The year 2015 was the first time when significant trends in Digital Transformation were spotted in World Quality Report (WQR). The upward trend continues in 2016, with growing adoption of Digital. In this blog, I discuss specific changes we witnessed compared to 2015 in Digital Transformation QA. Some of the trends I observed are as follows:

(1) Renewed focus on efficiency and effectiveness

In 2015, security and corporate images were cited as key IT objectives in line with organization’s desire to secure their digital presence and reduce the damage to their corporate reputation. In 2016, the key strategic IT drivers include security, customer experience, and the corporate image.  In 2016, additionally, there is renewed focus on efficiency and effectiveness as important QA and testing objectives.

(2) State of digital maturity

We define digital maturity based on whether an organization has appointed or is in the process of appointing a Chief Digital Officer (CDO).  The year 2016 has seen automotive (76% respondents mention having a CDO or in the process of appointing) and public sectors (73%) on the top of the leaderboard in digital maturity based on this criteria. These sectors had been laggards in 2015. Increased adoption of digital for citizen services and inclusion justifies the top rank for the public sector.   

(3) Spends for digital QA

About 63% of the QA budget (versus 53% in 2015) is used in QA for new developments in Mobile, Cloud, BI/BA, and IOT areas. 

There is less correlation between digital maturity and QA spend in 2016. Organizations with the absence of a digital strategy seem to have higher QA spend than the ones with digital maturity.  Why do organizations with digital strategy have lesser QA spend? It is likely that in a hurry to move ahead on digital transformation, organizations have progressed on development with inadequate QA.

(4) Predictions on level of cloud-based applications

Cloud-based applications are set to increase over the next three years. There has been an overall drop in the use of the public, private, and hybrid cloud. However, the use of on-premise cloud has seen a significant increase. 

One surprise finding is that despite the data privacy concerns, the use of public and hybrid cloud has increased in Europe.

Also, the findings suggest that focus on functional validation while migrating to the cloud was ignored and only performance testing is considered adequate. This again suggests that in a hurry to progress on digital transformation, organizations have ignored quality.

(5) Increased challenges in Mobile and IOT Multi-channel Testing

In 2016, the WQR findings suggest increased challenges in Mobile, IOT, and multi-channel testing. The challenging areas are as follows:  

  • Lack of right testing process or method
  • Lack of experts
  • Lack of an in-house test environment
  • Lack of the right tools
  • Lack of time spent
  • Lack of device availability to test

It is difficult to accept that there can be increased challenges given that Digital has matured compared to 2015. The possible reasons for increased challenges could be sheer size and complexity.

(6) Reduction in customer experience testing challenges

There has been a decline cited for all the challenge areas relating to customer experience testing, namely:

  • Designing the test cases
  • Implementing test tools
  • Establishing test data
  • Identifying end user expectations
  • Establishing environments
  • Getting the right coverage
  • Identifying the systems
  • Apps to be covered

(7) Conclusion

In summary, do we conclude that we witness quality ignored in digital transformation initiatives? Or, do we conclude quality is so embedded in digital transformations that there is a less specific need for quality? Given the evidence of increased challenges cited in Mobile, IOT, and multi-channel applications, we would say there indeed is a decline in quality. The organizations would soon realize the need for focus on quality or pay the price.

For an in-depth look at the key trends in Testing and QA, download the World Quality Report 2016