The year 2013 has come to an end and most of the IT professionals and businesses are interested to know how Quality Assurance and Testing domain fared last year. I am sure they also must be eager to find out how Quality Assurance will fare in the year 2014. Let’s begin with some interesting findings from a recent survey conducted by Gartner. Here’s my observation and analysis of this very specialized domain.
Cost Optimization is going to be a key factor the QA industry will focus even in the year 2014. QA functions are trying to acclimate to the business demands by streamlining and centralizing their structures to achieve higher efficiency and improve cost optimization. Keeping this in mind, businesses have been allocating more budgets to QA domains rather than traditional IT functions. QA and Testing budgets have now increased anywhere between 4-6%, whereas IT budgets are seen declining to 2-3% a year.
The IT industry is witnessing a gradual transition, there is now an increased focus on QA and Testing rather than core product development. Going forward, QA and Testing would be more process centric and businesses would be keen to involve themselves in the entire testing process. We can definitely expect a collaborative approach towards work with the hybrid model with active involvement of business clients.
The mobile technology is evolving in quantum leaps and has made its impact felt in various aspects of our lives. Businesses are developing and launching mobile applications at frequent intervals, but they are lacking adequate mobile testing specialists to perform app testing resulting in increased complaints and bug reporting from the end users. The Industry is looking out for:
- Streamlined and stabilized processes, where the scope of mobile testing is higher.
- Developing test methods that help IT firms offer mobile testing solutions and strengthen the base for testing functions.
- Businesses are keen for testing partners and professionals with experience on multiple platforms, multi devices, designing on cloud, network simulations.
Some of the other major challenges that were widely reported in the mobile testing domain were:
- Absence of mature testing tools
- Test automation is still a big challenge
- Lack of concrete solutions for security and performance
The next big buzzword of the year is CLOUD, though many business enterprises are not so keen to adopt cloud computing technology, but it is going to be the future of computing. Generally, businesses prefer the traditional way of testing applications, but they don’t realize that cloud testing is going to offer better solutions to them rather than conventional testing methodologies.
Although cloud testing has slowed down its pace due to various challenges that center around security and performance, which I am sure, would soon be addressed by the industry. Businesses are keen on investing in hardware and software, but this would not help them to a great extent, as there is an immense shortage of cloud testing professionals due to the increased demand. I am pretty sure all these challenges are going to be addressed this year.
As we all are aware, Agile Development is now a widely adopted practice, but when it comes to testing domain, this is still a challenge. When we say Agile testing or testing in an Agile environment, particularly in relation to testing methodologies, this sphere is yet to be explored. Most of the software testing professionals cited various challenges while performing agile testing. The most critical challenges that were commonly reported include:
- Lack of adequate testing approach
- Difficulties in identifying the focus area for testing
Test Center of Excellence (TCOE)
TCOE, as we all know stands for Test Center of Excellence. This is going to play a crucial role in deciding the future of the software testing vendors. The statistics state that businesses are very keen on this emerging trend and are looking for IT partners, who have fully operational TCOE’s. Normally, it takes 3 – 6 months to build a TCOE and it takes about 3 years to taste the fruit of TCOE. If you are planning to create a TCOE, now is the time to initiate the process.
The Future of QA & Testing Domain
A Plethora of opportunities are being created for software testing with each passing day and this would certainly help the Indian IT firms involved in software testing. Verticals such as e-Commerce, Cloud Computing and Mobile Application Development are going to provide positive impetus to both the development and testing fraternities. It’s time for us to gear up to meet the challenges and taste the fruits of software testing market in 2014.