Q: By virtue of its very nature or where it falls in the lifecycle, isn’t it counter intuitive to think of QA as a function that enables speed or influences experience or effectively delivers Minimum Viable Products (MVP)?
A: It was, but not in today’s digital world. Digital products and services are evolving at a rapid pace which has led to consumers demanding these services with least possible delay. Shorter releases have meant that the priority of quality assurance has moved towards Test-as-you-build, with customer experience as the key.
In Continuous Testing approaches, Tests are automated before products are developed and then integrated with Continuous Integration pipelines. New age tools and accelerators like EggPlant, JBehave, Appium, SeeTest etc., enable Tests right at the development stage and crowd platforms (internal & external) enable early user experience feedback. All these are enabling QA to lead the Digital Transformation from the front rather than being the slowest link in the SDLC chain as in the past.
Q: The above mentioned trends are certainly true about greenfield digital development projects, but how do you support a large part of Enterprise IT that is still migrating from legacy architectures and infrastructure?
A: Digital Transformation today is not just about overhauling the UI, but about transforming the entire ecosystem, including infra (cloud) and software stacks (as a service). Quality Assurance, thus, is about supporting such transitions and is achieved through techniques like virtualization and, in many cases, SDETs, building custom tools for validation. Remember, engineering is an approach to QA for today’s digital enterprises.
Q: What benefits do large enterprises draw from QA initiatives in the digital age?
A: With competition at an all-time high, digital age enterprises strive for faster time-to-market with enhanced user experience. The end result: higher conversion rates and customer loyalty highlighted by a positive Net Promoter Score (NPS). These benefits are derived today by reducing cycle time through QA approach like Continuous Testing. This approach also provides much-needed flexibility and enhanced user experience by incorporating user feedback early in the iterative development. This eventually results in cost savings through early bug fixes. It is estimated that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. The ideal way forward is a user-centric and Continuous Testing approach for QA in digital.
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