2015 saw an unprecedented shift and rapid adoption of digital transformation projects across all industry verticals. This year, Evoke is continuing the practice of publishing a summary of software testing trends and predictions, based on the World Quality Report 2015-16, an elaborate research study conducted by Capgemini in association with Sogeti and HP amongst 1,560 IT leaders.
As predicted in the year 2015, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues its unabated journey, enabling users to connect with the growing number of devices and supported data sharing between machines, equipment, products and businesses. The next big thing is ‘Digital Transformation’, which is bringing Quality Assurance (QA) and Testing to the spotlight. Senior IT leaders and CIOs believe that “The existing digital innovations and developments around Social Media, Mobile, Big Data analytics, Internet of Things and Smart Devices are the enablers of Digital Transformation.”
In our last year’s post on software testing trends, we had emphasized that IT leaders and CIOs should take the lead in understanding emerging digital technologies, create new business models and strategies in order to bring the digital transformation to life. Per the World Quality Report, protecting corporate image is one of the biggest objectives of QA and Testing teams. The research further revealed that 48% of business enterprises have established the role of a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and 23% are planning to create this role in the near future. This demonstrates that enterprises are treating digital transformation as an important strategic factor.
Top Software Testing Trends for 2016
The speed of digital transformation initiatives will have a measurable impact on the QA and Testing practices globally in 2016. QA and Testing practices will have to focus on adapting emerging digital technologies and start thinking creatively with an intention of creating customer value and remaining competitive. Whether it is Agile, DevOps, Digital Transformation or Secured Services over Cloud Platforms, all these are real challenges to the QA and Testing practice, which requires robust and practical solutions. Let’s now examine the latest software testing trends for the year 2016.
Internet of Things
As a component of the digital transformation, IoT will witness persistent growth throughout 2016. With the advancement of machine-to-machine connectivity and digital innovations in the IoT domain, more and more systems are easily connecting using advanced platforms. The growth of IoT technology can be attributed to the brilliant user experience it offers. However, if you view it from a quality assurance perspective, a rigorous level of quality assurance and testing is required for these advancing systems (more than the traditional business systems) to avoid any potential lapses in security and quality.
Digital Transformation and Continuous Testing
The year 2015 was a year of adoption of digital transformation projects. Even this year the trend will continue with enterprises remaining current on digital transformation activities. However, there could be a slight swing to create realistic business models and strategies to bring about digital transformation projects to life. Further, as Agile and DevOps practices continue to evolve and enterprises start embracing these practices for software development and testing, the need for refining testing strategies and adoption of continuous testing practices will grow. Another interesting fact that emerged from this research is that ‘54% of enterprises are now adopting an Agile methodology as part of their software development strategy.’
In order to remain competitive and efficient, the paramount challenge that has to be addressed by enterprises is how to achieve meaningful testing in a shorter timescale. Subsequently, with the implementation of Agile and DevOps delivery, QA and Testing practices have to support faster development lifecycles. In 2016, the focus would marginally shift towards customer experience-driven testing, which is a combination of behavior driven testing (understanding end-user usage patterns) and exploratory testing (user scenario-based testing).
The formulation of the role of a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) in enterprises clearly demonstrates the seriousness and priority of adopting digital transformation activities. The statistics from World Quality Report indicate that technology and financial services sectors are leading in digital transformation activities, with 62% of enterprises already having a CDO in place. Correspondingly, the Telecommunications (54%) and Automotive (51%) sectors are not far behind. The Retail and Distribution [CPRD] (32%), Energy and Utilities [36%], and Manufacturing and Transportation each (38%) are quickly closing the gap.
With the increasing adoption of Mobile, IoT and Cloud, we are witnessing a strong impetus for security testing. Security testing is now emerging as one of the most important priorities for CIOs and IT leaders. As per the World Quality Report findings, 80% of the security breaches occur at the application layer level and 86% have issues relating to authentication and access control. Furthermore, over 80% of respondents surveyed stated that security testing is a critical factor.
The vast collection of data across diverse platforms such as web, mobile or cloud, coupled with multiple data transmission channels and devices has led to increased risks, thus reinforcing a case for security testing. The World Quality Report research findings point to a visible increase in quality assurance and security testing activities in almost all phases of the software development life-cycle.
Mobile Application Testing
With enterprises increasingly concentrating on providing excellent customer experiences, customer centric solutions have taken center stage in the IT industry. Mobile testing has emerged as one of the key areas that aids in improving the end-user experience. It is interesting to note that mobile testing is growing at a phenomenal pace when compared to previous years. As per the research report more than 92% of enterprises are planning to focus on mobile testing.
