Digital Transformation, A Key Challenge In QA Testing

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 09, 2015

testing automation

Digital transformation is prompting CXOs to place more importance on quality assurance and testing. However, the speed of this digital transformation within organizations has been identified as a clear hurdle, with 55% of organizations identifying ‘application functionality changing too quickly’ as their biggest challenge, according to a new Capgemini and HP study.

In an attempt to gain control over the influx of new applications, the World Quality Report 2015 found a 9% year-on-year increase in IT spending budgets directed towards testing and quality assurance. Of this budget, almost half is dedicated to maintenance work, focused on trying to ensure applications are suitable for business use. Relatedly, budget spent on new transformational work has decreased by 1% as companies begin to reign in their spending to focus on coping with the continuous transformation of applications.

A seamless customer experience is a key driver for QA testing

The report found that companies are continuing to invest in securing the integrity of their systems, with more than four out of five (81%) citing security as the main purpose for testing. This heightened awareness of security is driven by digital transformation and security testing has become critical to business assurance for many organizations.

However, the role of the customer experience is now almost as important to companies with 79% identifying this as a key consideration for their quality assurance testing. This marks a notable shift for organizations who have come to realize the growing importance of providing customers with a smooth, seamless experience whenever they come into contact with the company’s properties.

“This year’s World Quality Report shows that we live in a fast moving world where customer experience and flexibility are as important as keeping pace with digital transformation using Agile QA and DevOps,” observes Govind Muthukrishnan, Senior Vice President and Testing Global Service Line Leader.

Today, we see that organizations are making significant investments in Test Environments and Test Data - Test Ecosystems - and are focussing on end to end automation of not only Testing but also the Test Ecosystems. However, organizations must move beyond automation of Testing and Test Ecosystems to an integrated and intelligent QA Lifecycle that can deliver synergy in business assurance,” he added.

Shorter lifecycles demand greater agility

This year’s report also revealed that with spend on quality testing and assurance increasing, a higher proportion of that budget is now dedicated to DevOps and Agile principles, with more than half (59%) of respondents saying at least half of projects within the organization use DevOps principles and 47% use virtual test environments. While organizations attempt to modernize their testing practices and procedures, they also have to deal with the increasingly shorter life cycles of programs and applications, which is forcing an increase in demand for testing hardware and infrastructure: an increase of 5% from 2014 to 38%. However, despite the decrease in spending on new transformational work (down 1%), almost one in three (29%) are intent on developing Testing Centers of Excellence (TCoE) within the next two years.

New roles being created to meet testing demand

The maturity of the quality assurance market has seen the function become a critical business operation. With an increasing number of organizations now adopting DevOps and Agile, there are a number of new roles being created to match the growing importance and size of the market. Roles that never previously existed, such as Software Development Test Engineers, are now appearing and the demand for these positions is only likely to increase as quality assurance becomes more central to the operation of organizations.

“Technology disruptions such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and mobility are leading to faster business transformations than ever before. Companies have to pivot quickly in order to stay ahead of the curve, compete and conform to the new style of business,” said Raffi Margaliot, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Application Delivery Management, HP Software. 

“This year’s World Quality Report highlights how quickly IT leaders are responding to these mega trends that are rapidly changing our industry and the steps they are taking to keep pace with the demands of their users without compromising application quality and user experience.”