Retail Cybersecurity in the age of E-Commerce

This is a guest post from our friends at Cigniti.

Many retailers swiftly created their initial e-commerce stores in the early days of the pandemic. Others enhanced their services by adding online ordering with curbside pickup, for example.  

The epidemic hastened the shift to e-commerce stores by five years in just a few months. This emphasizes the importance of bolstering retail cybersecurity.  

As a result, there is now more data in the cloud than ever before, both public and private. Now that the dust has settled, store owners should examine their retail cybersecurity and security breach measures to ensure that the processes and technologies they implemented are effective. 

With more customers buying from their homes, protecting your business from retail security risks is more important than ever. Examine the threats to retail cybersecurity and how to avoid them. 

Examining the threats to retail cybersecurity whilst safeguarding Customer Data 

Knowing your consumers’ demands today and anticipating their wants tomorrow, both in terms of products and customer experience, is critical for long-term retail success. However, doing so with an e-commerce store is more difficult than with a physical store.  

The key to acquiring these vital insights is to make efficient use of the data you already have. Using consumer data to develop personalized experiences can improve revenue and enhance return on investment (ROI). 

Consumer customer data is often grouped together by retailers, although this is incorrect. Businesses must consider each form of customer data separately since it has a different commercial value and risk component.  

Furthermore, many sorts of client data are stored on various platforms and servers. To adequately safeguard each type, you must know where it dwells. 

In the age of e-commerce, one major impediment to strong retail cybersecurity is the increased complexity of client data security. Data access is required for merchants to digitalize.  

They need customer demographics to fine-tune their marketing strategies, as well as inventory statistics to keep their shelves supplied.  

Customers’ personal and financial information is also required in order for shoppers to shop effortlessly and start up where they left off, whether on a mobile phone, a laptop, or in a store. 

The next step is for online retailers to store all of this information and put it to good use. As a result, they invest in cloud-based storage plans, feature-rich web stores, upgraded retail store point-of-sale (POS) terminals, and/or revamped mobile apps, among other things.  

These assets boost the volume of data that travels across their network. They also open up new access points for threat actors to attempt to mount an offensive. 

Threat actors, for example, are increasingly focusing on credit card skimmers rather than POS malware. Injecting malicious code into e-commerce checkout pages that use self-removal and other tactics to avoid detection is a common practice.  

They also use steganography to hide viruses within photos or to create a veil over the data theft process. 

Cybersecurity in retail can potentially be jeopardized by fraud. It all starts with a digital attacker getting into a legitimate shopper’s account or employing upfront staging to create their own account.  

They do this to make the account appear honest for a while. The attackers then employ those resources to carry out schemes like reshipping scams and use stolen credit cards to buy high-end items like jewelry or laptops and have them shipped. 

Your clients entrust you with their personal information. And, as a store, you must preserve their trust by safeguarding their information and keeping them coming back.  

You can use the data you acquire to improve the customer experience and develop loyal customers for your business if you take the correct steps with your retail cybersecurity protection initiatives. 

Best practices to secure your retail digital transformation business 

Over the last year and a half, the retail landscape has shifted tremendously. While online commerce existed prior to the pandemic, stay-at-home orders ushered in a new era of online retail for both sellers and customers. 

If you are looking for ways to improve the security of your retail digital transformation, here are a few things that you should take into consideration. 

Protect your servers and control panels. The bulk of E-commerce sites come with default passwords that are easy to guess out of the box. Businesses should take precautions to replace default passwords with strong, complex passwords. In some situations, organizations may be able to set up the hosting site so that it alerts an administrator if an unknown IP tries to log in. 

Make certain you defeat the bots. Bot-blocking software is useful, and even the largest online retailers can have bot traffic issues. Furthermore, bots can purchase large quantities of your merchandise, which their human operators can later resell on the internet or elsewhere for a profit. Captcha and other cyber security software technologies might help you avoid bots. 

Prevent malicious web content and email files from entering your network and endpoints by blocking unknown malicious web content and email files. Endpoints can still let attackers through despite security protections in some circumstances. Make sure your company has a solid security solution in place that is capable of proactively detecting advanced threats. 

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which helps enterprises better manage credit card security, should be followed by e-commerce businesses. This security measure is mandated by law in numerous European countries and many US states. 

Customer information should not be stored on your website. The backend setup of a website is often the first visit for hackers looking for easy information. Hackers won’t be able to steal data if it exists in the first place. But you’ll need a place to keep your data, right? Consider storing client data with a third-party company. 

Stop cloud-based assaults with a cloud native application security solution that is fully automated. 

A valid SSL certificate should be maintained by online retail locations to prevent cyber criminals from extracting credit card numbers and other sensitive information. On the customer side, an SSL certificate signifies that your online store is a secure location to shop. 

