Testing as a Service – a new dimension of software testing

Justyna Mikołajczyk | Quality Assurance | 1 April 2019 1

Tests are part and parcel of the software development process, however there are many obstacles preventing clients from undertaking successful testing, such as lack of strategy, incompetence or difficulties in recruiting adequate specialists. Testing as a Service may be a solution to the aforementioned problems, as it is a flexible and available on-demand service, offering a wide range of testing competences whenever needed. In this article I present multiple options and highlight the benefits of choosing Testing as a Service.

Software testing – challenges

Very often during the software development process, it turns out that testers’ competences are insufficient for conducting tests, or the number of testers is too small to manage a heavy workload. What can happen as a result? Due to recurring issues, the client focuses on analyzing problems or conducting the recruitment process, instead of managing standard tasks. The recruitment process is time-consuming, hence it is not easy to employ a dozen senior testers each with a specific skill-set which suits the prerequisites in terms of software. This may be problematic as we usually need assistance “as soon as possible”. What is more, we have to bear in mind that the onboarding process and training take time as well, not to mention the costs of down-time and having redundant testers once the workload gets lower.

Definition of Testing as a Service

Testing as a Service is an engagement model in which particular testing tasks are outsourced to external specialists. Instead of outsourcing resources, we delegate tasks to an external IT partner. Testing as a Service is a flexible service, used exactly when specific software-testing activities and competences are required. It is also an on-demand service, thanks to which the client decides what competences he pays for and for how long. How does it work? Thanks to the “cloud of competences” model, tests are conducted by teams which are built in such a way as to cover multiple project requirements.

Testing as a Service – benefits

Thanks to the “cloud of competences” of the IT Partner, the client gains access to a pool of different qualifications and several experienced specialists with:

• unrestricted access to a large testing laboratory,
• the best testing tools on the market like Cucumber, Selenium, Serenity, Jenkins, TestComplete, SoapUI and many others,
• a team certified at various levels of expertise,
• working standards with the use of Tmap Next, ISTQB, TPI Next, ISO 29119, TMMi.

With Testing as a Service, the client is provided with access to testers with grounded testing knowledge. An IT partner with a wide range of competences will be able to prepare for implementing the necessary changes by assigning a senior Quality Assurance team, which will be ready to build a tailored and secure Test Process strategy or create an improvement plan in order to solve recurring problems. The partner will work closely with the client to create the organizational testing strategy and policy. But what are the benefits for the client? They will surely benefit from their partner’s mentoring, supervising and training skills to guide their employees.

Testing as a Service vs. standard outsourcing

Many companies outsource entire teams; however, it very often turns out that what we need is the access to certain competencies during a particular period of time. With standard outsourcing it is hard to maintain such a group of specialists all the time and justify these costs from an economic standpoint. This is where Testing as a Service comes in handy, since it is flexible and available on demand. As part of Testing as a Service, the client receives the whole range of testing activities: from implementing testing, to testing and guiding the client’s employees. In this model of outsourcing, only particular activities are outsourced to the IT partner, who specialises in simulating real testing environments according to the client’s requirements.

This model features the following attributes:

  • on demand – it is used when needed,
  • suited to specific business requirement,
  • fully scalable,
  • very high level of testing independence,
  • no additional costs of tools and testing environments,
  • cloud testing environments.

What are the additional benefits? A proactive approach during testing activities on behalf of the customer. Also, thanks to cloud-based services, the recipient can make use of different testing qualifications, such as improvement of the testing process, audit of the existing testing process, consulting and many others.

Where to start?

Each company’s specific preferences and requirements should lead to implementing an individual model of engagement with an IT partner. The client’s expectations in terms of the nature of the problems he is facing call for a bespoke approach to the work of his service provider. It is very common for the client’s prerequisites to change during collaboration with the partner, which requires a distinctive approach. This is why searching for a service provider who offers a wide range of engagement models is recommended.

Which strategy will meet your requirements? For those clients who are still considering the implementation of Testing as a Service, I would propose beginning with 1-2 months of trial support for a single work package or separate testing activity. During that time, you can choose particular testing activities or support for a particular area, and decide afterwards which strategy is adequate. As you can see, TaaS is a flexible, on-demand and adjusted range of testing services, which makes it easily scalable in terms of the evolution of cooperation.

The author of the post is:

Supports and advises European companies which search for IT individuals that fit the remote-working environment and helps customers to boost their software development team’s capabilities.

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