In some form or another, more aspects of application testing will become increasingly automated. While there is a general bias toward manual testing, IT services companies such as Infosys increasingly are focused on automating as much of the application-testing process as possible.
According to Aparna Sharma, head of client services for independent validation and testing services for Infosys, it's really just a matter of scale. Not only is the sheer volume of code being generated increasing, existing code is being updated much more often. Much of this has to do with iterative application-development methods that greatly speed the application-development process.
The biggest challenge, however, is getting the best application developers to focus on automating the testing. The best developers naturally want to do anything but test. The folks that generally do the testing, however, don't have enough insight into the application.
Infosys is working on automated testing routines for a variety of applications in various vertical industries that will be available as a cloud computing service. Even though automating application testing might not be all that high a priority within the enterprise, as IT services firms go, the rest of the enterprise is sure to follow. And there are going to be a lot more IT services firms offering automated testing services in the cloud than just Infosys.
In the end, it will come down to economics. Manual application testing is too slow and costly. We'll never automate the entire application-testing process, but it's pretty clear that much of it can be done just as well by a machine in the cloud as a programmer on premise. But few machines can actually create the program in the first place.