Software testing outsourcing refers to the practice of assigning the task of testing performance and output of a software to an independent firm or a third party group which did not have any hand in the overall development process of the software. With the growth of the IT services industry, outsourcing provides considerable gains in revenue, quality of product (be it enterprise, web, mobile, cloud, or embedded technology applications), efficiency and productivity of a company. Outsourcing can also reduce operational costs by relieving the enterprise of expensive functions; many studies state that almost half of the development effort is spent on testing.
Benefits of Outsourcing Software Testing
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Better Testing Quality:
No company wants to tarnish its image and reputation by releasing a faulty software or product to their consumers. When the testing task is outsourced, it is the duty of the testing services provider to adhere to the ethics and goals of the outsourcer business. An expert outsourcing services provider will be able to ensure the achievement of the desired quality for products that will compete in a dynamic business landscape.
Outsourcing testing can result in considerable savings for the business, by not having to invest in in-house resources, training and technology.
Impartial and Autonomous Results:
Outsourcing validation of your product to an independent testing services provider will give you an unbiased and clear view of your product and its strengths and shortcomings.
Access to Best Practices:
By partnering with a testing services specialist, businesses can be assured that industry best practices are being employed to validate the software.
Improved Efficiency and Focus:
Outsourcing off-sets the burden of work that is assigned to the in-house IT team, giving them the bandwidth and improved productivity to develop impactful and robust software.
By outsourcing, timelines will be adhered to by the external team without putting additional strain on internal resources. Time taken to complete the software development life cycle will be effectively reduced.
However, outsourcing has its own challenges, such as a gap in proper communication, quality shortcomings, ethical and cultural differences, and so on. Hence, identifying the ideal outsourcing partner is an exercise that requires extensive research and efforts. Certain points, described below, should be kept in mind while performing this mandate.
Qualities of an Independent Software Testing Outsourcing Services Provider
A history of successfully handling software testing projects should be a requirement in the checklist for an outsourcing partner. The skill set and range of expertise of the testing team should be thoroughly examined to affirm that they are acquainted with the details of the developed product or a similar one. If training is required, it should be done under your close watch.
Comprehensive Testing Basket:
An independent software testing services provider should supply a complete portfolio of services for your business requirement, including validating functionality, security, scalability, performance, installation compatibility and user acceptance. Additional processes followed by the company that should be given due credit include: providing of information about the testing process being implemented and usage of real-time defect tracking systems; a comprehensive roadmap for the allocated process; and use of tools for testing as approved by the client side management team.
The testing team must be reachable during your business hours and even afterwards in crunch situations. This is particularly critical when the product is almost ready for release and time becomes of the essence.
The service provider must have an authentic and reliable QA administration system in place. The process should be mature, tried and tested, and aligned with industry best practices. Metrics should be developed that act as a tool of evaluation. Real-time status of the project through status reports, graphical presentations and other team-to-team coordination techniques should be provided. Normally, a good testing services company will make a detailed and time-bound project plan with the tasks scheduled as per the requirements, to avoid possible glitches.
The testing services provider must have adequate security measures to avoid leaks and thefts and to safeguard the intellectual property rights. ISO certifications are a reasonable assurance that best practices are being followed.
- Cost-Effectiveness: After settling the technical aspects of the agreement, the cost of the outsourcing must be negotiated and they should be as per the terms and convenience of both sides.
Software testing is a cyclical process for many businesses engaged in development and maintaining an optimal size testing team throughout the year may not be a viable proposition.