Testing Practitioner Handbook

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By Renu Rajani
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  1. State of Digital Transformation – What Has Changed in the Last Four Years (2013-16)?

About this book

The book is based on the author`s experience in leading and transforming large test engagements and architecting solutions for customer testing requirements/bids/problem areas. It targets the testing practitioner population and provides them with a single go-to place to find perspectives, practices, trends, tools, and solutions to test applications as they face the evolving digital world.

This book is divided into five parts where each part explores different aspects of testing in the real world. The first module explains the various testing engagement models. You will then learn how to efficiently test code in different life cycles. The book discusses the different aspects of Quality Analysis consideration while testing social media, mobile, analytics, and the Cloud. In the last module, you will learn about futuristic technologies to test software.

By the end of the book, you will understand the latest business and IT trends in digital transformation and learn the best practices to adopt for business assurance.

Publication date:
March 2017


Chapter 1. State of Digital Transformation – What Has Changed in the Last Four Years (2013-16)?

The year 2015 was the first time significant trends in digital transformation were spotted in the World Quality Report (WQR). The upward trend continued in 2016 with the growing adoption of digital. In this chapter, we have will discuss the specific changes we witnessed in the last 4 years in QA transformation. Some of the trends I have observed are discussed further on.


Renewed focus on efficiency and effectiveness

In the last 4 years, the focus of QA transformation has evolved from centralizing QA to focus on the increased use of Social Media, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) and digital initiatives to improved customer experience.

In 2015, security and protecting corporate image were cited as the key IT objectives in line with an organization's desire to secure their digital presence and reduce the damage to their corporate reputation.

In 2016, the key strategic IT drivers included security, customer experience, and corporate image. Additionally, there was renewed focus on efficiency and effectiveness as important QA and testing objectives.


QA and testing transformation focus

The focus of the QA transformation agenda has undergone a shift over the last few years from focus on centralizing QA to addressing vulnerabilities in digital business, to increased QA spends, to increased customer, and user experience combined with security and a renewed focus on efficiency. Refer to the following table:





Centralizing and streamlining testing functions indicating continuing maturing of the QA function.

  • Digital business transformation programs using SMAC technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) changed the focus and importance of QA and testing.

  • Focus on addressing vulnerabilities—network performance, security, and cloud service availability.

  • Organizations that are more mature and advanced in digital transformation spend the most in QA and testing and have established a direct connection between quality and achieving business outcomes.

  • Focus of testing on usability, customer experience, and performance.

  • The strategic IT drivers include security, customer experience, and corporate image.

  • In addition, there is a renewed focus on efficiency and effectiveness.


QA and testing transformation drivers

The key driver for QA and testing transformation has changed from cost optimization in 2013 to the need for instant access to information in 2014, to focusing on customer value and end user experience in 2015. Customer experience has stayed the focus in 2016 as well:





Cost optimization

People's need for instant connectivity and access to information

Focus on customer value and the impact of IT quality on end user experience

Protect corporate image and enhance customer experience


State of digital maturity

We define digital maturity based on whether an organization has appointed or is in the process of appointing a Chief Digital Officer (CDO). The year 2016 has seen the automotive (76% respondents mention having a CDO or in the process of appointing one) and public sectors (73%) at the top of the leaderboard in digital maturity based on this criteria. These sectors had been laggards in 2015. Increased adoption of digital for citizen services and inclusion justifies the top rank for the public sector.


Spends for digital QA

About 63% of the QA budget (versus 53% in 2015) is used in QA for new developments in mobile, cloud, Business Intelligence (BI)/Business Analytics (BA), and IoT areas.

There is less correlation between digital maturity and QA spend in 2016. Organizations with the absence of a digital strategy seem to have a higher QA spend than the ones with digital maturity. Why do organizations with digital strategy have lower QA spend? It is likely that in a hurry to move ahead in digital transformation, organizations have progressed in development with inadequate QA.


Predictions on the level of cloud-based applications

Cloud-based applications are set to increase over the next 3 years. There has been an overall drop in the use of the public, private, and hybrid cloud. However, the use of on premise cloud has seen a significant increase.

A surprise finding is that despite the data privacy concerns, the use of public and hybrid cloud has increased in Europe.

Also, the findings suggest that focus on functional validation while migrating to the cloud was ignored and only performance testing was considered adequate. This again suggests that in a hurry to progress in digital transformation, organizations have ignored quality.


Increased challenges in mobile and IoT multichannel testing

In 2016, the WQR findings suggest increased challenges in mobile, IoT, and multichannel testing in all the categories:

The challenge areas probed are as follows:

  • Lack of right testing process or method

  • Lack of experts

  • Lack of an in-house test environment

  • Lack of the right tools

  • Inadequate time spent

  • Lack of device availability to test

It is difficult to accept that there can be increased challenges given that digital has matured since 2015. The possible reasons for increased challenges could be the sheer size and complexity of digital transformation.


Reduction in customer experience testing challenges

In 2016, there was a decline cited for all the challenge areas relating to customer experience testing, namely, the following ones:

  • Designing the test cases

  • Implementing test tools

  • Establishing test data

  • Identifying end user expectations

  • Establishing environments

  • Getting the right coverage

  • Identifying the systems

  • Apps to be covered

Refer to the following graph:



Is QA transformation dependent on the existence of a central Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE)? With increased use of SMAC technologies, organizations started abandoning centralized TCOE model in 2015 in pursuit of agile delivery models and focused on customer experience and business assurance.

Do we conclude that we witness that quality is ignored in digital transformation initiatives? Otherwise, do we conclude that quality is so embedded in digital transformations that there is a less specific need for quality? Given the evidence of increased challenges cited in 2016 in mobile, IoT, and multichannel applications, we will say there indeed is a decline in quality. The organizations will soon realize the need for focus on quality or pay the price.

For an in-depth look at the key trends in testing and QA, download the World Quality Report 2016 from http://ow.ly/PvMd304ynId.

About the Author

  • Renu Rajani

    Renu Rajani is a seasoned IT services/consulting leader with 27 years of experience. She has worked with reputed tier-1 IT services companies. Renu's experience spans across delivery, transformation, providing technical solutions, outsourcing governance, and consulting.

    She has served Tier-1 organizations including IBM, Citi, Capgemini, KPMG Consulting in key leadership roles.

    Renu is an active blogger on digital quality assurance, technology, and managed services and has a follower base of over 15K on social media. She has been a key contributor to Capgemini/Sogeti/HPE World Quality Report during 2015-17. She has led the creation of go-to-market offerings in the area of digital, DevOps, and business assurance.

    Renu has been recipient of the Testing Thought Leadership award in 2008 by PureTesting and Testing Leader of the year award by Unicom in 2015.

    This book brings together some of her popular blogs on latest technologies and QA considerations in a book form. Renu authored her first book on software testing in 2003 with McGrawHill.

    Renu holds an MS from the Krannert Graduate School of Management, Purdue University USA, an MBA in Finance from DAVV Indore, and a B Tech in Computer Science from IET, Lucknow University. She is an IBM Sr PM certified with DPE/SM discipline, and holds the ITIL V3, CAIIB, and PMP Certifications.

    Browse publications by this author

Latest Reviews

(1 reviews total)
good overview of general practices but don't expect real world examples of how to develop test suites.
Testing Practitioner Handbook
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