5 factors for technology leaders to reflect on in 2018

In 2018, software plays a key role in our lives. Today, all companies, regardless of their market, need to offer their clients and customers high-quality software. Not only can bad software quality affect revenues negatively, it can also impact the company’s position in the market.

To deliver high-quality software, teams must use solid development methods and integrate the right tools into their process. By testing regularly with automated tests and integrating test scripts directly into the development cycle, your team will be able to identify errors and bugs faster and more easily and correct them long before they can affect your users.

If you are a technology leader within your organization, here are 5 factors you need to consider in 2018:

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1) Users have high expectations

Users are constantly interacting with various technological platforms, which means their expectations when it comes to software quality are sky-high. A recent study has shown that 80% of users won’t use an application they view as defective or unresponsive more than 3 times. The market has shown that it will tolerate a few tools that have flaws and weaknesses if those tools target very specific needs or audiences and don’t have much competition, but in general, software quality is clearly users’ #1 preoccupation. To satisfy your user base, your organization must prioritize software quality and put in place a modern, rigorous and complete quality assurance process.

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2) Software is being developed faster and faster

Agile methods allow teams today to develop more functionalities faster and more efficiently. To ensure excellent software quality, testing must also keep up the pace. As a result, manual testing is simply no longer sufficient.

Test automation and testing tools integrated directly into the development cycle can help you maintain control over the quality of your applications and ensure bugs don’t negatively impact your users. Automated testing can allow the development team to test a new module or a new functionality in depth as many times as needed during development. Moreover, automated tests will also cover all previously developed modules or functionalities, preventing software quality from regressing.

According to a Gartner report, in 2020, 50% of all organizations will have put into a place at least one project that makes use of a continuous development and testing process. While automated testing requires an initial investment (because test scripts must be planned and written), they also possess a number of advantages that guarantee a positive return on investment. For example, several studies have demonstrated that the longer the development team waits, the costlier it will be to fix a bug. Identifying and fixing bugs earlier in the development cycle is therefore highly cost-effective. If you wait for users to report bugs before fixing them, you risk not only driving users away, but fixing these bugs might also end up being 10 times costlier than if these same errors had been corrected earlier in the development cycle.

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3) The role of testers is evolving

The days of testing being an independent process separate from development are long gone. Today, testers are integrated into the development teams to be more agile and provide more value. Moreover, test automation tools have changed the various tasks testers perform every day. For example, more testing positions now require being able to write test scripts.

All these changes allow testers to produce at the same speed as the rest of the development team. Angie Jones, a developer for Twitter, described this new philosophy of testing well when she declared that, “testers no longer solely own quality. To truly succeed in this fast-paced game, everyone must make quality initiatives a part of their job.”

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4) Process optimization to improve efficiency

Sometimes, the right tools and the right personnel are already in place, but the methods and processes the organization use leave room for human errors or other issues that affect the organization’s efficiency. Askida works regularly with companies of different sizes to review their practices and make key recommendations to improve software quality. We can, for example, accompany an organization that is trying to implement automated tests and move away from a manual testing process. Our objective, when we review a company’s development and testing practices, is to identity potential weaknesses and propose concrete solutions that will allow your organization to perform better as a whole without having to add new talents or team members.

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5) Data to the rescue

To make better decisions, many organizations use the SMART model, an acronym that stands for Specific information, Meaningful data, Actionable intelligence, Realistic goals and Time. By relying on comprehensive data, companies can, for example, identify a process that could be improved, get an accurate portrait of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization or produce more precise budgets or predictions in relation to software quality or production calendars.

Because they produce data every time an application is tested, automated tests can be integrated into the SMART model. The data the tests generate can be used to create reports, know precisely how much work is left before development can wrap up and much more. At the end of a project, this data can also be used to prove a positive return on investment.

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Choose software quality

To reach their full potential on the market, companies must offer their users high-quality applications and software products. By focusing on software quality at every level, from conception to development to delivery, companies greatly improve their chances of being successful.

Using the strategies outlined in this article, technology leaders can allow their companies to obtain more business value at the same cost and reach new heights in 2018.

Are you a technology leader within your organization? What are some of the challenges you’re facing in 2018? Let us know in the comments!

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Team Askida

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