Launching a new product or update is always a nerve-wracking task, but many baulk at the price of thorough software testing, especially when attempting to cut business costs. But far more damaging is the financial blow from a failed launch.
There’s no avoiding the cost of software testing entirely, not if you want a high quality, glitch free product. The good news is that there are a number of tried and tested tactics you can enlist to make the financial burden somewhat easier to bear.
We’ve compiled a line-up of the ten best methods by which you can get maximum value out of your software testing and achieve unmatched efficiency in the process; enabling your business to deliver best-in-class software products without breaking the bank.
The costs of software testing
Software testing makes many a business owner or leader flinch due to the bevy of inherent expenditures involved in the process. Among these significant costs are resource allocation for testing teams, infrastructure and tool expenses, test data management, and defect fixing.
Effectively managing these costs is a tricky business but essential in securing the success of all software development projects.
An essential component of cost-effective software testing is a streamlined backend platform. By enhancing the efficiency of your backend processes, you can significantly reduce resource allocation for testing teams and optimize infrastructure costs. This includes refining your test data management systems and incorporating tools that facilitate smooth defect fixing.
A well-optimized backend platform not only speeds up testing but also enhances collaboration between development and testing teams, leading to a superior end product.
Below we’ll explore strategies to address these financial challenges and optimise your software testing efforts.
1. Shift-left testing
Ordinarily, testing tends to happen in the latter stages of any project – or the “right” side of the development process. Shift-left testing involves bringing in testers and quality assurance experts much earlier to test in production, essentially shifting the testing to the “left”. Problems can then be identified and dealt with much sooner, reducing the likelihood of defects loitering into the later stages, where they can be more challenging and costly to fix.
This approach can significantly reduce the overall testing timeline but as an added bonus it can increase collaboration between your development and testing teams. This engenders clearer communication and understanding of system requirements, which provides a powerful launchpad for your team to create a superior product.
2. Collaborate with external testing partners
For some companies, outsourcing QA testing to external partners may be a better choice than managing it all in-house. By doing this, you can benefit from the considerable skills of testing experts, whilst also reducing costs. Because while you must obviously pay for outsourcing, it can often be more cost-effective than recruiting, training and maintaining a testing team.
This may also be the best solution when you are seriously pressed for time and you’re in need of some additional help to get a project over the line. External testing support will supplement your permanent team and prevent unnecessary costly delays.
3. Test automation
Automation is one of the emerging technologies transforming businesses and reshaping innumerable aspects of our lives, software testing included. Automated testing is more reliable than manual testing and is not subject to (quite understandable) human fatigue, nor is it bound by working hours. It is a particularly good approach for load testing and regression testing, but automation may not be suitable for all types of testing.
Human judgement is necessary for things like usability testing and a high-quality user experience. These are things that a machine is not yet able to assess very well. Of course, you will incur some upfront costs. However, the money you will save in the long-term will make up for it, plus your team will be liberated to spend more time on work that only a human can do.
4. Conduct risk-based testing
In order to zero in on the most critical and vulnerable areas of your software, it’s highly advisable to introduce risk-based testing. This method prioritises testing efforts according to the likelihood of defects and how much of an impact they may have. Security weaknesses and performance bottlenecks would be prime examples of bugs with a wide-ranging impact.
Essentially, the bigger the potential problem, the more attention it gets. Your resources are targeted where they are most needed, your test coverage is optimised and more potent, and you’re simultaneously empowered to manage your costs more effectively.
5. Analyse testing return on investment (ROI)
Whether you’re shopping around for the best deal on your tech equipment or Googling “best place to buy domain name UK”, getting a good ROI is most likely the priority for your business. To understand what ROI you’re getting from your testing efforts, you should adopt a data-driven approach to establish which areas your testing budget can have the biggest effect.
Start with analysing the level of impact any specific testing activities have on your development lifecycle. The quality of your product is the highest priority, but not all tests will contribute to this goal equally. Discern which tests have the most influence and you will be able to allocate your resources more wisely. If your budget is limited, then this is even more important. Root out the tests that have little effect and drain your budget and channel your resources into tests that bring the highest value.
6. Use crowd-testing
The cost of commercial testing tools can be steep, but there are other solutions you can turn to. One way of optimising testing costs is to harness the expertise of thousands of testers via crowdtesting platforms like Global App Testing. You can take advantage of the valuable insights from a diverse group of people, and save on recruitment and training expenses to boot.
The testers are located the world over and these different locations and demographics mean that real-world scenarios are replicated; thus uncovering potential issues that might not have been evident in a controlled environment. You pay only for the testing services you require, making crowdtesting a flexible and cost-efficient solution that can scale based on project needs.
7. Utilise testing environments effectively
Testing environments can be a big cost factor in software testing. To optimise your testing budget, one of your priorities should be to use these environments more efficiently and strategically. An often successful approach is to make use of virtual labs or cloud-based testing environments. These can help reduce infrastructure costs while providing the vital flexibility to scale up or down as needed.
You should also ensure that your testing environments resemble the production environment as closely as possible. Getting this into alignment will enable you to identify and handle potential issues swiftly and so reduce the risk of costly fixes later on. An accurate representation of the production environment refines the reliability and effectiveness of your testing endeavours, naturally leading to a higher-quality product.
8. Prioritise prevention
Any potential bugs could have wide-reaching effects, whether that’s compromising data security and so risking a businesses reputation and their customer’s privacy. Or failing to integrate with essential partner software like Vonage outbound call center software, meaning a client is unable to perform a core business function.
There is always a chance bugs will slip through the cracks, which is why you shouldn’t focus solely on detecting them, but also on prioritising prevention. Invest in training and upskilling your development team. This can drastically reduce the number of defects introduced during the development process, so your business can spend less of their time and your resources fixing them.
9. Optimise costs from internal and external failure
While prevention and detection are absolutely essential in software testing, it’s equally crucial to address the costs associated with internal and external failure. Failure will, unfortunately, happen on occasion even when you’ve made every attempt to prevent it. To combat this, you must implement robust monitoring and error-reporting mechanisms.
These tools can help identify potential failures and address them promptly, minimising their impact on the overall software quality. Proactive defect management not only reduces costs but also ensures a seamless software delivery experience for your customers. By prioritising early problem resolution, you can optimise your testing budget while delivering a reliable and high-quality product that meets your customers’ expectations.
10. Nurture a culture of continuous learning
The speed at which technology and software are developing – and the necessity that tech professionals keep up – is among the biggest digital transformation challenges businesses are currently facing. Provide your team with an abundance of opportunities to hone their skills and keep abreast of the latest developments in testing. Knowledge-sharing sessions and workshops can fuel innovation and efficiency in your testing processes, generating improved outcomes and reduced expenses.
This is perhaps a less straightforward tactic than the others in this list, as actioning it will look different for every company. But encouraging your team to expand their knowledge and embrace industry best practices will ensure your employees are well-positioned to tackle new challenges effectively and ensure your resources are spent as efficiently as possible.
Optimising your software testing costs is a strategic move that can lead to significant savings and improved efficiency. By embracing test automation, implementing shift-left testing, optimising prevention costs, leveraging crowdtesting, and analysing ROI, you can achieve cost-effective and high-quality software testing processes.
Collaborate with external partners when needed, optimise your detection costs, conduct risk-based testing, and quickly address internal and external failures to ensure successful product delivery and customer satisfaction.
These tactics will make sure you are best placed to achieve the maximum potential within your budget constraints. These strategies will optimise your testing costs and deliver outstanding software products without compromising on quality.