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Quality Assurance – Staying Relevant in a Fast-Paced IT Ecosystem

Quality Assurance – Staying Relevant in a Fast-Paced IT Ecosystem
October 24, 2018

How can Quality Assurance (QA) or Testing services continue to be relevant in coming years? With business looking at reducing overall IT costs, how can it evolve?

To answer these questions, it’s essential to understand – what are the key trends impacting QA and how is the QA ecosystem evolving?

Three major trends impacting Quality Assurance are:

  • Digital transformation through implementation of Mobile, Cloud, Analytics, Architecture Simplification initiatives and Internet of Things with increased focus on security
  • Enterprise adoption of new ways of working to achieve faster time to market and reduced TCO (these include Agile DevOps, Open Source, Crowdsourcing)
  • Investments to implement emerging technologies / new models – RPA, Blockchain, AI

Customer IT Leaders are interested in realigning their QA organization to meet the growing demands of faster time to market objectives. Some of the crucial questions they are trying to find answers to are:

  • Is current QA aligned to meet the common IT objectives. Is there a need to restructure QA?
  • Do we have the right set of tools that can be integrated with upstream and downstream teams?
  • Can we upskill available QA to meet the new demands?
  • Can QA provide feedback for improvement that be incorporated in same cycle?

Every IT organization is at a different level of maturity in their QA practices. This understanding is critical to establish the QA change roadmap which will help them meet core IT objectives. To keep pace, below are the key ideas to ponder upon:

  • With the increasing adoption of Agile DevOps, there is blurring of boundaries across teams and this has led to increase in demand for Integrated Testing services (vis-à-vis Independent testing). Brainstorm if operating model transformation (restructuring / realigning QA organization) is required to address this.
  • Increase investments on automation and implement continuous testing initiatives. Continuous testing is now critical for success of continuous delivery pipeline. Do not miss out on considering including Performance testing and Service virtualization into Continuous testing pipeline.
  • Revisit the tools landscape. Tool vendor ecosystem has been undergoing major changes. Cost will continue to be a key factor and adoption of Open source is on the rise. Do keep in mind that tools need to be integrated across SDLC to get a complete view.
  • Multiple entry gates to application means threat levels are increasing. Look at Cybersecurity as a whole and closely align with the DevSecOps manifesto,
  • Business assurance remains the focus but do not forget impact of Experience Assurance. Build the strategy keeping in mind the usability and accessibility demands of end user.
  • Multi skilled QA / SDET / Full Stack testers are the need of the hour. Define a roadmap on enhancing skills of your team.
  • Leverage Domain SMEs and Industry-specific solutions to assure the business process flows
  • Establish an Innovation Team with specific agenda of ideating and finding solutions for key problems that need resolution.
  • Has your organization already invested in an RPA tool for process automation. Explore if any of your QA use cases can be automated using tool.
  • Consider leveraging AI / Cognitive components into the testing activities (e.g.) generating test cases from NLP, self-healing scripts, implementing QA BOTS, automated decision making through smarter analytics. Evaluate Industry tools or consider service provider IPs that can help on this.Leverage cognitive components into the testing activities for better decision making
  • Invest in robust test infrastructure to support scale of operations (larger amounts of data, faster decision and machines as participants)
  • With IoT implementations on the rise, the hardware – software testing boundaries will get blurred in coming years
  • Evaluate potential for As-a-Service models in QA landscape especially for digital testing opportunities
  • Mature to Quality Engineering outlook by leveraging IPs and strategies that help build better products

Increased adoption of Agile and DevOps has led to an increase in demand for Integrated Testing

In the past 20 years, we have seen Quality Assurance models from developer testing to decentralized QA team to centralized Testing CoE (TCoE) to Competency Centres. The best part of this journey has been the Evolution of QA in terms of tools, practices, and resource skills. So, in this constantly changing technology world, QA will innovate and survive, albeit in new forms.