Today, businesses are operating in a digital economy, where they must compete on multiple fronts – faster innovation, delivery of high-quality softwares at speed, enhanced quality, security, improved responsiveness, and many other verticals, while all the while ensuring that the end user’s needs are completely fulfilled. These competing concerns have led to some radical shifts in the way the IT sector works, with some old trends and methodologies cementing their relevance, while other new ones emerging to respond to the current technological landscape.

The World Quality Report 2018-19, compiled by Capgemini, Sogeti, and Micro Focus provides a comprehensive overlook of the key trends shaping QA and testing today, on the basis of a survey of 1,700 CIOs and senior technology professionals across 10 sectors in 32 countries.

Here are some of its key findings:

User Experience

Providing customers with a rich user experience through a combination of speed, convenience, and security was the most important objective of the IT strategies, according to the respondents. Enhancing security, enhancing customer experience, and higher responsiveness to business needs were the top three considerations identified by them.

Enhanced Security

The number of organisations that work with IoT in some form increased from 83% to 97% this year. An average of 76% of applications across organisations was based on the cloud, leading to an increased focus on security among developers and tech organisations.

AI in QA

The use of artificial intelligence in QA and testing is on the rise. 57% respondents said they either already had projects that used AI, or planned to use it for QA and testing within the next one year. 45% said they were using AI in testing for intelligent automation, 36% for predictive analysis, and 35% for descriptive analysis. All of this means that the way is already is being paved for testing to eventually become a function that is almost entirely self-generating, self-running, and self-adapting.

DevOps and Agile

Providing quality at speed, or the agile and DevOps approach has reached critical mass, with 99% respondents confirming that they were using DevOps in some form or the other in at least some of their projects.

Steady Budget

The average spends on QA and testing is 26% “the same as last year” which means that testing spends have stabilised. However, another wave of investments in virtualisation of test environments, test data management, test automation, and use of analytics across the testing lifecycle is impending and expected, which is likely to increase the cost by 30% over the next two to three years, followed by another phase of stabilisation as well as increased efficiency in testing.

Flexible QA Solution

Slow testing processes were found to be a major challenge for application development, according to 43% respondents. Automation was found to be the bottleneck for maturing testing in enterprises. The level of automation of test activities is still only between 14 to 18% for different activities. The main reason for this, according to 61% respondents was that their applications changed too much with every release, making it difficult for them to automate their QA and testing process, indicating a need for a robust, yet adaptable, test automation solution.

Skillset and Expertise

The skills required for QA and testing have changed drastically, with all the experimentation with technologies such as AI, analytics and IoT. Today’s teams require highly specialised knowledge and training to perform their tasks more effectively. 42% respondents felt that the lack of proper skills for QA and testing was coming in the way of application development. 36% felt that their QA and testing teams needed a greater understanding of AI’s implication on business processes. 30% said they needed more functional automation expertise, 28% said they needed more predictive analytics skills, and 29% believed they needed more of test environment, test-driven development, and behaviour-driven development expertise.