Patching systems on a regular basis is essential. Software developers want to assist you in safeguarding your business. They plan the patches they publish to accomplish this. On rare occasions, a cyber threat actor will identify a vulnerability prior to the deployment of a fix. Zero-day assaults are what they’re called, and they’re something you should be aware of. 

Use firewall software if possible. In most cases, network firewalls can prevent unsecured traffic from accessing your site. Inbound and outbound internet traffic that passes via specialized web servers can be protected by web application firewalls (WAFs). E-commerce companies can benefit from WAFs. They can filter out dangerous web traffic automatically and allow administrators to manually control who can and cannot visit a certain website. 

Incorporate numerous layers of protection into your system. A multi-layered approach can improve security and reduce overall retail risk. Every layer of security, from two-factor authentication to Content Delivery Network (CDN) protection, can help thwart attackers. 

Although operating an online retail space may not necessitate a large number of staff, be sure that any employees who handle online information are trained in cyber security best practices. Although it may not be possible to completely eliminate human error, you may be able to reduce the number of malware installations or other security-related blunders caused by employees. 

Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and even automated, which is unfortunate. That is why, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, there is no better moment to begin implementing security measures that will ensure retailer business continuity. 

Closing thoughts 

When it comes to providing merchants with the best possible consumer experience, it is imperative to focus on strategy, analytics, and a high-quality user experience at every touchpoint.  

Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing digital retail market, merchants are finding themselves vulnerable to growing and increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks. 

Cigniti’s innovative retail software solutions help companies better fit with their customers’ needs. We’ve worked with major companies in the industry on Digital Quality Engineering for the Retail Industry on anything from food to fashion to ecommerce. 

Payment systems, supply chain, ERP, warehouse management, retail store POS software testing, and other applications in the Enterprise ecosystem must all work together flawlessly on today’s Ecommerce platforms.  

Cigniti provides “World-Class” ecommerce website testing solutions through UI & User Experience Testing (across OEMs, Browsers, and Operating Systems), Holiday Readiness Testing, and checklists that enable Ecommerce portals and retail software testing companies to be prepared for PCI DSS certification. 

Need help?

Talk to our Ecommerce and Retail experts about testing E-commerce websites. They will help you provide a solution for your business and will demonstrate how to scale the quality needs further to create a robust Ecommerce security platform that will cater to all your retail cybersecurity and shopping needs. 

Financial Benefits of Moving to the Cloud

This is a guest blog post about the benefits of moving to the cloud from our friends at Cigniti

 

Migrating to the cloud has numerous benefits such as backup, recovery, and security, but one of the primary reasons why enterprises move to the cloud is due to its related cost savings.

A traditional infrastructure such as a data warehouse involves costly updates amidst several other issues such as server anomalies, data discrepancies, dedicated workforce, and most prominently costly updates.

According to Ashar Baig, a research director at Gigaom Research, “Cloud is mainstream today, driven forward by users’ desire for lower cost solutions, better scalability, and business agility.”

Even during the pandemic era, while we’ve seen several enterprises shutting down their businesses for good, cloud adoption has been on an upsurge.

Recent statistics reveal that 90% of the companies have expedited their adoption towards cloud in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a relative increase in cloud expenditure.

As enterprises rally for a gigantic worldwide effort to produce and allocate COVID-19 vaccinations, Software as a Service (SaaS) based applications that empower vital tasks such as supply chain and automation are critical.

These SaaS based applications endure to prove trustworthy in ascending vaccine management, which in turn will aid CIOs further authenticate the continuing shift to cloud.

The proximity of emerging technologies with Cloud computing has further accelerated its growth.

According to Gartner, “Global public cloud spending is forecast to reach $332.3 billion in 2021, increasing by 23.1% from $270 billion in 2020. Growth in cloud spending can be attributed to increased adoption in technologies such as virtualization, edge computing and containerization.”

The usage and adoption of cloud is set to further evolve to those that amalgamate cloud with technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, 5G, and more.

Cloud will help as the adhesive amid several additional technologies that CIOs want to use more of, letting them to vault into the subsequent period as they address more multifaceted and evolving use cases and will certainly be a disruptive market, to say the least.

The revenues and profits for the big 3 Cloud companies continue to be on the rise.

The latest statistics reveal that Amazon’s AWS had a surge of more than 30% in revenue during the first quarter while Microsoft’s Azure revenue increased manifold to above 50%.

Followed by these two giants in Cloud business is Google’s Cloud where it has seen a rise of close to 50% in its business during the last quarter.

The constant growth of Cloud computing is a testimony to the fact that no disruptions in the technology or the economy can shake the foundations of cloud.

