenty of reputable and reliable Chicago-based software companies to choose from. View our full list of the best software development companies in Chicago:

CompanyWebsiteLocationTeam SizeAverage RateMinimal Budget
1. NEXT/NOW™
https://nextnowagency.com1200 W Lake St. Ste 1, Chicago, Illinois 60607, United StatesUnder 49Inquire
$50,000 & Up
2. Intersog
https://intersog.com220 N Green St, Chicago, Illinois 60607, United States
250 - 499
$40/hr
$25,000 - $50,000
3. Highland Solutionshttps://www.highlandsolutions.com141 W Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Illinois Illinois, United States
Under 49$150/hr
$10,000 - $25,000
4. Dogtown Media
https://www.dogtownmedia.com
228 Main Street, Suite 4, Venice, California 90291, United States
Under 49$140/hr
$50,000 & Up
5. Table XIhttps://www.tablexi.com328 S. Jefferson St., Chicago, Illinois 60661, United StatesUnder 49$195/hr$50,000 & Up
6. Cabot Technology Solutionhttps://www.cabotsolutions.com318 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60606, USA100 - 249$30/hrInquire
7. Megahttp://themega.agency11 S Angel St, Providence, Rhode Island 02906, United StatesUnder 49$75/hr$1,000 - $10,000
8. Eight Bit Studioshttps://eightbitstudios.com350 W. Erie #300, Chicago, Illinois 60654, United StatesUnder 49$185/hr$25,000 - $50,000
9. ArtVersion Interactivehttps://artversion.com10 S LaSalle St, 2nd Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60603, United StatesUnder 49$165/hr$10,000 - $25,000
10. Fusion92 https://www.fusion92.com440 West Ontario, Chicago, Illinois 60654, United States50-99$160/hr$50,000 & Up
11. Digital Authority Partnershttps://www.digitalauthority.me222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212, Chicago, Illinois 60654, United StatesUnder 49$120/hr$25,000
12. Critical Masshttps://www.criticalmass.com1011 9th Avenue SE, Suite 300, Calgary, T2G OH7, Canada500 - 999InquireInquire
13. Youtechhttps://youtechagency.com387 Shuman Blvd, Ste 310W, Naperville, Illinois 60563, United StatesUnder 49$250/hr$10,000
14. Rule29https://rule29.com501 Hamilton Street, Geneva, Illinois 60134, United StatesUnder 49$150/hr$10,000
15. Celtic Chicago Inc.https://celticchicago.comNorth Grove Corporate Park. 8120 N. Lehigh Avenue, Suite 100, Morton Grove, Illinois 60053, United StatesUnder 49$175/hr$50,000 & Up
16. Blue Fountain Mediahttps://www.bluefountainmedia.com102 Madison Ave, Second Floor, New York, New York 10016, United States250 - 499$150/hr$50,000 & Up
17. Olive Street Design LLChttps://www.olivestreetdesign.com264 E Kenilworth Ave, Villa Park, Illinois 60181, United StatesUnder 49$100/hr$1,000
18. iPrism Technologieshttps://www.iprismtech.comVenkateshwara Residential, B-4, Journalist Colony, Rd Number 3, Jubilee Hills, Near Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad, 500033, India100 - 249$15/hr$1,000
19. Killian Brandinghttp://www.killianbranding.com73 W. Monroe St., Chicago, Illinois 60603, United StatesUnder 49$175/hr$10,000
20. Zealth Digital Marketinghttps://zealth.net5117B Main St., Downers Grove, Illinois 60515, United StatesUnder 49$60/hr$1,000

IT Software Companies in Chicago: An Overview Of The City’s Thriving Tech Scene

In this section, we use Information Technology (IT) as an umbrella term for software, hardware and everything in between to portray the true scope and potential of Chicago’s tech scene.

Whether you are looking to hire a software development agency in Chicago or researching IT job opportunities, the city has a lot to offer.

Unlike its peers, Chicago-based software companies, and other tech organizations for that matter, aren’t cocooned in a hub; They are scattered throughout the city which allows them to integrate with their host communities.

This, besides the affordable cost of living (as far as the US metropolises go), is quite possibly one of the main reasons why tech entrepreneurs and professionals are increasingly choosing the Windy City as their base. 

