There’s been a ton of talk recently about enterprise digital transformation. Every company is looking for a competitive advantage, and technology often can be the differentiator – when it works properly.
But true digital transformation takes vision to imagine a better future state as well as the necessary resources to make it happen. Many companies do a great job imagining the future, then get tripped up in the details such as budgets, follow-through or something as simple as an adequate amount of testing to ensure the technology and imagined vision matches the reality.
On the topic of testing, a recent survey of 1,500 global IT leaders indicated that the proportion of IT spend dedicated to QA testing is expected to be 40% by 2018. The top priorities for QA and testing among executives included:
Customer experience, 78%
Cost optimization of IT, 72%
Higher quality of software solutions, 71%
Higher responsiveness to business demands, 70%
The proliferation of wearables and the Internet of Things means there are countless other ways that hackers can infiltrate your technology, so it’s no wonder that security was ranked as the top testing issue. Security certainly is a critical consideration with any type of technology, to safeguard customer information, internal systems, trade secrets and other company information.
Focus on the Customer
For me, the second most-popular response – customer experience – gets to the heart of the importance of QA testing. Regardless of your industry, you’re not the only player. You have friendly rivals, fierce rivals or something in between these two extremes. In any case, some other company is gunning for your customers as you try and woo theirs.
Technology is now ubiquitous to the point that most of us can’t imagine life without it. If your company’s web presence or mobile app, for example, is slow to respond or buggy, users aren’t going to stick around. Heck, it’s hard enough to keep customers without putting them off by giving them a bad experience with your brand. Whether in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer space, there are other companies willing to take money from your former clients because balky technology drove them off.
A higher responsiveness to business demands also points to the customer – your employees. Technology enables your staff to closely track inventory levels, prospects in the sales pipeline, resource allocation and much more. Providing them with fast, truly useful technology helps employees be more productive. Again, technology for technology’s sake contributes nothing. But well-designed and well-executed technology can help your workers get more done in the same amount of time.
Other Test Environments
While web and mobile apps get the most attention from testing, there are other development and delivery scenarios that require close QA and testing.
• Some companies are looking to continuous delivery, whereby software is developed, tested and released in shorter cycles. This shortens time to market considerably, but testing is a key component to ensure that the software works as promised.
• Mobile cloud computing can offer the best of cloud, mobile and wireless computing environments to enable rich mobile applications. Several points to monitor carefully include architecture, data transfer, integration and security. Moving to the cloud may be your best bet financially but not if UX issues create problems.
• Agile testing is a natural extension of agile development designed to speed time to market. Testing isn’t an afterthought – it’s an integral part of the development process. Your testers, likewise, shouldn’t be part of a separate team but integrated among the developers. That way, potential issues can be raised (and fixed) earlier in the development process.
QA and testing aren’t just for apps. They should be integral parts of your enterprise digital transformation.