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World Quality Report puts QA at the heart of modernization

More people streaming from home. Working from home. Connecting from home. That means a demand for more products and services delivered at pace by the world’s telecommunications, media, and entertainment (TME) industry. Time pressure is a constant challenge. For example, we see it clearly in the need for telcos to deliver 5G-optimized apps ahead of the competition.

With speed, however, comes risk — a risk of software defects impacting the customer experience or of spiraling costs as a result of bottlenecks and remediation efforts late in the development cycle. There are regulatory pressures to contend with, and high penalties for non-compliance. So, it’s no wonder that quality assurance (QA) and testing activities are increasingly being integrated into the broader software development cycle.

High value placed on testing

In the most recent edition of Capgemini and Sogeti’s World Quality Report, we learn that CIOs value testing more than ever before, while the onward march towards digitization is ensuring customer experience and quality are of utmost important. In fact, enhancing both customer experience and security is deemed the most important aspect of IT strategy amongst TME participants in the WQR survey, while for QA and testing, it is quality at speed that rates amongst the most the important objectives.

The latest WQR looks in particular at five topics: QA Orchestration in Agile & DevOps; Test Automation; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Test Environment Management and Test Data Management; and Intelligent Industry. In several of these areas, the TME sector appears more confident and more mature than other industries. For example, higher than average numbers of TME respondents feel they always or almost always have the right level of test automation and the right QA and test expertise, and that they meet their quality goals.

Maturing test environments

Also above average is the number of TME respondents who are highly satisfied with their ability to set up fit-for-purpose test environments. Across all sectors there is a move towards modernizing test environments, for example with cloud and containers, and the TME sector’s confidence that it has sufficient test environments is likely due to cloud adoption. Of course, as the WQR points out, the gradual shift of test environments to the cloud has introduced new challenges, such as ensuring cloud-based apps remain in sync with legacy apps.

Noting the ‘quality at speed’ ambition in this sector, it is no surprise that 60% of TME businesses say provisioning test environments is a key efficiency measure, against an all-sector average of 48%. The WQR survey also found a rise in the use of continuous testing within agile and DevOps, largely to keep pace with the frequent releases we typically see in this sector, especially in telecoms. Almost half of the TME respondents reveal that in their agile and DevOps developments, they always or almost always integrate test as automatic quality gates in the CI/CD pipeline.

Skills and automation

As the adoption of agile and DevOps continues to grow, the availability of the skills needed to deliver continuous testing is higher than average in TME companies. The WQR states that the need for knowledge of CI/CD pipeline tools, development skills, and test design skills is among the lowest when compared with all the industries covered by the report. Human skills are increasingly complemented by test automation and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). TME companies report that intelligent test automation gives better control and transparency, while 52% of TME respondents note that it delivers test cost reductions.

What next for QA and testing?

From the steady adoption of embedded software, data, 5G, edge computing and smart tech, to greater orchestration in agile and DevOps, it is clear that QA and testing teams are not simply custodians of quality, they are its enablers and champions. As transformation programs accelerate, the telecoms sector in particular has reason to rely heavily on QA and testing to manage the complexity of its complex legacy technology stack in parallel with its migration to new cloud-based systems and apps.

At Capgemini and Sogeti, in partnership with Micro Focus, we are already working on the next edition of the World Quality Report. It is a flagship publication assessing current trends in quality engineering and offers both best practices and recommendations for the ongoing transformation of QA and testing globally. Today, more than ever, as the geopolitical unrest, ongoing fallout from the pandemic, and challenging socio-economic climate prevail, all organizations need the agility to respond quickly to market demands and changing customer expectations. Agile and DevOps deliver this agility in the software lifecycle, while QA and testing will continue to provide the assurance of efficacy, security, and quality.

 

Darren Coupland
Darren Coupland
Head of QA, UK
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