Top 10 Software Quality Commandments for Digital TransformationSairam Vedam
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New age businesses are digital in their true sense. They are characterized by the intrinsic ability to be API–driven, rely on analytics & artificial intelligence, and thrive on the power of software to hit the market at unprecedented speeds. However, that said, their success is a direct outcome of the ability to leverage quality and speed.
However, as the world continues to be driven by digital and intelligent software, we believe good software helps run lives, while bad software ruins them.
An independent study by Tricentis indicates that in 2016, worldwide, 4.4 billion people and 1.1 trillion in assets were impacted by software failures. A study by MIT Sloan shows that Early Digital adopters are achieving 9%+ revenue creation, 26% impact to profitability, and 12% market valuation.
Software Quality, being a strategic business enabler, differentiator, and market accelerator, forms a critical part of boardroom agenda today. Hence, successful Global businesses and technology company leaders have persistently ensured that they make the right investments in ensuring the impact of software quality, as it accelerates readiness to market.
Hence, to accelerate your market leadership in the digital age, it is imperative to deliver impeccable software quality to amplify customer experience.
While true integration with the Development and Operations teams brings immediately visible acceleration, quality engineering through continuous testing ensures the outcomes of DevOps results in market leadership. This phenomenon, called “DevTestOps”, is an option that leading global analysts and researchers are advocating for impeccable software that propels businesses as customers look for first-time ready software.
The approach to Quality Engineering for modern day businesses to stay successful in their landscape is a direct outcome of their software applications behavior. New age business demands new age testing. Successful Quality Engineering hinges to the following 10 Commandments of application characterization that can be termed successful when these are deterministically met:
Modern day application capability is predominantly about being delivered at speed to cater to the release windows of days and hours, as against weeks and months. With Agile methodology setting in firmly for nearly all businesses throughout the IT industry, Enterprises throughout the globe are making use of this methodology for software development. It insists on building software products in iterations, with iteration covering the end-to-end phases of software development. This helps in frequent delivery of system updates and software alike, enabling teams to interfere virtually at any point of time, and thereby work to improve the product quality.
With frequent builds and quicker delivery, enterprises are witnessing a significant increase of productivity within the software development teams and enhanced customer experiences. According to a McKinsey report, companies have been able to reduce the average number of days required to complete code development, and move it into live production from 89 days to 15 days, a mere 17 percent of the original time!
Software quality is the cornerstone of application endurance and has a broad impact on several critical elements of businesses everywhere that involve the element of software. Often, software quality is a requirement and not an exception. Customers can be very vocal about their dissatisfaction towards software products, especially on online platforms. This could cost enterprises millions of dollars in revenue and could tarnish brand reputation.
Software quality drives predictability. When it is done right the first time, there will be lesser re-work required, lesser variation in the productivity and the performance will inevitably be better. Not just software quality, but it is measurable software quality that is important. There is an increasing usability and functionality impact of software in technologically advanced products. While it is difficult to measure quality through metrics, there are ways with which quality can be determined – Customer satisfaction is one such metric. Applications that meet and exceed the expectations of customers are the critical enablers of business transformation.
Since the emergence of electronic devices and digital platforms, software has served as the backbone for the stable functioning of the devices. As software is an internal element of a device, and because updates can often be received real-time and through cloud, customers expect software to be reliable.
However, software breakdowns have been known to cause both chaos and loss of revenue to organizations. For this reason, reliability is one of the most important rules of software development. Testing a software product for reliability before it hits the market can save the associated organization plenty of time and money.
Applications that are 100% reliable and can be entrusted with the transition from desktop, to web, to mobile, and to cloud are the need of the hour. Specifically, reliability of an application over Cloud is a critical factor to consider today, as industry and analysts are very much inclining towards this trend.
A survey by Gartner mentions that companies consider public cloud both disruptive as well as impactful.
In this age of customer, customers want applications to be delivered with first time readiness. Application Robustness and Quality are thus a must in an age where a broken application may result in a loss of opportunity that knocks the door. This demand, hence, also necessitates the need of continuous testing.
Robust code is quality code, which saves valuable time and effort. It enables modification to be an easy process, as external factors do not affect the code behavior. Robustness of code also means fewer bugs and better integration. Robust applications are defect-free, and are truly deployable in aspects ranging from financial to healthcare, insurance to retail, energy to transportation, etc. Robust applications are manifold in impact, and create an intelligent enterprise, powered by AI and Machine learning.
