There has been a significant shift towards a more orchestrated approach to Quality Assurance (QA) as organisations are growing increasingly aware of its importance, according to the 13th edition of the World Quality Report 2021-2022, published today by Capgemini, Sogeti and Micro Focus. The report finds significant developments in key trends across quality assurance and testing that are underlining this shift in perception across the board, including artificial intelligence (AI), agile and DevOps, and specifically the evolving area of Intelligent Industry.
The report finds that expectations in testing and QA are becoming more realistic; key focus areas of IT strategy such as enhancing customer experience (63%), enhancing security (62%), responsiveness to business demands (61%), and high quality of software solutions (61%) are being given broadly equal weight.
Confidence in AI in Quality Assurance is increasing
There is a growing desire amongst organisations to put AI and ML techniques to good use in their quality assurance programs. The report finds that nearly half of the respondents (48%) have a ready repository of test execution data required by AI and machine learning (ML) platforms, 42% say business owners trust the intelligence provided by these platforms, and 46% say their organization is willing to act on intelligence provided by the AI/ML platform. Confidence in AI in Quality Assurance is high, plans are robust, and skills and toolkits are being developed to put AI and ML techniques to good use in their quality assurance programs. Despite this, AI in Quality Assurance hasn’t reached a point of maturity yet. According to the report, there is a growing need for test strategy and test design skills for AI, which indicates that organizations are beginning to understand the intricacy of AI, the challenges in taking advantage of it, and the difficulties of testing AI itself.
Businesses are reaping the rewards of agile and DevOps in QA
The adoption of agile and DevOps in QA and testing is a continuing trend, and businesses are already reaping the rewards of laying greater emphasis on agile and DevOps, such as improvements in productivity, quality of software, and cost. The report found a significant realignment in factors that respondents deemed to be the most important for successful DevOps adoption, with over half (52%) of the respondents recognising business priorities as the most important factor — an 11-point jump from last year. The technology stack, on the other hand, has dropped in importance – with only 49% of respondents placing it first this year compared to 65% in 2020.
But lack of professional testing expertise in agile teams continues to remain a challenge. As boundaries blur between software development and test teams, organisations must focus on collaboration and upskilling all employees responsible for quality.
The future of testing is intelligent
Quality Assurance teams will soon become a source of rapid growth in Intelligent Industry, so there is immense value to be derived from allocating time, energy and budget here. The report notes that organisations are keen to achieve digital transformation, and the key drivers for intelligent industry, include improved efficiency (47%), increased quality (46%), better agility and flexibility (44%), and improved customer experience (43%). To achieve this, the first steps for organisations involve management buy-in and, demonstrating feasibility. A sizeable 42% of respondents in the report also noted plans to upgrade their existing test labs with capabilities in 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and autonomous systems in order to facilitate this. This requires significant investment and organisations need to focus on investing in products and services that will deliver the most value in the shortest amount of time, as well as in people.
“What’s coming across loud and clear in this year’s World Quality Report is the shift in perception and increased attention towards Quality Assurance as a whole,” said Mark Buenen, Global Leader, Digital Assurance and Quality Engineering, Capgemini Group. “The pandemic has reinforced the importance of agility for organisations across all industries, and as IT is being modernised and environments are moving to the cloud to enable agility, businesses are growing more aware of the relevance and value of Quality Assurance. As a result, we’re seeing increasing investment in this area, particularly in those technologies that will enable Intelligent Industry.”
“The World Quality Report is a one-of-a-kind global study, and this year’s survey highlights the effect of the evolving pandemic-impacted requirements for applications across new deployment methods, the continued growth of AI, as well as QA’s adoption of agile and DevOps practices,” said Rohit de Souza, Senior Vice President, General Manager - ITOM Product Group & ADM Product Group, Leader of the CTO office and Product Security, Micro Focus. “As our customers look to improve their software quality, velocity, productivity, security, and overall customer experience across a range of devices and environments, these findings showcase the need for organizations to advance their modernisation initiatives through AI-powered continuous quality and test automation tools.”