Quality Assurance Strategy in the Age of Digital Transformation
The digital revolution has transformed the way businesses are run today. Most businesses are running a never-ending race to catch up with evolving technologies and the main reason behind this is to ensure a superior customer experience and customer satisfaction. The old world formula of the customer being the nucleus of every business equation remains unchanged even today, which is why quality assurance becomes crucial in this age of digital transformation.
Today, businesses have to keep up with the changes in customer expectations and also with the technologically evolved global competition. They need to revisit and revamp their digital arsenals more frequently than ever and need to embrace newer trends like the usage of cloud computing, mobile apps and social media faster than their competitors. Setting all other parameters aside, the foremost thing that a customer seeks in any product or service is quality. The emphasis, now, is, thus, largely on user experience and security. This means that quality assurance is not restricted to merely testing applications across the SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) stack, but also making sure that these digital transformation initiatives will yield positive business outcomes. This calls for a well-thought-out QA strategy for businesses that are undergoing a digital transformation.
Here’s how you can strategize your quality assurance measures to achieve these goals:
Focus QA strategy on customer experience and business assurance: Fix your QA strategy’s focus on customer experience-driven testing, which is the combination of testing based on known usage patterns and on expected user scenarios. Such a two-pronged approach will help determine whether or not your new or reworked applications will, in fact, lead to customer satisfaction. Base your quality checks on testing scenarios developed from the existing data on customer usage patterns. Also, bring in a business assurance dimension to your checks to help your QA team correlate identified risks and test outcomes keeping in mind the effect they have on the business, such as a rise in revenue, an increase in customer retention, increase in innovative capabilities and so on. In short, you are developing a new breed of tests that focus on the end-user’s experience, security and the application’s outcome on your business.
Adopt automated and continuous security testing: In the present stage of the digital transformation wave, companies are out to create more realistic business models that can get the planned projects rolling. And, as Agile and DevOps practices are ever-evolving, the need for continuous testing practices is on the rise. The biggest challenge that companies face today is how to test these applications meaningfully in the least possible time frame. Security, too, has become a major concern, with majority of the security breaches occurring at the application layer level. This further creates issues relating to access control and authentication. With large-scale data collection over various platforms such as mobile, web and cloud over multiple channels, the risks have mounted up, thus strongly calling for security testing in all phases of the software development process.
To beat these challenges, make sure that instead of conducting manual tests at the end of the development lifecycle, you increase the number of security checks in all phases of design and production and focus on increasing the level of automation. Make use of external security specialists to secure the latest tools for testing and to support scaling up.
Rebuild the traditional Test Center of Excellence (TCOE)
A Testing Center Of Excellence (TCOE) is usually used to create reusable test assets that deliver quality at an optimal cost by using the resources at hand judiciously. It promotes collaboration and is aimed at improving the testing efficiency. However, today the need is for dynamic changes in software development and this calls for a change in the traditional, centralized TCOEs. Adopt Agile and DevOps practices so that it facilitates seamless collaboration between your teams. The resulting TCOE will be more collaborative and bring all the teams to work together on testing. Support process optimization initiatives using agile and DevOps in such a way all that your team-members irrespective of their roles can handle quality assurance procedures. Bring in techniques that support agile delivery like structural unit testing and application program interface testing to make the most of this TCOE transformation. Such techniques, along with test automation frameworks, cloud-based environment provisioning, as-needed-QA expertise, and on-demand specialist test services, can be managed and organized in the distributed TCOE for agile and DevOps.
Focus on testing using predictive analytic and continuous feedback at every level of the development cycle
As we adopt collaborative methods like agile and DevOps, the challenge that pops up is the considerable reduction in the length of the development cycle and there is a confusion on what to test exactly. At times like these, predictive analytics and continuous feedback will help us prioritize the tests that needs to be done. By analyzing historical data, testers will be able to understand the impact of changes made during software development and identify the required test coverage.
Update the skills of your testing teams
As you adopt a digital transformation process and move on to agile, DevOps and cloud practices, it means that your team’s skill set should adapt accordingly. Testers must be able to work with other development and analyst teams to gauge the user experience criteria well. They should have a good understanding of application architecture, be able to deploy automation strategies and interpret feedback provided from the production team. Encourage and train your team to be skilled enough to move with the times.
As the digital revolution is gaining momentum, QA teams have to evolve and be on their toes to help their organizations reap the advantages. What are your strategies to help your QA teams achieve this seamlessly? Let us know in the comments section below.
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