Trustworthy applications are the modern-day business need. Safe applications are an absolute must. Connected enterprises, gadgets, devices, and sensors are increasingly ruling the IOT.
With the rise of cyber-attacks, organizations are not immune to data breaches. Despite that, many organizations still fail to conduct frequent security testing despite believing that it’s critically important to secure their systems and data. While most organizations recognize that security testing is a valuable best practice, they are not proactive enough in its implementation.
Scalability generally means having the ability to ramp-up or ramp-down resources as per the market demand. In today’s digital world, it also means the ability to deliver the required IT and software as per business needs. It is essential for businesses to be able to move rapidly and deliver quickly.
Modern day applications must be truly scalable to be able to meet the exponential growth in user traffic. Scalable applications also are a must catering to the elastic growth that Cloud computing offers, making extremely dynamic workloads a real-time possibility. Hence, Businesses today need highly scalable applications that matter the most. Performance engineering is key!
Speaking of Cloud services, Technavio recently published a new report on the global cloud-enabling technologies market from 2017-2021, and the insights are intriguing. The report estimates that cloud-enabling technologies will continue to evolve in several areas including performance, availability, scalability, and security. Consequently, it will also boost the growth of global cloud-enabling technologies, expanding the scope of scaling up and down during development and testing.
The API economy calls for a seamless orchestration of application handshake exchanging information. Today’s integrated business applications mandate that software validation must ensure that orchestration of information is seamless. A broken API can cause millions of dollars of loss. Hence, web services testing is a must. Automated orchestration capabilities are the way forward.
With reference to the future opportunities, Mobile, IoT, and enterprise integrations will be key drivers for future growth of the API industry.
Interoperability of systems is their ability to work with one another. Achieving interoperability essentially means being able to develop and deliver applications that are interconnected by the Internet of Things (IoT). At the device level, seamless addition of advanced IoT devices and their interoperation with previously existing, even heterogeneous ones’, will allow rapid growth of smart objects ecosystems.
Increasingly complex heterogeneity of application landscape has been the constancy of software industry. Software applications of the future, hence, must be compatible across permutations and combinations of environments and platforms that bring in the unique need to be compatible at a click. This makes the imminent need to offer automated software testing capability a significant must.
Enterprises need to increasingly take into account the relevancy of the applications being developed and delivered into the market. Few applications cannot be integrated with third-party interfaces, and as a result, the applications will not see a majority of usage.
It has always been a product manager’s nightmare to ensure development of relevant applications that meet the business needs, offering increased conversions, increased usage, and increased productivity, which are vital cogs for the success of a business. Hence, software quality engineering that looks with an eye for relevancy is a must, which decides whether applications are successful or get thrown away.
Usability of the applications involves how willing end-users are to use applications. The interface should be extremely friendly and should encourage the user to explore the seamlessness of using the application. Organizations looking to improve their application usability need to specifically factor in the testing of devices per the market demand.
Applications that are usable with customer centricity as the principal guiding factor, are the ones that will enjoy manifold adoption. While social sentiment analysis techniques are deciding the fate of applications based on extreme user insights right from interface to experience and functionality, business outcomes are tightly coupled with the User experience indices.
New age business hence demands New Age Software Testing Specialists: Software quality geeks who write code to test, who are specialists by skill, explorers in every sense, who are utopians by mindset, solvers by DNA, makers by training and perceivers by nature will evolve. They would ensure that the experience becomes a reality, by putting customer experience at the center, to truly ensure applications are reliable, robust, secure, and usable.
To have all the above 10 commandments succeed, building human capital that specializes in enabling digital transformation through quality engineering is a must.
Register here to fix a one-on-one 10-minutes meeting with Cigniti Leadership to discuss the 10 commandments and plan your successful digital transformation at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2017.
Uncover new ways to approach critical challenges, confidently make impactful decisions, and increase your effectiveness as a business leader.
Sairam Vedam, VP & Global Head, Marketing at Cigniti Technologies. An Award Winning Global Marketing Leader, Speaker, Blogger, Start-up Mentor, Technologist, and a CSR Leader.