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Key findings from the World Quality Report: Increased focus on quality assurance, performance testing

As we approach the end of the year, we felt  it would be a good time to highlight some of the latest information from the World Quality Report. This year’s study, published by technology consulting firm Capgemini and its services division Sogeti, provides a specific focus on application performance testing and quality assurance. The report found increased attention to software development, especially when it comes to projects connected with new initiatives, as opposed to those associated with maintaining legacy technology.

QA budgets continue to rise
This year’s report shows a continued focus on quality assurance within application development. This is supported by a year-over-year increase in QA budgets. The study, which included more than 1,500 CIOs, IT directors and testing leaders from 25 countries, found that QA budgets have been on the rise for the past few years, and will continue their upward trajectory within the next three years.

According to the report, in 2012, just 18 percent of the total IT budget went toward quality assurance. This figure rose to 23 percent last year, and now comprises 26 percent of overall IT spending in 2014. Furthermore, experts predict that the QA budget will only continue to rise in the coming years, reaching 29 percent of the total budget by 2017.

Boosted focus on testing new applications
When it comes to performance testing, the report found that development companies are now focusing more on testing new applications as opposed to testing for the maintenance of legacy technology. The majority of testing budgets – 52 percent – is now dedicated to new applications, increasing from 41 percent in 2012.

Of this portion of the testing budget, 40 percent is spent on testing the performance and functionality of big data and analytics applications, and 27 percent goes toward testing cloud-centered projects.

Because these programs continue to become increasingly complex, businesses are also putting more resources toward building testers’ skills in these areas. The report found that 35 percent of a company’s testing budget is dedicated to human resources, a considerable increase from 2013’s 23 percent.

“Testing as a function is becoming ever more business critical to organizations faced with external market forces that drive digital transformation,” noted Govind Muthukrishnan, Capgemini Group’s senior vice president and testing global service line leader. “These market forces include changes in customer behavior, heightened global competition, the need to provide an all-channel experience, rapid adoption of social media channels, increased data volumes and the advancement of technologies such as cloud and mobile …Testing organizations are increasingly focused on taking advantage of these new market dynamics to deliver tangible business value in the shortest time possible while optimizing testing costs.”

Overall, this shift in how companies are choosing to spend their budgets illustrates a boosted focus on testing thanks to the undertaking of new development projects. Businesses are beginning to understand the essentiality of performance testing, particularly when it comes to the development of new applications.

Rising use of cloud-based solutions
As organizations continue to pay more attention to application testing, they are also seeking ways to reduce costs. One strategy that has proven effective in this arena is the use of cloud-based solutions, including those in connection with virtualization and software-as-a-service. This year’s report shows adoption has again risen for application hosting and testing via the cloud. Whereas the number of businesses using cloud testing stood at 24 percent last year, 32 percent of companies now engage in cloud testing in 2014. Moreover, this increase is projected to continue, reaching 49 percent by 2017.

Multi-channel demands drive quality testing
The report also found that today’s users are increasingly demanding high-quality applications that function on multiple channels and devices. In a recent SOASTA study, we found that nearly one-third of Americans are worried about technical problems with their apps. For developers and engineer this requires more staunch performance and functionality testing to ensure proper usage across different platforms. Currently, 54 percent of respondents placed a top priority on security with their mobile application testing. Furthermore, when migrating applications to the cloud, testing for performance and security were the top two focuses.

“This year, the focus of many organizations’ mobile testing efforts has proven to be on validating all aspects of a complete customer experience alongside security,” the report stated.

As we enter into 2015, this report proves the critical importance of testing as part of the quality assurance process, and that companies’ focus on this area will only continue to rise in the coming years.

SOASTA Marketing

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