For the first time, “ensure user satisfaction” is at the top of the list of QA and testing strategy goals, according to the tenth anniversary edition of the World Quality Report 2018-19 (WQR). This would have been unthinkable ten years ago. But with customer-centered innovation driving digital transformations, the adoption of agile and DevOps cultures, and a move to the Cloud, it is also resetting the expectations for testing.
The WQR also notes that 99% of respondents are now using DevOps practices in their organizations. Their focus is no longer on whether to move to DevOps; rather how to refine their DevOps approach and continuously improve.
A collaboration between the Capgemini Group, Sogeti and Micro Focus, the WQR examines the current state of affairs and looks to the future, predicting current trends and potential answers to tomorrow’s challenges. Here are some of the trends identified in this year’s report, which has just been released.
Testers have always had the customer in mind, but this year, ensuring a great end-user experience is at the top of the list of executive management objectives for QA and testing. This is also helping to push adoption of agile and DevOps, to reduce time to market while increasing the quality of the product.
Internet of Things is really a thing
More organizations than ever before have begun to adopt Internet of Things devices, but they don’t yet have a testing strategy in place. This will become increasingly important as organizations deal with the large amounts of data gathered by devices, the test environments they need, new security challenges, and the technical expertise required to write and execute tests, and analyze the results.
The new kid on the blockchain
More organizations are reporting use of this innovative technology, best known for being the backbone of Bitcoin, but which can be used for any system that needs a distributed and secure ledger. As with IoT, testers will need to understand the technology, and be able to set up, write, and execute effective tests for it.
Security has often been an afterthought, but not anymore – it’s the top objective for IT strategy today. As attack surfaces grow, and new technologies expose more potential for security breaches, testers must develop a clear strategy for security testing, and embed it throughout their development processes.
Technologies such as Cloud, IoT, and Blockchain, as well as the demand for more automation, all require in-depth technical know-how to test. The survey also noted an increase in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Predictive Analytics, all of which drive a demand for engineering expertise within the development teams.
The WQR offers more than just an overview of the state of the QA and testing art today. It also provides some actionable recommendations that organizations can adopt and implement right away.
Increase the level of basic and smart test automation, but do so in a smart, phased manner
Automation is essential to a successful agile or DevOps transformation, but the survey shows that levels of basic automation are still pretty low. For organizations to adapt effectively, they need to have a test strategy and a roadmap in place. The report suggests a three-phase approach: optimize testing, implement basic automation, and use intelligent and self-adaptive test automation solutions.
Implement a non-siloed approach for test environment and data provisioning
It’s all very well to move to the cloud and adopt agile or DevOps to make your development more efficient, but if you can’t access test data and set up testing environments easily, you’ll reduce those efficiencies significantly. The report recommends provisioning test data and environments together, rather than in siloes.
Build quality engineering skills beyond Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs)
Advances in trends such as agile, DevOps and the Cloud, along with technologies such as IoT, blockchain, and artificial intelligence, are requiring test specialists with functional automation and domain testing skills. The report advises that everyone in QA masters automation skills, and suggests a four-stage program to build up those skills in the organization.
Improve tracking to optimize spend
Since testing today is conducted by many people in the organization, including developers, it is difficult to keep track of testing spends, whether in terms of tools or effort, and how effective those spends are. The report recommends that organizations adopt a granular approach to tracking testing budgets to understand how they are spent, and optimize them.
Develop a testing approach for AI solutions
Many organizations are either planning or actively working on artificial intelligence (AI) projects, with more planned for the next twelve months. While AI offers huge potential gains, the cost of a flawed AI implementation can be even bigger. Consequently, the report strongly recommends that organizations adopt a specific QA and testing strategy for their AI solutions, and they should begin that adoption now.
How does your organization match up?
The World Quality Report surveyed 1700 CIOs and other senior technology professionals, from across ten different sectors and 32 countries. Download the report today to understand how your QA strategies compare to the report, and start thinking about how you can start to adopt the key recommendations in your organization.
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