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28 | Outsourcing Testing
In essence, outsourced testing functions to quality management
models provide the benefits expected roles.
from any IT outsourcing engagement, Recent developments in technology,
such as access to a large pool of such as SOA and virtualisation, are
dedicated professionals with a also expected to have a significant
wide range of skills, and increased impact on testing - especially on
efficiencies derived from the teams’ the methodology front - and will
deep expertise and experience.
In due course, testing will
mandate a fundamental change in
progress to encompass
the mindset of a testing professional.
Who should outsource?
and provide testing-
For example, SOA offers a way to
There are many reasons for a company more flexibly meet requirements by
to consider outsourcing its software
allied services, such as
aligning technology with business
testing, the most basic being around
environment management.
needs. However, this model also
cost and quality issues. Companies In addition, testing teams makes software more complex and
who are experiencing quality issues as
will graduate from being
interconnected, and therefore more
a result of insufficient or ineffective
testing processes, or those whose
gatekeepers for quality
difficult to test. To increase business
agility, while reducing the risks of
costs are swelling rapidly due to
to being accountable for
change and complexity in software,
spending too much effort on testing quality by transforming the testing team needs to work
(often due to using contractors,
from quality control
alongside development and business
business analysts or SMEs to perform
functions to quality
teams to ensure quality throughout
testing) can benefit from taking the the design, development, and change
outsourcing option.
management roles.
lifecycles of SOA software. With
Organisations that want to no proven tools or frameworks
experiment with outsourcing are optimising testing costs. Large currently available, QA teams continue
also candidates, with testing work organisations are creating Testing experimenting with ways to address
typically seen as an accessible first Centres of Excellence to consolidate the SOA testing challenge.
step because of the high cost-savings testing teams, thereby optimising Virtualisation techniques meanwhile
and relatively low risk involved. the cost of testing. Meanwhile, promise faster testing and a significant
There are also companies whose smaller organisations are inventing reduction in the operating cost, but
customers have large integrated newer ways to reduce cost, increase factors such as low success rates and
application environments requiring speed and improve quality. A few the amount of upfront investment
regular maintenance in the form of these organisations are adopting required hinder the adoption of
of bug fixes and enhancements, or agile methodology as opposed to a virtualisation techniques.
enterprise implementations which traditional, sequential waterfall model.
may require support after the initial The QA teams have started research Aligning to the business
implementation and stabilisation. In on these techniques, such as model- Software applications must keep
these cases, a contractor can provide based testing, test-driven development pace with growing business demands.
ongoing support more quickly and and virtualisation. Business users are increasingly
cost-effectively. With more businesses opting to impatient with IT systems that fail
Then there are organisations increase their software’s user reach to solve real business problems
planning a change in technology or a by moving towards e-commerce or don't perform as specified. So
change in business processes. In this and mobile commerce, we are as competition between vendors
event, outsourcing everyday business, witnessing a trend of offerings such increases and as applications become
such as testing, frees up critical as mobile testing and infrastructure more demanding in terms of data
resources and subject matter experts testing. These include sub-sects handling or of greater importance to
that are needed for re-aligning with such as mobile application testing, a business’ bottom line, the market
new processes and systems. compatibility testing, security for outsourcing testing will grow.
Finally, there are organisations and usability testing. We are also Outsourcing testing gives companies
looking to optimise cost and improve witnessing a trend towards increased the ability to reduce testing costs
coverage through automation. For automation and reduced manual while increasing its efficiency, taking
these types of company, building a test intervention in testing. In due course, advantage of a global pool of talent,
automation team internally may be a testing will progress to encompass greater expertise and continuous
costlier option than choosing to work and provide testing-allied services, investment in new methodologies and
with an outsourcing partner. such as environment management. In process improvements. Ultimately
addition, testing teams will graduate this means that they can improve the
Graham Smith
Head of test consultancy, Europe
The future of testing from being gatekeepers for quality quality of their software, reduce the
Cognizant Technology Solutions
IT organisations today have started to being accountable for quality by time it takes to bring them to market
www.cognizant.com
to evaluate ways and means of transforming from quality control and improve their brand image.
T.E.S.T | June 09
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