DevOps – Giving QA a Seat at the DevOps and Digital Transformation Table

The Essential Role of QA in Digital Transformation

With technology is being embraced in all aspects of our lives, its influence is expanding. Organizations want to fully take advantage of this growth, leading many to go through a total digital transformation in order to accelerate processes, develop innovations, and embrace opportunities.Quality assurance has an integral role in the journey of digital transformation. Implementing quality checkpoints along the path assures the desired business outcomes, as well as end-user satisfaction—the ultimate objective.
A complete digital transformation affects business processes at every level. Quality assurance efforts strengthen the product at each transition throughout the development lifecycle and mitigate challenges posed by new technology. QA is in the best supporting role in any organization’s digital initiative to safeguard performance and security.Luckily, enterprises advancing in the direction of expanded digitalization already recognize the associated risks and see the big picture of quality challenges. Therefore, many of them do not hesitate to expand their quality measures and spend a larger chunk of their IT budget on QA alone.Good quality assurance measures meet the three major objectives of a company’s digital transformation: protecting the corporate image, increasing quality awareness, and ensuring end-user satisfaction. Let’s break down these critical aspects.Protecting the customer experience and brand: QA efforts measure end-user experiences across multiple digital platforms. This improves accessibility, reduces response time, and increases the consistency of brand. A good QA program can address the challenges for testing customer experience in multi-channel solutions:

  • Getting the right coverage of end-user expectations and requirements in the test set
  • Implementing and using test tools for customer experience testing
  • Designing test cases
  • Establishing environments and test data for customer experience testing

Lifecycle Automation: QA speeds up the transformation process not only by application-level automation, but also by lifecycle automation. Apart from taking advantage of conventional automation, QA focuses on testing the entire lifecycle, thus assuring cross-platform compatibility and customer-experience testing.Quality user experience is a competency that’s not just related to the dev or testing team. Rather, it’s something that you need to work for as an entire unit. This is exactly what can be achieved with DevOps and test-driven development.Advanced analytics data support: QA makes use of advanced analytical technologies to mine data from various social and commercial platforms that can be used in productive decision-making. This gives quality insight into all stages of the end-to-end customer experience.A good QA program provides the most complete quality view, allowing dev teams to execute and analyze manual, automated, and performance tests for digital channels side by side, on desktop browsers and real mobile devices, under real end-user conditions. With this expansion, users can apply a single quality strategy to deliver seamless, responsive web and multichannel experiences.Security – The Driving Force of Digital TransformationWhen an organization introduces digital transformation in its processes, quality assurance too becomes important. And in times companies are switching over to the digital mode in a bid to stay ahead of competition, automation testing is helping them deliver increased efficiency. According to Raffi Margaliot, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Application Delivery Management, HP Software,“Technology disruptions such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and mobility are leading to faster business transformations than ever before. Companies have to pivot quickly in order to stay ahead of the curve, compete and conform to the new style of business”. Organizations have increased their budget allocation for QA and digital testing and it will only go up in the coming years to ensure a perfect environment for their customers. Companies have realized that to stay ahead in competition, they have to invest more in their IT budget. A report in 2015 found that 43% executives foresee an increase in IT spending budgets and a 9% year on year increase in the budget directed towards testing and quality assurance. According to the experts, testing is critical when going digital.One of the biggest challenges in digital transformation is the security. Companies have to continuously invest in testing systems which ensure the integrity of their processes and applications. Digital security cannot be taken lightly by any organization that hopes to rise in business and wants to offer a smooth experience to its customers. Another reason why experts are in favor of testing is because these days the product life cycle is very short and there is a demand for greater agility. Organizations are modernizing their testing processes to meet these shorter life cycle programs.Digital Transformation has affected the way traditional business is done. There are a whole new set of processes that have to be incorporated in the system to deliver productive customer experiences and consequent business benefits. In the view of tough competition, the need of the hour is for flexible and rapid delivery of software and systems. This is made possible only through the modes of testing, which themselves have evolved to a whole new process. Test automation is not enough by itself. What is needed is its integration with development processes so that testing becomes an integral part of overall business strategy.Why Give QA a Seat at the Table?Nothing is new in the list of responsibilities I listed and QA has been performing some or all of these roles in many application development practices for some time. If you’re already investing in DevOps, you can’t achieve continuous delivery without factoring in some of these practices. The issue is that these needs are not given equal hearing in a DevOps transformation and QA seems to be getting a step-motherly treatment and being squeezed out by their more aggressive Dev and Ops siblings.The mindset among many business and technical managers is that QA is still “the activity you do after the application is developed (they are still hooked up to waterfall model although their teams have moved to agile development)”, that developers should be writing bug-free code, and that whatever validations are required can be performed by the business or end users during UAT. Such projects are more likely to invest in additional developer resources if they believe it will gain them functionality or time to market. The CIO and IT leaders in these programs are then more likely to invest their efforts in maturing development (Dev) and operational practices (Ops) without learning quality assurance tools, best practices and governance. This can also result in driving the project costs of such programs high.Whether you’d like some general advice with QA and Delivery issues or if you’d just like to say hello – you can reach us using these options. P: +1 (347) 474 3816 or email: services@impactqa.com

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