Asad Khan is the founder & CEO of LambdaTest, an AI-powered unified enterprise test execution cloud platform.
Quality of software experience is everything in today’s world. A company is one software glitch away from losing the customer to a competitor, resulting in loss of business and ultimately affecting the bottom line.
A question I often get asked by top executives is how can enterprises avoid this very plausible situation and grow their business with a “quality-at-center” testing strategy. My answer is straightforward—continuous testing. There’s no other way out.
Continuous testing is a well-thought-out way of testing across the software development lifecycle (SDLC) that improves an organization’s quality goals. It sounds simple enough, but how can enterprises go about getting it right—and then go a step further with efficient continuous testing at scale?
The Current Hurdle
Many digital businesses have invested heavily in DevOps—especially in tools that enable continuous development, continuous integration and continuous deployment. But what about the testing?
Testing is often a bottleneck for fast release. Most executives view testing as the second-to-last step of the SDLC that happens just before the release. However, the truth is that businesses have to test early and as often as they can. It’ll aid in solving customer problems/use cases faster and more efficiently. Continuous testing is an important investment in rapid digital transformation.
More importantly, businesses should not just put in place the nuts and bolts of continuous testing by procuring the latest-in-tech tooling. They need to ensure they build the right culture and processes that focus on the speed as well as the quality of the output.
Businesses need to build a ground-up and well-rounded view of quality, and they need to do it without preconceived notions.
Getting The Technology And Culture Right
According to a Gartner, Inc., report (via CIO), “the ability to consistently deliver business value with high quality has become critical for organizations seeking to mature their DevOps processes.”
First and foremost, it’s important for leaders to come up with a vision of what quality means for the organization. Next, they need to define how continuous testing can help them achieve the set goals. Finally, they need to tinker with the team structure and bring developers and testers together to ensure better collaboration and less friction.
Leaders must internalize the message that “quality is everyone’s responsibility” within their teams. Be it engineering, sales, marketing, operations, HR or finance, you are responsible for quality.
When it comes to the technology bit, leaders must first look at building quality assurance as part of the initial planning process itself—starting with the code. Code must be well-architected and documented, and most importantly, one should be able to test it easily. These basic steps will help in accelerating future value delivery. Leaders must discuss and outline team goals and map those goals with business and customer quality demands. They must also stress how higher-quality code aids in the achievement of these goals.
When it comes to testing, the truth is that automation testing is still not widely used across organizations. Organizations must change just that. Identifying bugs early saves time, cost and brand value. The ultimate goal of continuous testing must be to ensure quick developer feedback and reduce friction between testers and developers so that bugs are caught and fixed early, allowing end customers to enjoy the best digital experience.
To make this possible, leaders must choose the right framework and language based on their team’s experience and preference. Also, they must look to adopt AI and open-source technologies in the areas like test execution/orchestration, test intelligence and test authoring to accelerate the testing process. Again, the onus of selecting the right tools based on the needs and comfort of the team lies with the upper management.
Business Advantages Of Continuous Testing
1. Better Collaboration And Efficiency: By breaking the rigid silos between testers and developers, continuous testing can enable faster collaboration—thereby ensuring quicker time to market.
2. Faster Time To Market: In an age where speed is the difference between competitors, continuous testing can help organizations do just that while making sure of the quality of output.
3. High-Quality Software: Better collaboration results in faster bug detection—and, hence, faster resolution. Continuous testing can enhance the quality of the software and keep risks at bay.
3. Enhanced Customer Experience: High-quality software translates to better customer experiences. Happy customers mean better business outcomes.
Digital-native customers want features/products at record speeds, and there is no dearth of alternatives. Businesses must be on their toes to cater to this demand.
Continuous testing can help businesses deliver high-quality software at the right pace. It is a driving force for business transformation, and leaders who recognize its importance and set up the right culture and technology will end up building organizations that win.