In simple terms, Digital Transformation is defined as the redesign of an enterprise business model and the processes used to leverage technology to constantly engage clients around the clock, staying ahead of the competition and attracting customers anywhere, anytime. With the advancement of mobile and cloud technologies, it has become a necessity for organizations to digitally transform themselves in order to stay in business and be reachable to customers through a responsive website, mobility, ecommerce, social media and other digital channels.
According to MarketsandMarkets research, the global digital transformation market is expected to grow from $150.70 Billion in 2015 to $369.22 Billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.6%. Currently North America is expected to be the largest market on the basis of spending and adoption of digital transformation.
During the digital transformation journey of an organization, software testing plays a crucial role. Identifying the right technologies, tools, methodologies and then ensuring the desired results are achieved are increasingly important to the successful implementation of digital transformation. Organizations today have two major challenges related to digital transformation, the first is the need to stay on top of new technologies and the second is to provide greater customer experience.
Enablement of online market place, increased global competition, changes in behavior pattern of customers, embracing of social media channels, rise of e-commerce, mobile apps and cloud are few market driven factors that are pushing organizations to mark their digital presence to make sure they can reach out to customers and find business. Organizations now need to look at all of the above parameters to survive the digital challenge and quality assurance plays a vital role in every aspect. Digital transformation of an organization is an expensive affair and needs to take a quality step leaving no room for error. Leveraging quality assurance in every aspect is a must for organizations to achieve digital assurance (transformation).
Drivers of QA to enable Digital Transformation
Ensure a smooth customer experience: Gartner predicts that by 2020, 25 billion “things” will be connected to the Internet, which means each organization will have a certain number of things connected to the internet across the organization. Ensuring flawless quality and a world-class connectivity experience is pushing companies to expand the boundaries of QA. (Reference Gartner report, date)
Speed, time-to-market and business alignment through agile development methodologies: In a connected world, modern day QA techniques need to be adopted. It involves not only fixing bugs but also making sure that such defects do not occur again. This is replicated across multiple touch points in a connected environment. Using Agile technologies such as quick prototyping, iterative development & testing and the creation of user stories, replaces the traditional practices or limitations of the water fall development model. Agile methodologies help in business alignment and speedup go to market time.
Deliver business value by addressing the risks that emerge across the digital ecosystem: Gartner predicts that by 2020, 60% of digital businesses will suffer a major service failure because of IT teams’ inability to manage digital risks in new technology and use cases (reference Gartner report, date). Digital risks take many forms like unsurfaced defects that arise out of configuration errors, integration errors and functionality flaws. Organizations need to maintain the highest digital assurance possible to avoid sabotage from such digital risks.
Leveraging Quality Assurance to achieve Digital Assurance
To mitigate the above challenges, many organizations are willing to implement the agile/DevOps methodologies to enforce full lifecycle automation. The five aspects that can help in coining the word “Quality Assurance” as “Digital Assurance” are mentioned below:
- Implement test automation to maximum extent possible
- Identify defects early in the process and make sure they are not repeated
- Agile competency based Testing Centers of Excellence.
- Intelligent testing lifecycle platforms as a guard to digital risks
- Assign highest priority to usability testing
The role of QA in the implementation of a successful digital transformation platform goes well beyond the software development lifecycle. QA will need to continuously transform to meet the challenges from ever-changing digital technology. Automated tools, techniques and development methodologies enable integration of QA processes across the lifecycle, businesses are better positioned to respond to digital technology disruptions within compressed timeframes, protecting and even enhancing the brand value through a superior customer experience.