Speed of technical change posing problems for business, World Quality Report 2015 notes

The annual World Quality Report, published by Capgemini and Sogeti, its local professional services subsidiary in conjunction with HP, observes the state of application quality and testing practices across multiple industries and geographies. This year, the report found that organisations are placing more importance on quality assurance and testing due to the speed of digital transformation, which is increasing the number of new applications that are shaking up their business operations. The speed of this digital transformation within organisations has been identified as a clear hurdle, with 55% of organisations identifying ‘application functionality changing too quickly’ as their biggest challenge.

In an attempt to gain control over the influx of new applications, the report found a 9% y-o-y increase in IT spending budgets directed towards testing and quality assurance. Of this budget, almost half (49%) is dedicated to maintenance work, focused on trying to ensure applications are suitable for business use. Relatedly, budget spent on new transformational work has decreased by 1% as companies begin to reign in their spending to focus on coping with the continuous transformation of applications.

A seamless customer experience is a key driver for QA testing

This year’s World Quality Report found that companies are continuing to invest in securing the integrity of their systems, with more than four out of five (81%) citing security as the main purpose for testing. This heightened awareness of security is driven by digital transformation and security testing has become critical to business assurance for many organisations. However, the role of the customer experience is now almost as important to companies with 79% identifying this as a key consideration for their quality assurance testing. This marks a notable shift for organisations who have come to realise the growing importance of providing customers with a smooth, seamless experience whenever they come into contact with the company’s properties.

Acknowledging the renewed intent on IT investment, Govind Muthukrishnan, Senior Vice President and Testing Global Service Line Leader observes: “This year’s World Quality Report shows that we live in a fast moving world where customer experience and flexibility are as important as keeping pace with digital transformation using agile QA and DevOps. Today, we see that organisations are making significant investments in test environments and test data – test ecosystems – and are focussing on end to end automation of not only testing but also the test ecosystems. however, organisations must move beyond automation of testing and test ecosystems to an integrated and intelligent QA lifecycle that can deliver synergy in business assurance.”

Shorter lifecycles demand greater agility

This year’s report also revealed that with spend on quality testing and assurance increasing, a higher proportion of that budget is now dedicated to DevOps and agile principles, with more than half (59%) of respondents saying at least half of projects within the organisation use DevOps principles and 47% use virtual test environments. While organisations attempt to modernise their testing practices and procedures, they also have to deal with the increasingly shorter life cycles of programs and applications, which is forcing an increase in demand for testing hardware and infrastructure: an increase of 5% from 2014 to 38%. However, despite the decrease in spending on new transformational work (down 1%), almost one in three (29%) are intent on developing Testing Centers of Excellence (TCoE) within the next two years.

New roles being created to meet testing demand

The maturity of the quality assurance market has seen the function become a critical business operation. With an increasing number of organisations now adopting DevOps and agile, there are a number of new roles being created to match the growing importance and size of the market. Roles that never previously existed, such as software development test engineers, are now appearing and the demand for these positions is only likely to increase as quality assurance becomes more central to the operation of organisations.

“Technology disruptions such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and mobility are leading to faster business transformations than ever before. Companies have to pivot quickly in order to stay ahead of the curve, compete and conform to the new style of business,” said Raffi Margaliot, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Application Delivery Management, HP Software. “This year’s World Quality Report highlights how quickly IT leaders are responding to these mega trends that are rapidly changing our industry and the steps they are taking to keep pace with the demands of their users without compromising application quality and user experience.”

Research methodology

The World Quality Report, which this year interviewed 1560 respondents from 32 countries, is the only global report for application quality. It has been produced annually since 2009. Now in its 7th edition, the 2015 report adopted a hybrid methodology of data collection using both computer aided telephone interviews and computer aided web interviews. Based on analysis of five respondent groups: CIO, VP Application, IT Director, QA/Testing Manager and CDO/CMO, the report surveyed respondents from across the globe through quantitative interviews followed by qualitative deep-dive discussions.

A full copy of the World Quality Report 2015 can be downloaded here.