Two-thirds of companies are inadequately testing mobile applications

Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, and Sogeti, its local professional services division, today released the findings of the fourth annual World Quality Report. The report, published in conjunction with HP, reveals that organisations are struggling to manage the challenges of the mobile era, with only one-third (31 percent) of those surveyed currently formally testing their mobile applications. Where organisations are conducting mobile Quality Assurance (QA), they are primarily focused on performance (64 percent) and functionality (48 percent), with a mere 18 percent of organisations focusing on security. Even more worrying, it appears that testing organisations are unable to address the new challenges, posed by the increasingly digital environment due to a lack of the right resources, tools and methods. Yet, the ability to effectively test the quality of software applications has never been more critical to an organisation’s reputation and operations.

The report unveiled that most businesses (51 percent) still run testing as an in-house function. Only 13 percent have moved to a service fully managed by an external provider. Unfortunately, those organisations managing testing in-house have internal QA capabilities that are failing to keep pace with new technologies. The report reveals a lack of confidence in firms’ software QA capabilities, with more than half of respondents (59 percent) characterising their internal QA teams’ knowledge of the latest testing tools and technologies as merely ‘average.’ Two-thirds of respondents admit they do not have the right tools to test mobile applications and one-third lack the appropriate testing methodologies and processes (34 percent) and specialist expertise (29 percent) necessary.

“Consistent and reliable software applications have become critical to the operations of many organisations. Yet the lack of confidence in most companies’ internal abilities to monitor and test the quality of their software is resounding, particularly when it comes to mobile applications,” said Michel de Meijer, Global Service Line Testing Lead, Capgemini Group. “Global firms need to deliver continuous access, anytime and anywhere, often to thousands of employees and sometimes millions of customers, over different types of mobile device and are struggling with the challenges that this brings. QA teams will need to seriously rethink their integrated testing strategies, covering traditional and new, mobile, application, to keep up with the demands of their users.”

The report also highlights the impact of cloud computing on testing and QA. Almost a quarter of the applications (22 percent) of the firms surveyed are now being hosted in the cloud, which is expected to rise to one-third (32 percent) by 2015. As a result, testing in the cloud is expanding significantly as QA professionals become more comfortable with the cloud as a testing platform. And while more than a quarter (28 percent) of testing now occurs in a cloud environment, the report shows this is forecast to increase to 39 percent by 2015. With just four percent of companies expecting not to use cloud technologies for QA over the next three years, compared with 31 percent just two years ago, the perceived benefits of cloud-based QA clearly outweigh the pitfalls.

The report also reveals that as companies seek to drive a reduction in costs and time to market, over two-fifths (42 percent) of QA budgets increased over the last year, while just 11 percent shrunk. The majority of respondents (53 percent) also expect their QA budgets to rise by 2015, with just one-fifth (18 percent) forecast to fall. As organisations strive to centralise and consolidate QA for further cost reduction and efficiencies, the study highlights a significant trend towards investment in Testing Centres of Excellence (TCOE). While only six percent of firms currently have a fully operational TCOE, this is a 50 percent increase on 2011. Nearly two-thirds (60 percent) are currently in the process of building or planning a TCOE as they look to secure further competitive advantage.

“Organisations need to balance limited resources with innovation as they seek to spur business growth and competitive differentiation,” said Matthew Morgan, vice president, Hybrid IT and Cloud, Product Marketing, Software, HP. “With HP, organisations can update and optimise their testing resources and operations to reduce costs, accelerate time to market and improve service quality, all while benefiting from new delivery models like mobile, cloud and social technologies.”

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