What are the three key Quality Assurance (QA) objectives for Financial Services organizations?
Financial Services organizations have an upbeat outlook for Quality Assurance across their application development lifecycle, according to this year’s World Quality Report from Capgemini and Sogeti, in partnership with Micro Focus, published on November 5, 2020.
Research for the report was conducted in June and July 2020. Thus, it reflects the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on QA and testing practices. And, overall, despite the upheavals, quality engineering in Financial Services is continuing to evolve. It is becoming more mature, and more integrated in the end-to-end software lifecycle. Further, organizations are moving towards a continuous testing environment, and they are adopting agile and DevOps to help facilitate this.
Delving into the sector findings in more depth we can see that QA is largely more mature in Financial Services than in most other sectors. There is a fair degree of optimism as far as achieving targets for application development is concerned. Two-thirds (66%) of Financial Services sector respondents said their testing pretty much always covers everything that’s needed. Almost as many (63%) said their applications development across distributed teams is almost always well-orchestrated and integrated, while 59% said their end-to-end automation, from build to deployment, is virtually always in place.
Looking for differentiation
So, what’s pushing the continuing and dynamic evolution of QA in Financial Services? A need for speed is a primary driver. In a highly competitive industry, speed-to-market with new products and enhanced services is an important differentiator. Knowing that agile development environments can facilitate speed improvements, we are not surprised to see an increase in usage of both agile, at 27% of respondents (up from 25% last year) and DevOps at 29% (up from 27%) in their application development.
Quality of the end product is also a differentiator, so again it’s no surprise that detecting software defects before go-live is another priority. This is reflected in the approaches being used by QA teams in this sector to accelerate and optimize testing in agile and DevOps developments. Half (50%) said they always or almost always maximize test automation, while 55% said they virtually always adopt shift-left techniques; and a third (33%) said they almost always implement automated quality dashboards to enable continuous quality monitoring.
The AI journey continues
One area covered in the wider World Quality Report is the potential for using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in QA and testing. Overall, almost nine out of ten respondents (88%) in this year’s WQR survey said that AI was now the strongest growth area of their test activities, with this rising to 93% in Financial Services. Our belief is that this high figure reflects the fact that the full potential of AI and ML in this market has not yet been reached and that organizations are keen to move ahead. Indeed, in our experience, AI is only being implemented in pockets, rather than across the full spectrum of QA activities. So, watch this space to see how this evolves over the coming year.
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