The Next Evolution of Software Testing: Digital Quality as a Service

The most successful brands in the world pride themselves on the high level of quality they hold themselves to. Quality is an essential component of any brand’s identity, customer loyalty, and continued success. In today’s increasingly digital world, digital product quality is just as important as that of a physical product.

That said, many organizations struggle with achieving a reliable and consistent level of quality for their digital applications and products. According to recent research, poor software quality cost organizations $2.41 trillion in the U.S. alone in 2022. There are a few reasons behind this digital quality pain point facing brands today, including a lack of both expertise and a consistently executed digital quality strategy. Additionally, because modern digital applications and platforms are often quite complex with multiple interfaces and technologies, it can be a challenge to manage and prioritize quality.

A dedicated focus on digital quality is necessary for companies to achieve the level of quality they have their sights set on for digital products. Quality needs to be built into and prioritized within the software development life cycle (SDLC), and expertise across all quality disciplines (functional, usability, localization, user experience, etc.) must be part of this approach. Unfortunately, the resources and talent required to build and add digital expertise in house can prove to be challenging for many companies. However, this growing demand for digital quality expertise has led to the rise of a new service model, Digital Quality as a Service (DQaaS).

Defining Digital Quality as a Service

Digital Quality as a Service (DQaaS) refers to a managed-service engagement in which a provider commits to achieve a pre-agreed upon level of quality outcomes for a client. The methodology for achieving that outcome is usually left up to the provider, and is likely to involve a mix of elements including exploratory testing, accessibility testing, usability testing, test case execution, and automation.

A provider will write and execute test cases, deliver feedback, and ensure alignment with the client’s roadmap of the product. Aligning and collaborating should provide a frictionless journey where the provider and client are on the same page for level of test coverage and where in the SDLC testing should take place.

Organizations leveraging DQaaS gain access to shared service teams that can support their own software development teams. The shared services team offers consultation, expertise on quality, and provides resources to specific product teams depending on priorities and goals.

Digital Quality as a Service Benefits

The benefits an organization receives from adopting a DQaaS approach to their product development and deployment include:

Expertise: With a shared service team model, an organization isn’t just getting a group of testers to find bugs. These are experts who can assess and prioritize bugs, manage a team of testers and deeply understand different types of testing. They also know how to implement testing approaches and improve processes by adding elements like automation and customer journey testing.

Holistic Approach: Conceptually, DQaaS approaches quality holistically. A shared services team provides experience and expertise across functional, usability, performance, payments, accessibility testing and more. The purpose of the team is to deliver end-to-end quality for organizations, ensuring features and entire products are built up to a certain quality standard and encompassing the entire customer journey.

Broader Quality Perspective: Without being tied to a specific department, a shared services team can see the bigger picture after working with individuals and different teams. Learnings and best practices from one team can then be applied to others, leading to a more aligned, collaborative and educated overall team.

Plug-In Service: Organizations often know they can be doing more when it comes to quality for their software, but they don’t have the resources to hire someone full time to fill in the gaps, or have the expertise to know exactly what needs fixing. A shared service team plugs right into current workflows, providing that expertise and those resources.

Bespoke Strategy: The concept of digital quality is not the same for everyone. While there are frameworks and best practices, a variety of factors, including available resources, Agile teams, features and number of products, all weigh into the overall strategy that goes into quality. A shared services team can advise clients on what the approach to quality should look like for their specific organization.

Crowdtesting and Digital Quality as a Service

Crowdtesting digital applications and products can go hand-in-hand with the implementation of DQaaS. Crowdtesting provides real-world testing with real devices. When this is part of a DQaaS agreement, dedicated resources find and manage bugs across different software types, devices, and locations, while also consulting with QA on next steps and helping to drive testing maturity through the creation of automated regression suites.

Companies leveraging this approach benefit from having real user feedback and perspective during product development, while simultaneously having the ability to improve QA processes to meet the quality requirements they are looking for before a product is pushed live.

Building a Culture of Quality

Consistent product quality goes a long way toward defining a brand and building customer loyalty. Investing in the resources and expertise needed to make sure the highest level of quality is achieved for a product helps to build an overall culture of organizational quality. From individual developers, to QA teams, and business leaders, prioritizing quality and making it part of an organization’s culture is a worthwhile endeavor with the results speaking for themselves.

To learn more about how Applause uses Digital Quality as a Service, visit the website here.

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About Author

Adonis Celestine is Senior Director and Automation Practice Lead at Applause. In this role, Adonis helps Applause’s clients to take a customer-centric approach to quality as part of their quality engineering evolution. He is an expert in test data management and compliance, as well as automation tools including Selenium, Cypress, Playwright, Tosca, UFT and Leapwork. Before joining Applause, Adonis was Associate Director and Lead Solutions Architect at Cognizant and held diverse quality engineering roles across the finance and telecommunications sectors, working for brands including Lloyds Banking Group, de Volksbank, DLL, Tele2 and Rabobank. Adonis is an accomplished writer and public speaker. He is the author of “Quality Engineering: The Missing Key to Digital CX” (2022), “Continuous Quality: The Secret of the Pharaohs” (2021), which won the EuroSTAR Software Testing Award, and “As the World Turns: A Predictive Test Approach with Machine Learning” (2019). He has delivered speeches and keynotes at events including TestNet, Testdag, Testcon, EuroSTAR, Romania Testing Conference and Belgium Testing Days. Adonis regularly writes for multiple tech publications and his articles have been featured in AI Journal, Digital IT News and AT Today.