World Quality Report 2020-2021: QA transformation is accelerating

World Quality Report 2020-21: QA transformation is accelerating

The value of quality assurance (QA) and testing continues to increase.

That’s one of the key conclusions in this year’s World Quality Report from Capgemini and Sogeti, in partnership with Micro Focus, published on November 5, 2020.

The annual WQR, now in its twelfth year, offers insight into the current climate of global quality assurance. It is based on research findings from 1,750 interviews carried out during June and July 2020. That means this year’s research was conducted amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. And, as we point out, the pandemic has severely impacted QA and IT strategy, forcing teams to do even more with even less, and to adjust to new ways of working with their colleagues.

This is clearly fueling the transition to agile and DevOps ways of working, as well as the transition to digital businesses. Our WQR findings show that there is a willingness to change going forward, with a high percentage of survey respondents anticipating important transformations for QA and Testing operations: 

  • Stronger need for QA awareness, standards, and enablement for teams/team members (84%) 
  • Better collaboration tools with QA transparency built in, accessible from anywhere (82%) 
  • Increased need for smart QA automation technologies (74%). This includes cloud-based test environments, and QA automation tools accessible from anywhere 
  • More focus on customer experience validation and usability validation. 

So, we see that the shift to new ways of working is accelerating the pace of QA transformation. In recent years, with the advent of agile and DevOps, there has been a growing perception in some circles that testing and QA no longer have a value. That is clearly not the case. With just about everything moving online and customer experience playing a critical role in business success, ensuring your digital assets are working properly is now more important than ever.

Integration challenges

However, there is a word of caution here in that we continue to see challenges with integrating quality into the end-to-end development lifecycle. Having said that, the degree to which organizations remain committed to the very principle of quality is, if anything, higher than ever. Indeed, it is hugely encouraging to note that 69% of this year’s survey participants feel they always or virtually always meet their quality goals.

Simple test case automation has been part of the QA story for some time, but we’re now seeing automation maturing at every stage of the QA and testing cycle. It is becoming more intelligent and comprehensive and we urge organizations to take advantage of this.

I particularly want to point out three of the key findings in the 2020-2021 WQR. My colleagues elsewhere in Sogeti will be discussing other highlights in the coming weeks.

  • QA sits at the heart of agile and DevOps as their adoption continues to grow in support of digital transformation. We point out that QA is no longer a metric that’s only of technical interest. It must ensure that software works for employees, suppliers, and customers as well.
    We recommend: Quality practices should be integrated into every element of the agile and DevOps lifecycle – and be part of everyone’s mindset.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in QA are truly mainstream. AI/ML are not just technology for developers, but have been growing gradually, with some of the use cases fully matured for QA, and others getting evaluated.
    We recommend: To get the most out of AI in QA, teams need to strengthen their knowledge and experience of the tools, of overall QA and IT strategy, and of the commercial objectives of the business as a whole.
  • Without automation, no organization can transform its QA. However, we’re not there yet, with only around a third of respondents (37%) saying they currently get a return on their investment in automation.
    We recommend: Choose tools that will keep pace with dynamic changes to applications, opt for design automation frameworks that are intuitive and dynamic, and swap a one-tool-for-everything approach for a multi-tools approach, which can be beneficial if applied correctly.

The value of testing

The above reflect just a small number of the findings and recommendations from this year’s World Quality Report. I cannot conclude without referring back to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly, it has created significant problems for business, but it has also sharpened minds and accelerated the pace of change – from specific areas of QA, such as the use of crowd testing, to the faster implementation of enterprise-wide digital transformation initiatives. We have seen the value of human testing in response to the virus itself. And now, more than ever, embedding testing and quality into every stage of the development process should be viewed as an essential contributor to business assurance.

Get in touch

If you’d like to hear more about how we approached this year’s World Quality Report or to discuss any of the findings, please get in touch with:


Sathish Natarajan
Sathish Natarajan
Vice President, Head of Quality Engineering & Testing, Sogeti and Capgemini North America
Mark Buenen
Mark Buenen
Global Leader Quality Engineering & Testing, Capgemini Group