Posted by:Monica Samuel February 9th, 2012

Software testing and Quality Assurance (QA) are perhaps the most critical components of a product’s life cycle and the most valuable IT discipline within an enterprise. Testing is the phase during which the efficacy and robustness of a solution’s design and code is vetted, logical and functional bugs are unearthed, and gaps between what was intended and what is being delivered are identified.

Software testing is intensive enough to consume more than half of the total software development budget. It demands the preparation of an extensive set of test cases, multiple test situations under which the solution is expected to perform, load tests, and user tests. These tests require adequate hardware, software and personnel support – a heavy claim on enterprises’ budget, time, and internal resources. Enterprises have started looking at qualified external testing partners or at advanced tools and technologies to ease their burden. The software testing discipline is seeing changes effected by burgeoning market trends discussed below.

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Crowd sourced testing

Crowd sourcing leverages on the talent of the public; that today has more awareness and access to technology because of cheaper devices. This distributed problem-solving and production model works for certain products. In crowd sourced testing, a group of people are invited to test web apps or mobile apps to uncover loopholes and suggest new ideas. According to IDC, crowd sourcing could give stiff competition to traditional outsourcing as it matures.

Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS)/ Cloud Testing

External qualified testing services work for many enterprises as they come with a ready-to-use, customizable and scalable test environment that can be leveraged for immediate testing purposes. With TaaS, an enterprise experiences a drastic cutback in infrastructure costs, immediate access to a range of testing scenarios and competency, and reduced resolution time for critical and non-critical defects.

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Cross cloud testing

As more enterprises move to the cloud and there is a rise in private clouds, public clouds, and hybrid clouds, the demand for cloud testing services is bound to rise. Standardizing communication practices as well as the format in which data is transmitted between clouds and security measures for data and networks will help ease the transition and enhance overall productivity in software testing across clouds.

Mobile application testing

Smartphones will soon root out simpler cell phones from the market. As more consumers rely on their smartphones or tablets to carry out professional and personal tasks, the need for mobile applications will only go up. At the same time, performance, design, security and stability across a wide range of operating systems, form factors, device types, and vendor interfaces will be the dominant factors critical to the mobile application testing field.

Test data generation and management

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At times, testing data can contain private information that amounts to data breach. This can be damaging, especially if you work with an external testing partner. Test data generation and management ensure the availability of filtered test data or modified data for large scale testing projects.

Business intelligence testing

The efficiency quotient of a business intelligence tool lies in its ability to crunch huge loads of data, present meaningful results and identify trends that can be used by top decision makers. While scouring voluminous chunks of data and churning out meaningful information, it cannot slow down the system or impact performance in any way.

According to PAC’s recent market analysis, the market for application testing and quality assurance services continues to grow faster than overall IT services in the period of 2011 through 2015. As companies try to optimize their testing activities, considering the trends describe above will help them choose a solution that meets their present and future requirements.

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