The quality assurance landscape is undergoing a major transformation as QA organizations try to align their goals with the business goals of their companies.
QA has a tough balancing act to perform -- tackling business risks as well as cost reduction and ROI concerns, while building agility in their organizations to respond to business goals, says Aparna Sharma, head of client services at Infosys' independent validation and testing services practice.
Sharma sees six key quality assurance trends emerging.
1st Trend: Embracing Early Lifecycle Validation to Drive Down Costs and Improve Time-to-Market
The adoption of early lifecycle validation helps QA organizations to fix defects early in the lifecycle, thus significantly reducing risks and lowering total cost of ownership, says Sharma.
Methodologies gaining traction include:
* requirements/model-based testing
* early involvement and lifecycle testing
* risk-based testing
* risk-based security testing
* predictive performance modeling
2nd Trend: Increased Adoption of Test Lifecycle Management, Testing Metrics and Automation Solutions to Improve Overall Testing Processes
As QA organizations work to build greater quality into applications, they are adopting solutions such as test lifecycle management and automation technologies, she says. "These solutions help to drive greater traceability throughout the testing lifecycle and to automate all stages of the lifecycle, with the aim of overall efficiencies and ROI."
Sharma also sees the emergence of new frameworks and dashboards for defining, measuring and monitoring testing metrics. "All of these metrics seek to enable quick decision-making and driving greater efficiency within existing or emerging testing processes/frameworks/solutions," she says.
3rd Trend: More Domain-based Testing
"Domain excellence is becoming a key factor in the testing industry, forcing QA organizations to build or buy point/platform-based solutions that combine core business processes and advanced testing frameworks," she says.
Examples of such testing creations include solutions for regulatory compliance for SOX and HIPAA; and for specialized processes such as POS, e-commerce, and banking.
4th Trend: The Emergence of Non-functional Testing Solutions Aimed at Enhancing the Customer Experience
The widespread use of e-commerce is forcing quality assurance organizations to deploy more solutions for measuring and enhancing end-customer experience.
"This is putting stress on the requirement for non-functional validation services and solutions," says Sharma.
Key emerging areas include: testing for usability and accessibility, and predictive performance modeling.
5th trend: The Development of Testing Frameworks for Newer Technologies
Newer technologies such as SOA and cloud computing pose a different set of testing challenges to established technologies, Sharma observes.
"Traditional models and frameworks of testing don't work so well with these new technologies so QA organizations are creating new models and frameworks to address the issues raised," she says.
6th Trend: Special Focus on ERP Testing
For years, organizations have implemented ERP packages without thinking much about the testing complexities that will emerge as the packages evolve in changing IT environments.
Consequently, today these packages require specialized skills and methodologies to facilitate the business goals, implementation testing, and smooth rollouts and upgrades of the packages.
"QA testing is one of the key pain-points in ERP implementations and upgrades today," says Sharma.