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World Quality Report 2016 – 2017 Launch Highlights




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 here 


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.

Overview

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.

Top Challenges

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

Summary


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 practices.


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 market.

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