The major challenge for applying mobile testing is finding the right tools, capabilities, and infrastructure as well as adopting suitable strategies. Recent research indicates that cellular subscriptions have reached almost 7 billion in 2015 as compared to 738 million in the year 2000, with a penetration rate of almost 97%. Furthermore, there has been an increase in mobile usage from 31% to 55%. These figures clearly highlight the rapid adoption of mobile devices and the importance of mobile application testing in the near future.
Last year’s prediction stressed the need to apply software testing to cloud-based applications and services. This year, the focus and emphasis remains on cloud testing, with many IT leaders stating that they have adapted specific approaches for testing cloud-based services. As per the World Quality Report, cloud-based application testing increased from 4% in 2014 to 24% this year. Industry analysts forecast a continued growth in the adoption of cloud-based solutions, which will significantly increase the adoption of cloud testing.
Automation Testing and Automated solutions
With the increased adoption of DevOps and Agile methodologies, test automation is becoming integral to continuous testing, as part of continuous software delivery. Results from the World Quality Report indicate that the average percentage of test case automation has increased from 28% to 45%.
It is necessary for IT leaders to enhance the technical skills of their QA and Testing teams (i.e. beyond manual and test automation). Digital Transformation, along with Agile, DevOps, and the Cloud requires specialized testing skills and knowledge. Additionally, it is also important for software testers to not only focus on the functionality of the application, but pay equal attention to enhance the overall customer experience.
Protecting Corporate Image
According to the World Quality Report, 76% of corporate leaders across enterprises believe that QA and Testing practices play a critical role in protecting the corporate image of an enterprise. An increasing number of enterprises are expecting their quality assurance teams to focus on creating customer value and improve end-user experience, which will ultimately lead to customer satisfaction.
Many IT leaders are of the opinion that QA and Testing services should be utilized to enhance customer satisfaction. Moreover, with the increased usage of social media platforms among individuals, there is always a potential risk of maligning a brand’s reputation. Hence, more emphasis is being given to protect the corporate image of an enterprise.
Testing Centre of Excellence (TCoE)
TCoE’s have witnessed gradual growth from a mere 4% in 2011 to 22% in the year 2015. Even in 2016, we believe that TCoE’s will continue its steady proliferation. Nevertheless, it is important for TCoE’s to adopt a dynamic approach to embrace emerging trends such as Digital Transformation, Mobile, Agile, and DevOps. TCoE’s must continuously drive testing through integration, life-cycle automation and service virtualization.
TCoE’s can be successful only when these start functioning as testing factory rather than a traditional software testing platform. Utilizing in-house QA and Testing teams is an effective way to make the TCoE model a huge success. As compared to previous years, enterprises are looking at TCoE, as a co-managed function with hybrid models and shared roles. With Agile and DevOps finding its way into software development, QA and Testing teams should acquire pertinent skills, tools, and the ability to create practices that fit into the high-speed development life-cycles.
Quality Assurance and Software Testing Budgets
The budget allocated for QA and Testing has outperformed the predictions in 2015. There has been a significant rise in testing budgets from 9% in 2014 to 35% in 2015. This symbolizes the growing awareness of QA and Testing services among global enterprises. An increased budget allocation clearly indicates the correlation between quality and achieving better business outcomes.
In the year 2015, the budgets for QA and Testing have increased to 35%, while covering all critical areas including processes, tools and resource costs. As compared to 2015 (26%) this year indicates an upward trend in allocation of budget to the software testing practice. IT leaders believe that these software testing trends are going to continue till 2018, which is fascinating news for testing professionals and teams working in the QA and Testing domains.
Evoke’s QA and Testing Services
At Evoke, we employ a team of highly qualified and experienced QA and Testing professionals. For over a decade, we have been offering a wide range of QA and Testing services to multiple industry domains across platforms including mobile, Web, and Cloud. Our QA and Testing services include:
- End-to-End Testing Services
- Manual Testing
- Automation Testing
- Security Testing
- Mobile Application Testing
Evoke focuses on Total Quality Management (TQM), while developing a software testing strategy which not only improves the performance of software applications but prevents the incidence of software defects. What makes us stand out in the marketplace is the adoption of various open source tools and technologies to provide cost-effective quality assurance services to our global clients.
These are some of the software testing trends as per the World Quality Report. As we have observed, traditional QA and Testing processes/methodologies are changing with rapid adoption of Agile and DevOps models. QA and Testing teams need to evaluate, plan, and implement sound strategies to profit from their technology investments. To gain comprehensive insights on the QA and Software Testing trends of 2016, please download the World Quality Report published by Capgemini.
|Vinayaka Srinivas Kondamudi is a Quality Assurance specialist at Evoke Technologies. Srinivas has extensive experience in manual, automation and performance testing. He is one of the core team members of the Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) at Evoke.