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How Software Testing Can Improve Your Competitive Advantage

  • 22/02/2017
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  • Posted by Ronan
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Every business whether involved in software development or not strives to gain competitive advantage. Especially in the software industry if you are producing a product where your customers have alternatives, reaching that goal of competitive advantage can be quite challenging. One aspect that many software companies many not think about when targeting competitive advantage is how can testing fit in with this goal. Here Peter Hopley takes you through how to achieve place where customers value your product more. 

Challenges to Achieving Competitive Advantage

What are the challenges? Well Peter lists a number of challenges that you have to be aware of before setting out to improve the testing process.

  • Accelerated Development: There is more and more evolution of software going on and we need to bring that to market as soon as possible
  • Cost & Time Savings: To achieve competitive edge you need be have cost and time savings to bring the product to market as quick as possible
  • Time To Market: This is one facet that can greatly influence achieving competitive advantage and should always be monitored.
  • Reduced Risk: The goal of all product development teams; building software at speed but in a way that does not compromise quality
  • Collaboration: Today we are not just using internal resources but external resources including subcontracting and outsourcing so communication is vital to keep development on track.
  • Better Support: Company management need to give better support and reduce the number of support coming into the business
  • Adapt to Change: Need to be nimble and be able to rapidly adapt to change to maintain competitive edge
  • Innovate: Bring our products and expertise to market ahead of your competition
  • More With Less: Every business strives to do more with less 
  • Compliance: All of the above have to be completed with the compliance and rules that govern our business

 

How Can A Software Testing Help With these Challenges?

Intially your company will go through your first phases of product, either being built by your own team or purchased. The design, development, testing and deployment phase of the product has to acknowledge the challenges above. But one facet that you have to be aware of is that as the your team foes through each of the challanges in the design, develop, test process the testing aspect can become larger and larger and create a bottleneck and become increasingly a challange to the business organisation. 

 

Design.Dev.Test Phase

 

80% of testing is Still Done Manually

As Peter makes clear, around 80% of testing is done manually. The latest survey from Sauce Labs State of Testing in 2016 holds up that statement although the precentage of automation testing does seem to be on the rise.

Sause Labs State of Testing 2016

As Peter explains the reason why automation may be done manually is beacause even those most products today have a scripting component to them, it is ofter easier for testers to do a manual test than it is to tweak and maintain those scripts. 

 

Increasing The Level of Test Automation

So it is more advantageous to increase your level of automation to create that competitive advantage but how do you do that. How Peter’s company achieve this is because their product is code free and effectively takes a clone of the application as well. As a consequence it enables you to rapidly capture and test various versions of the application through a simple manual process that creates the cloning process.  So once this is done,  they can then start to address the automated component. The high capability of the cloning process enables “self-healing”.  The “self-healing” process means it will automatically tell you the difference between version 1 and version 2, you run those against the application which you automatically accept so you end up with version two if the script. 

The benefits of that is you get a self-heal software, a great amount of re-use. The most important aspect though is that it is easy to use and deploy so the technology is able to push up the amount of test automation it can deliver. 

Listen to the podcast here

About The Author

Understanding customers’ pain points and building strong relationships based on mutual trust and credibility is a core philosophy of Peter Hopley. Peter is also a very engaging presenter and well respected industry specialist, a regular presenter on QualityMattersTV and has been a guest speaker at numerous seminars, conferences and industry events.

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