SMAC Technologies Bring New Risk Factors to Testing and Quality Assurance

Quality assurance and testing isn’t top of mind for most c-suite executives until something goes terribly wrong. These executives understand the negative impact of application failures and testing’s role in making sure they work, but mitigating these risks is just one of the many strategic priorities the c-suite faces. One of the top priorities is driving digital transformation, making it even more difficult for the c-suite to focus on quality assurance (QA).

In my role at Capgemini, I have the unique opportunity to collaborate with many of these CIOs and IT leaders. Although each of them is challenged by different business requirements, they share a common mandate to both protect their brand and accelerate the time to market with new features. These leaders are also facing a higher quality bar, as today’s consumer expects the same experience across all channels. Whether making a purchase online, on a mobile device or at a retail store, their customers expect a seamless experience.

QA has a crucial role in meeting this customer expectation. Our World Quality Report shows that organizations are re-prioritizing testing activities to focus on digital initiatives. In 2014, 52 percent of testing budgets were dedicated to new development projects including SMAC (social, mobile analytics and cloud) technologies, exceeding maintenance projects for the first time since 2012. The 2015-2016 report will be released this week, and in future posts I’ll explore the opportunities of agile and DevOps methodologies, as well as automation. 

Even if quality assurance and testing are viewed as a strategic priority within their digital transformation efforts, the c-suite and testing leaders’ success depends on their ability to properly measure the value of those efforts. What gets managed gets measured, and as testing moves into a more strategic position, testing and QA leaders need to fundamentally re-think how they move the needle in their overall cost of quality. We will also explore this topic in more detail in future posts.

It is an exciting time to be a testing and QA leader, but it’s overwhelming as well. As much as these digital transformations are driving disruption in the business and IT, it is upending the way they approach QA as well. In this blog series I’ll provide my experiences on how testing and business leaders can survive, and thrive, in this new landscape.

David Newberry is a market development executive at Capgemini and is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He can be reached at Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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