Business owners are losing patience on software projects. They see and feel that competitors are advancing their business. They are pushing on their IT departments harder, pressing for more and faster delivery of software that will keep their companies in the digital race. They like what IT is delivering, but the challenge for IT managers is to keep up with the speed of software delivery with as few bugs as possible.
The latest survey of 310 IT executives, conducted by Forrester Consulting in partnership with Eggplant, finds that the majority of enterprise leaders, namely 70%, name the functional outcomes and software added value created by the software delivered as "good" or "excellent," . However, close to half feel things aren't just being delivered fast enough for their business. 46% of the respondents named the speed of testing as "average", "fair", or "poor", and 41% say the same about the speed of their overall custom application development. More than a third of all executives (36%) also rated the quality of code in development for testing as "average" or even worse.
But overall, C-suite executives are happy with the applications and solutions that come out of the pipeline. However, they are worried for the faster delivery of these apps.
The survey shows that budgets, fragmented technology and lack of technical skills can hinder testing. Budget pressure is the biggest challenge facing the test strategy, with nearly one-third of companies (32%) said. According to the researchers, “in the field of digital transformation, because of the competition between budgets, test innovation may not be the top priority for large companies.” Another problem of slowing down progress is that traditional technologies are fragmented and difficult to automate, more than a quarter (26). %) of respondents said. Getting the right technical skills is the third biggest challenge, and a quarter of companies are also tackling the challenge by acquiring the right domain skills.
While testing tends to slow down, IT managers are keenly aware of it’s importance. Business leaders also need to know more about importance of software testing. “Although there has been agreement on whether to focus on product performance and functional quality, business leaders and IT teams have different priorities for other expected outcomes of the test strategy,” the author of the report, led by Forrester's Asha Dinesh, mentions. “Business seems to focus on results, and IT is focused on how it achieves its goals.” For example, in terms of speed, productivity and consistency, 42% of IT leaders believe that testing cycle time is reduced to key expected results, while only 27% Business leader. Compared with business leaders, IT also prioritizes test productivity (38% vs. 28%) and tests using Agile (29% vs. 19%).
What is the best way to get the software out of the door faster while maintaining quality? Dinesh and its co-authors recommend to use agile, DevOps, continuous and automated software delivery approach.
Continuous testing is a faster way to deliver software. Still, as continuous delivery/continuous integration of software becomes an important step in improving the delivery process, continuous testing is still needed. The survey shows that, on average, more than half of the application development teams are implementing continuous testing (52%) and nearly half (49%) applying automated functional testing.
Interestingly, a large percentage of the managers and developers surveyed are even exploring smart ways to use AI (47%). However, many are still hampered by traditional methods, and 51% of application development teams are still applying manual functional testing on average. "In the context of the various devices and software architectures of today's large companies, manual testing is ineffective," the authors of the survey said. "Test automation is increasingly becoming a requirement for accelerated software delivery because it increases coverage, increases test depth, and improves software quality," Dinesh and her co-authors said. “Test automation is more than just replacing automated test execution with automated execution. It also involves the automation of the design automation of the test and the programming process, the continuous integration and continuous delivery environment.”
Expect more job opportunities for continuous testing. The largest expected growth is developers and testers, with an average growth rate of 21% over the next three years. “Focus on customer experience in software development and the growing need to incorporate user feedback into continuous testing. The image of commercial testers will be enhanced," the authors of the survey report predict.