In the continuation of the post, we look at some of the best-known IT / software companies in Chicago and assess the size of the city’s IT workforce. 

Name Brand Tech Companies with Offices in Chicago:

  • Google’s Chicago office opened in 2000. Their headcount has grown to over 1,000 since, and it is said that the tech giant is now eyeing new locations within the city to house their team expansion plans. 
    • Address: 320 N Morgan St #600
    • Team size: 1,000+
  • Microsoft has a longstanding relationship with Chicago. They opened their first offices in the city almost three decades ago. 

The latest official records (2014) suggest the Chicago team is 500-people strong. However, if we were to go by LinkedIn, the team has more than doubled in the past five years.

    • Address: 200 E Randolph St #200
    • Team size: 1,000+ (unofficial)
  • Facebook has been in Chicago since 2007. Last year, the company announced they were opening a new office in N. Franklin Street and adding over 500 employees to their Chicago-based team. 
    • Address: 191 N Upper Wacker Dr
    • Team size: Undisclosed; Space designed to house 2,000 employees
  • LinkedIn’s office opened in 2013 and was soon crowned the “coolest” workspace interior design in Chicago. Their own platform database suggests that the Chicago office houses approximately 800 employees. 
    • Address: 525 W Monroe St #200
    • Team size: 800 (unofficial)
  • Uber hints to an upcoming growth spurt of their Chicago team as the company recently leased The Old Post Office space that spans over 463,000 ft2. The team currently counts over 1,000 people.
    • Address: Multiple / 300 N Elizabeth St
    • Team size: 1,000+
  • Yelp opened its Chicago office in 2015. The office started with 170 employees and ambitious plans to expand the team to 400 within a couple of years. Their LinkedIn page suggests that Yelp’s Chicago-based workforce is now just short of 1000.
    • Address: Merchandise Mart
    • Team size: <1,000 (unofficial)
  • Salesforce arrived in Chicago in 2012 and have cultivated a workforce of over 1,000 since. They also recently announced expansion plans as they look to move into the Wolf Point South tower - an upcoming addition to Chicago’s skyline.
    • Address: 111 West Illinois Street
    • Team size: 1,000+
  • Foursquare opened their new Chicago office in 2018 and the team is said to have been growing rapidly.
    • Address: 225 W Ohio St
    • Team size: Undisclosed

Award-Winning Enterprise Software Companies Headquartered In Chicago:

  • Basecamp is a world-leading project management platform with over 3 million user accounts.
  • Sprout Social was founded in 2010 and currently employs about 500 employees. They build products for deeper social media insights and interactions.
  • Yello is a talent acquisition software used by Fortune 500 companies. 
  • Cision is a PR platform with a database counting over 1.4 million media profiles and over 900 million social influencer profiles.
  • OneSpan Inc.’s product portfolio caters to banking and finance, insurance and government organizations. Their solutions are used by more than half of the world’s top 100 banks. 
  • Centro was founded in 2001. Their suite of digital media services has won them numerous accolades including recognition from The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and G2.
  • BigTime is a time, billing and project management software used by over 2,000 firms. The software processes over USD 2 billion of billable time per year.
  • ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation platform known for its email marketing and sales CRM tools. Their user base is more than 75,000-strong.

How Many IT Professionals Work in Chicago, Illinois:

Besides the name brand and thriving local tech companies, there are over 14,000 small to medium IT organizations, most of which are software companies, in Chicago.

The city consistently ranks among the top 5 in the US when it comes to IT job opportunities, currently employing almost 150,000 IT professionals.

Here is Chicago’s IT workforce in numbers (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018):

  • 8,230 Computer Network Support Specialists - 2nd highest in the US
  • 23, 010 Computer Systems Analysts - 3rd highest in the US
  • 20,100 Computer User Support Specialists - 4th highest in the US 
  • 3,220 Information Security Analysts - 4th highest in the US
  • 4,620 Computer Network Architects
  • 9,710 Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  • 3,020 Database Administrators
  • 4,550 Web Developers
  • 15,230 Software Developers (Systems Software)
  • 26,860 Software Developers (Applications)
  • 8,790 Computer Programmers
  • 13,000+ Other IT Professionals

Software Development Companies in Chicago: How To Choose One

Your decision to nearshore your software development project will surely save you more than a few headaches. 

