The Changing Face Of Software Testing

Author: Sashi Reddi
Founder, Chairman and CEO of AppLabs
As companies focus on deriving added business value from their IT services suppliers, more and more enterprises are trying to separate testing from development. A good number of enterprises try and entrust their application development work to development specialists and separate testing from development by handing over testing to independent testing services providers. Currently, more than 25 percent of clients deliberately award their application development/systems integration and software testing to two different parties. This primarily helps organizations to have an objective and external view of the quality of the software developed. Remarkably, the transformation has come about almost entirely within the last decade.

Over the last few years Quality Assurance (QA) has shifted from being tactical to strategic. In the ‘80s / early ‘90s, during the emerging phase of QA, enterprises had a tactical view of QA and an approach that was ad hoc and lacked any defined processes. As the industry continued maturing in the transitioning stage, during the late ‘90s/ early ‘00s there was increased acceptance of QA value propositions, most companies had or at least tried having dedicated test teams and started using some kind of test processes. This phase was lead by several banks and telecom services providers who were among the first to realize that they needed to conduct testing separately.

Then came the transformative or the advanced phase that we are witness to today and is the calling of the future. A chapter that started unfolding in the late ‘00s and will continue to profoundly influence the future of IT services. The tactical to strategic shift in QA - establishment of QA Centers of Excellence and use of advanced metrics for ongoing improvement highlight this phase. This phase is also characterized by organizations trying to abate the pain of testing and putting responsibility on testing vendors by awarding managed testing service contracts.

The software development business is massive and approximately 30 percent of that business is testing. The growth is primarily in three dimensions. Quality management or consulting on Quality Assurance, offshoring - expanding from onsite staff augmentation services to include specialist testing services delivered from an offshore destination like India and last but not the least, innovation, so that customers can benefit from productivity enhancing tools, methodologies and new offerings.

ERP testing, virtual test environments, management of test data and IT infrastructure testing are strong growth/ expansion areas with respect to software testing services. Also as in all other areas of the IT industry, cloud computing is having an effect on testing. When looking at the test infrastructure, the cloud is an obvious area for expansion. But if a client already has the test infrastructure services providers will need to make a private cloud for them. Many applications are being cloud enabled and opportunity for testing many applications that are being converted for the cloud is tremendous.

Today, more than ever, organizations seek to improve productivity and reduce application operating and maintenance costs while speeding time to benefit and improving quality of the applications they move into production by using independent testing services providers. The major reason attributed for this shift is as testers working for a different company are even more likely to view software with a critical eye than testers who work for the same company as the software's developers.
Organizations around the world using independent testing services providers are benefiting with significant improvement in their business strategies that include risk mitigation, validation of new products/services, being able to support faster time-to-market with reduced test-cycles and improving real-time business performance and monitoring.

On the operational front customers are better able to meet security audits, develop custom testing solutions that focus on their industry, better use packaged application testing for ERP implementations and upgrades, leverage transaction testing in support of revenue assurance and ensure applications' country/ region specific readiness.

The technology benefits reaped by calling in the experts include standardization and optimization of test tools, processes, QA environments, ability to leverage the right third-party tool expertise, use turnkey test solutions for performance testing, benefit from automated regression testing, use third-party for infrastructure testing and above all benefit from frameworks that help drive validation into upfront SDLC. Also, the deliver models of the future will be more moving to T&M framework agreements, contracts based on SLAs primarily based on productivity.

Before the advent of the strategic outlook to testing it was typically constrained by lack of budgets, time and resources. Now there is a visible shift and in most enterprises testing has a budget of its own. Software testing spending is at €79bn in 2010 and the figure is to climb to €100bn by 2014 (PAC). Today testing clearly gets a larger slice of the IT budget pie. Testing can comprise as much as 33% of the labor hours of a typical application life cycle with sometimes the needle moving to as much as 50 percent.

In the present day it is not so much about being a tier one or tier two service provider, the differentiator for most enterprises while choosing a vendor is about two things - one, how much value the vendor brings to the table and two, how much does the vendor value the customer and his business. In short all they ask for is, 'treat me as a valued customer'. It is in this context more and more enterprises are appreciating the value of a specialist. Going forward, it will be an extremely exciting time for IT and for independent testing services providers in particular.
Previous  article
Next article
Write your comment now

Email    Password: 
Don't have SiliconIndia account? Sign up    Forgot your password? Reset
Reader's comments(4)
1: Hi my dear,
My name is Mounace, i would like to establish a true relationship with you in one love. please send email to me at ( i will reply to you with my picture and tell you more about myself. thanks and remain blessed for me,
Your new friend Mounace
Posted by: mounace love love - Thursday 09th, June 2011

I am pamela by name,am friendly and good looking young girl , I want us to
be friends, for friendship can not be seen or even touched because true
friendship does not matter with anything but it must be felt within the
Wow, friends are like clothes, without them we feel naked! I guess I''m
right? Looking forward to a wonderful response from you.i saw your profle here (

Contact me ( that i will send some of my pictures
to you so that we shall continue from there to know eachother.

I will be waiting to hear from you soonest.

pamela CoolSmile.
Posted by: pamela teamah littlepame - Wednesday 18th, May 2011
3: I work in the company dreamt and lead by Mr Reddi. The number of evolutions into testing that we think about here are enormous. I would urge Mr Reddi to deliver more for the testing world as his insight has provided a leading curve in this world and will continue to do so. He has very rightly quoted about not being a tier 1 or tier 2 service provider but being a differentiator and the provider of best service in its domain which brings pride and passion to work.
Posted by: Sachin Srivastava - Tuesday 05th, April 2011
4: This is my very first time here, really good looking blog. I discovered a lot of interesting stuff within your blog especially it's discussion. From all the remarks on your posts, it looks like this is really a extremely popular site. Keep up the good work. - Karthick Reddy
Posted by: sbxuhnibt sbxuhnibt sbxuhnibt - Friday 18th, March 2011
More articles
by Kaushal Mehta - Founder & CEO, Motif Inc..
The retail industry is witnessing an increased migration of customers from traditional brick and mortar retail to E-commerce (online retail)...more>>
by Samir Shah - CEO, Zephyr .
You probably do because you are on the phone with them! For all of you working in some technical management capacity here in Silicon Valley,...more>>
by Raj Karamchedu - Chief Operating Officer, Legend Silicon .
These days are a mixed bag for me. Of late I have been considering "doing something bigger and better," in my life, perhaps seriously though...more>>
by Madhavi Vuppalapati - CEO of Prithvi Information Solutions .
IT Services Rise of Tier II companies The Indian IT outsourcing industry is going through very exciting phase in its business life...more>>
by Bhaskar Bakthavatsalu- Country Manager, India and SAARC of Check Point Software Technologies.
Data loss occurs every day through corporate email. In fact, given the sheer number of emails an organization sends every day, data loss inc...more>>