Today, more than ever, successful businesses are turning to technology for a competitive advantage, launching a greater number of new applications than before in order to successfully deliver products and services to customers. But this also means a more complex web of IT systems needing to be tested, as it is vital that once these applications are launched they can be relied upon to perform consistently. As such, both software testing and quality assurance are now an increasingly important focus not just for the IT department, but also the broader business. However, ensuring that IT applications meet the needs of an organization, while satisfying cost and regulatory measures, can present a number of challenges.
The Importance of Testing
As we start to see the green shoots of recovery emerging, we're hearing from clients that they are looking to boost their investment in technology to help kick-start growth. However, cost control is coming under closer scrutiny than ever before, with a greater focus now on both budget and performance criteria. At the same time, there is intense pressure to deliver IT programs and applications quickly, while retaining the high levels of quality demanded by customers. Added to that, the increasingly frequent releases of software updates and applications can be difficult to implement quickly, despite being critical for maintaining a competitive edge.
When implementing a new system, businesses have to strive to achieve maximum performance and reliability. IT applications and infrastructure need to be implemented quickly and efficiently but most importantly, they need to meet their requirements and deliver the functionality intended. All of this and at the same time remaining as cost-effective as possible. Not an easy task.
Thorough testing and quality assurance is the key to safely implementing new IT systems with minimal issue. Poor functionality can impact brand reputation and business revenue and can be very costly to rectify. System outages and downtime as a result of bugs in a system are unacceptable, especially to customers, and can result in loss of service, revenues, customer trust and, in the case of some organizations' systems (such as in health provision), can even be dangerous. In both the public and private sectors, around the world, quality of service is one of the most important factors that can affect business success. Quality assurance, therefore, should be one of the main pillars of any sound business.
Quality assurance and software testing are also essential for meeting external regulatory demands, particularly now with a greater focus being placed on compliance and risk management, as we emerge from the global economic downturn. The last year has seen widespread investment in new technologies steered specifically towards compliance and risk prevention. Regulatory standards impact most industry sectors and the consequences of not meeting a legal requirement, or making commercial decisions based on compromised systems and data, can be severe. If poorly executed, or without the right level of structure, inadequate software testing can actively increase business risk.