The Consumer Appetite For Digital Is Only Matched By Its Intolerance For Defects
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The Consumer Appetite For Digital Is Only Matched By Its Intolerance For Defects

David Bolton • February 21, 2017

“The key will be to test the right things, at the right time.”

Companies that favor speed-to-market over a quality customer experience may need to rethink their business practices.

A global survey of 1,600 chief information officers and senior IT executives by consulting and outsourcing firm Capgemini said that companies struggle to match the pace needed for digital transformation. According to Capgemini’s recent World Quality Report 2016-17, customers expect companies to be digital natives in all aspects.

Increased customer expectations put additional pressure on IT teams to deliver effective digital implementation solutions. As digital becomes more integrated into day-to-day activity, companies need to take a proactive attitude to meeting customer demand and ensuring that every channel works effectively.

Testing and quality assurance across all digital channels is a major challenge for companies. Multi-channel application testing—mobile, wearables, social and traditional—has increased the pressure to deliver top quality digital experiences.

“The consumer appetite to engage via digital channels is matched only by intolerance for any defects that might have an impact on their user experience and business outcomes,” Capgemini said. “Digital transformation is also fundamentally changing the way in which business and IT interact. Historically, business demand drove IT, but with greater digital capability, this situation has reversed.”

Digital has become a senior-level priority, the report said.

Sixty-six percent of respondents said that their organization either has a dedicated chief digital officer or has assigned that role to someone in the company, an increase of 18% from Capgemini’s 2015 survey. Only 19% of people said that they have no plans to hire a chief digital officer in the foreseeable future.

Digital Transformation Needs The Right Tools

Forty-eight percent of respondents said their organizations do not have the right application testing processes in place.

Around 46% of respondents said that their companies do not have internal mobile testing experts. A similar number said they had no in-house testing at all. The report cites other challenges that include not having the right testing tools (45%), a lack of time (44%) and a dearth of available devices (44%). One percent said that they do not do mobile testing at all.

“With the proliferation of application releases and demand for speed, it is impossible to test 100% of all releases,” the report said. “Instead, the key will be to test the right things, at the right time.”

As more companies transition to a cloud-first business model, there is a commensurate correlation to testing requirements. Fifty-four percent of companies now pay attention to peak load testing—a year-on-year increase of 16%. Load testing rates are in line with security testing and performance requirements.

testing requirements Source: Capgemini, World Quality Report 2016-17

Security is still at the top of the list but the focus has lessened in the last 12 months. Around 46% of chief information officers see security as an app testing priority, which is actually a 9% decrease from Capgemini’s survey in 2015.

Efficiency or performance testing priority rates also dropped in 2016. Forty-four percent of respondents said performance is as a key area of testing compared to 54% in 2015. Functional testing—a prime focus in 2014—is now a priority for 34% of companies and sits comfortably at the bottom of the pile thanks to the availability of real-world testing environments, the report said.

Speed To Market Should Not Impact Quality

The amount of budget allocated to application testing differs across industry sectors.

Companies with a CDO are more likely to spend a significant amount of their IT budgets on testing and quality assurance. Financial services companies, for example, allocate 33% of their IT budget to testing, followed by the automotive industry at 32%. Companies focused on consumer products spent 31% of their IT budget on testing, the report said.

testing cdo Source: Capgemini, World Quality Report 2016-17

The integration of customer data into the testing environment is a minor challenge for some companies.

Thirty-five percent of people said that understanding the customer experience was dependent on the data available. But the fact that the majority of companies did not cite customer experience as an ongoing problem indicates that companies have begun to understand customer expectations through data collection.

“While digital has also created an expectation of speed-to-market, it is essential that this speed doesn’t come at a cost to quality,” Capgemini concluded. “Digital transformation is still evolving, with many organizations struggling to make the shift to cloud-native applications. QA and testing has to continue its transformation and work in new ways adapted to this digital world.”

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