I had the opportunity to attend the launch of the 8th
annual World Quality Report 2016 -2017 (WQR) authored by Capgemini and Sogeti,
in collaboration with HPE. You can download a complimentary copy of the WQR
This annual undertaking by the three companies is a global
survey of 1600 participants consisting of 44 questions. The result is an
80-page report that provides a baseline for testing and QA trends.
The launch event featured WQR co-authors Mark Buenen, Vice
President, Global Leader, Sogeti QA and Testing Practice, Netherlands and
Govindarajan Muthukrishnan, Senior Vice President, Financial Services Testing Leader, United
Kingdom. The co-authors spoke eloquently for about 30 minutes each on
highlights of the WQR.
Following are some of the highlights from Mark and Govind’s
WQR launch presentation.
As organizations continue on the path of digital transformation,
there is immense pressure on the QA organization to deliver customer value and
competitiveness. This means that QA professionals are more important and more
relevant now than at any time in the past. QA organizations must adapt to this
pressure and accept the challenge to be aligned with the business and help to
deliver valuable outcomes.
At voke, we have long been advocates of QA professionals and
have consistently advised QA and testing professionals to become more strategic
and help the business identify risk vs. simply identifying defects. This is the
type of mindset shift that QA professionals and testers must adopt to remain
not just relevant but necessary.
Two of the biggest QA challenges identified in the WQR are
the lack of environments and lack of production-like data for testing.
Participants in the WQR identified challenges associated
with managing and maintaining test environments as one of their top priorities.
The problems associated with maintaining multiple versions of test
environments, the lack of available environments for testing, scheduling of
test environments, and the lack of the right tools for testing were the primary
issues cited with respect to test environments.
In short, these concerns say that organizations need an
environment as close to production as possible at any time, for as long as
necessary. This is not an unreasonable expectation given the amount of
platforms that must be tested, the cadence that testing must keep pace with,
and the business requirement to release high quality software.
As an analyst firm, voke has written extensively about this
problem since our inception in 2006. voke’s most recent research on virtual and
cloud-based labs takes this problem of environments and provides in-depth
analysis, compelling ROI, and a list of tool vendors capable of providing these
solutions. Our research on virtual and cloud-based labs is available here.
The WQR also identified proper test data as a major issue.
Test environments and test data go hand-in-hand. Test data must be secure and
compliant. The need to test with production-like data should not put your
business or your customer at risk.
voke research shows that the lack of production-like test
data causes project delays, cost overruns, and security issues. There are
solutions on the market to help organizations create data as close to
production as possible.
Test environments and test data management are two topics
that have made it to the top of the priority list in the WQR. Over the next 12
months, we should expect these two topics to get more attention in
organizations. This is positive for QA professionals and testers. Test
environments and test data management are two ways that QA professionals and
testers can enhance their skills and deliver value.
Check out our research on
lifecycle virtualization to delve deeper into the challenges presented by test
environments and test data management. The most recent voke research on lifecycle virtualization is available here.
In addition to specific technical challenges, the WQR
highlights the need to modernize and understand QA processes as well as the
need for skills to increase to keep up with the demands of newer development
The WQR makes a very accurate prediction by stating that “a
digital future cannot come at the cost of quality”. As QA professionals read
the WQR report they should keep in mind this quote. We are at the point where
just releasing software faster is not what is needed. The future belongs to
those who can deliver quality.
The WQR is a great read to gain a baseline understanding of
what is currently happening in the software testing and quality assurance
Labels: Capgemini, HPE, Lifecycle Virtualization, QA, Software Quality, Sogeti, Test Data, Test Labs, Testing, Virtual and cloud-based Labs, World Quality Report