It’s the start of yet another year, in which enterprise technology is set to change leaps and bounds — as it has, each year, for the past decade. These changes in technology have a great deal of impact on the way companies test their software, as it should. So what does 2016 hold for software testing? As the saying goes, before you know where you’re going, you need to know where you started. 2015 was a crucial year of change in enterprise technology as well as in the testing game.
The digital transformation
Last year organisations looked at digital transformation as an imperative, and many had to find new ways of testing to keep up with the pace of change. This led to a surge in the need for performance testing, as it was seen as crucial to ensure a memorable user experience. This year we expect the uptake in performance testing to continue, as many of the companies that were uncertain about what to do last year, will start to make moves into digital transformation programmes in 2016.
Security is critical
According to the BBC, 2016 is the year in which cyber security will be the main issue vexing global business. Security is set to become even more critical in the enterprise too, as the Internet of Things trend starts to come to fruition and the way businesses operate therefore becomes ever more mobile and connected. This mobility will give rise to an increased need for Application Security Testing. As apps, especially those that are consumer and/ or end user facing, are essential to customer experience. Securing them, and testing apps for vulnerabilities will therefore be critical, in order to reduce operational risks.
SAP and the total cost of testing
In 2016, we believe the promise of SAP HANA will become reality. Yet, even in our own customer base, one of the big challenges customers are facing is the journey to SAP HANA. Whilst bought in to the benefits, there are more often than not significant changes required to a business’ existing SAP estate before it can even begin to shift its full operations to this platform. This involves a series of EHPs (Enhancement Packs) and code customisation/ optimisation. This is a lengthy process requiring a lot of repetitive testing, which becomes a constraint. Identifying ways to minimise time and effort spent doing this will of course therefore be a big cost-saving driver this year.
This cost conscious will however give rise to another trend. We expect that many businesses will start to appreciate the total cost of testing — not just the offshore day rate. Businesses will start taking into account the cost of deploying subject matter experts, the cost of getting testing wrong (security, integration) — and will start trying to minimise the risk of poor quality, trying to test right the first time. How to ‘shift-left’ is the phrase our customers are talking about and are exploring ways to identify poor quality sooner to get the benefit of leaner testing and faster projects. We are confident about this, as many enterprises have had their fingers burned enough times over the last few years, for this trend to start to see some real uptake
A shift in skill sets
2016 will also be a great year of resurgence for the CIO, especially with the rise of the Bimodal IT model. (Bimodal IT is an organisational model that segments services into two categories based on application requirements, maturity and criticality. Mode 1 is traditional, emphasising scalability, efficiency, safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is non-sequential, emphasising agility and speed.) This model integrated with DevOps means that the CIO skills need to be brought to bear in the next twelve months. In fact, in 2016 and beyond, successful CIOs will be those that have both a good understanding of digital and the importance of customer experience, as well the ability to grasp the deeply technical elements of organisational infrastructure in that context. This will mean that testing will also be at the forefront of their planning and strategy — as it is critical to achieving goals.
Overall, 2016 looks set to be an interesting one in the software testing game. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you view as the “next big thing” in testing.