For one, you don’t have to work around multiple time zones which make scheduling anything, from scrum meetings to major deliveries, a nightmare. 

You speak the same language, hence you minimize the chances of miscommunication.

You are familiar with the culture, both in its social and work sense, which is another crucial factor in communication as well as task and timeline planning, and overall expectations management.

In essence, hiring a software development company in Chicago as opposed to offshoring is advantageous in all senses except for the initial investment. 

Being a US metropolis with internationally competitive and highly specialized IT organizations, Chicago-based software companies are likely to command higher prices than those in smaller cities or developing countries.

Here are the main questions to answer before outsourcing your project to a software company in Chicago:

What Are Their Core Technological Strengths?

Assuming your requirement is clearly defined, the first question you should answer is whether the company you are screening has the expertise you need to get the work done properly.

Do they specialize in web or mobile solutions? Ecommerce? Wearables? IOT systems? 

You will, ideally, want your development partner to have in-depth experience developing the type of solution you are commissioning. 

Next, you will have to define the technologies and/or platforms upon which to build your solution. 

Java? .NET? Ruby on Rails? Python? PHP? Angular? 

WordPress? Drupal? iOS? Android? Salesforce? WooCommerce? The list goes on and on...

Most software companies in Chicago will offer consultancy services or incorporate product planning in their offering. This will encompass technology and platform selection.

While Chicago-based software companies are known for their professionalism, it is advisable to be conscious of the tech stack biases in IT organizations. 

If the company you are screening claims to be open to exploring all technologies for your project, they still may be inclined to suggest the one that fits their preferences as opposed to your requirement. 

This is why it is generally advisable to have a qualified in-house or independent consultant involved at this and later stages of your software development project. 

Do Chicago Software Developers Have The Domain Experience You Need?

If the company you are screening has already worked with clients in your sector, they will be better positioned to offer insightful solutions and move faster through all the stages of software development.

This is not to say that other companies should be discarded on the account of domain knowledge (or lack thereof). 

If you are willing to invest time in their education, most software companies in Chicago will welcome and swiftly rise to the challenge.

What Is Their Preferred Engagement Type and Software Development Methodology?

Ask your prospective development partner what their preferred client engagement and development methodologies are?

You will want to know what to expect from them just as much as what will be expected of you.

Working with a software company in Chicago will presumably make regular meetings easier, but you will want to determine how often you’ll hold them per week or per month, and who should attend them.

How will you deal with setbacks or changing requirements? Additions and subtractions? Staff changes? Etc.

A reliable software company will have processes in place to cover all contingencies. 

How Structured Are The Chicago Software Development Firms' Communication Practices?

Speaking the same language doesn’t guarantee an understanding. 

An above-par software company will have clearly defined communications channels and processes both internally and externally to facilitate ongoing conversations with clients.

This will make communicating and recording requirements, requirement changes, progress and deliveries easier and more transparent.

Cost: How Do Software Development Companies in Chicago Compare with the Regional Average in Terms of Rates? If Higher, Does Their Portfolio Justify Them?

Software companies in Chicago will have different pricing structures and quotations for the same project. 

Some will demand minimum project sizes that can be anywhere between USD 10,000 to 75,000+.

Others will charge per resource (i.e. developer or other IT professional) and/or per hour. Here, after the organization builds in its cost, expect an average rate of USD 100-150 per hour.

Some organizations are able to offer more competitive prices by maintaining offices or subcontracting developers in developing countries. Be sure to clarify this beforehand as it may impact on your development process.

Finally, it is important to note that quality plays an important role in pricing, but so does prestige. 

If the company you are screening commands prices that are above the market average, seek justification for this. Do not be starstruck by their brand name clients, but rather closely examine their portfolio and references.

Want to Know More about Software Companies in Chicago, Illinois?

We maintain a live database of the top software development companies in Chicago

Our experts always welcome questions and are happy to help you find the perfect software development partner for your project. Contact us HERE or view the full list of software development firms in Chicago above!

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