According to research and analytics firm Canalys, “In the first quarter of 2021, global cloud services infrastructure spending grew to $41.8 billion to represent a 35% year-on-year increment and 5% quarter-on-quarter growth.”

Given its huge financial benefits, enterprises have no other choice but to adapt to the cloud.

 

Here is a list of some of the economic benefits for enterprises implementing Cloud migration:

• Eradicates Operational Expenditures

Owning and managing servers on your own premises is no longer necessary, thanks to cloud data centers. In a variety of ways, this lowers ongoing running costs.

Apparently, if you have fewer hardware on your premises, you will save money on power and cooling. The extra physical space could be better utilized.

By decreasing the amount of maintenance necessary, cloud computing eliminates the need for costly service agreements and additional onsite IT support workers.

Because idle servers waste a lot of energy and money, the ability to scale up or down based on demand and improved hardware utilization corresponds to more efficient power use.

• Improve disaster recovery competences

An enterprise that uses cloud storage has a two-hour disaster recovery deadline.

Companies who employ local storage, on the other hand, can address this problem for up to eight hours, which might result in significant losses for the company.

Object-based cloud storage is supported by modern disaster recovery solutions, so you don’t have to copy the backup to physical media first and then restore it.

This indicates a lesser chance of financial loss due to downtime for a company. Furthermore, the cloud provider is responsible for restoring the system to functioning order, so you no longer have to worry about it.

• Nil maintenance cost

You gain complete responsibility for providing quality services and a serious approach to the work accomplished when you choose a cloud provider that intends to work effectively with a large corporation.

This includes the scope of services supplied, the level of service, equipment reliability and modernity, a team of engineers with extensive expertise, professional planning, and implementation of projects of any complexity, and a personalized approach.

Following the transfer of infrastructure to the cloud, the cloud provider is responsible for the continuous and correct operation of services and equipment, as well as security and a variety of other factors.

The cloud provider also monitors equipment and networks on a constant basis, provides round-the-clock technical help, prepares backups, and handles a variety of other jobs, allowing the client to focus on their primary business.

• Pay-As-You-Go

The pay-as-you-go business model of the Cloud allows businesses to save a lot of money. Essentially, whether it’s email, storage, or server space, organizations may cease paying for underutilized resources, postpone purchases, and check out alternatives before committing to anything.

The business world has begun to move at breakneck speed since the advent of the Internet.

Small and medium-sized business owners have struggled to keep up with the pace and adapt to new technologies.

Businesses profit from IT Cloud services because they improve their operations and communication with clients while saving time and money.

• Decrease the support load of IT department

You can trust the provider to manage the IT infrastructure in the cloud if the details of your organization do not necessitate maintaining and paying a large crew of technical specialists.

This is more cost-effective than engaging a specialist to do these jobs.

Even if your organization is involved in software creation, your experts can do more difficult duties than cleaning dust coolers and restoring unintentionally erased data.

They will be able to concentrate entirely on the quality of the product being developed and the efficiency of each sprint.

• Enhance suppleness

One of the most significant components of a productive day is having access to files. Employees who are not physically connected to an internal server are frequently unable to access files stored on the server.

Cloud storage allows you to access data from wherever, whether you need to open a budget spreadsheet from your hotel room or a Photoshop file from the office.

As a result, your staff will have more flexibility in completing daily activities and will be more successful in circumstances where time is of the essence.

For example, cloud data storage allows you to deploy a product significantly faster because employees don’t have to waste time transferring files, they can make real-time updates, and a circumstance where a specific file is deleted is impossible.

 

Conclusion

Cloud security is essential to assess the security of your operating systems and applications running on cloud.

Ensuring ongoing security in the cloud requires not only equipping your cloud instances with defensive security controls, but also regularly assessing their ability to withstand the latest data breach threats.

Cigniti’s team validates whether your cloud deployment is secure and gives you actionable remediation information when it’s not complying with the standards. The team conducts proactive, real-world security tests using the same techniques employed by attackers seeking to breach your cloud-based systems and applications.

Cigniti’s cloud testing services offer end to end validation of cloud migration transformation and cloud native build with a shift left cloud first approach.

Cigniti’s cloud testing services help enterprises achieve compliance, secure data, reduce efforts by 40% through automated build and deployment validation and improve productivity by 35% with early alerts for any issues.

Get maximum value from your cloud transformation journey with Cigniti’s Cloud Testing services. Schedule a discussion with us to consult with our experienced team of cloud testing experts.

 

To learn more, and to listen to an audio transcript of this article,CLICK HERE

Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Selects Cigniti Technologies as a Strategic Quality Engineering Partner

Cigniti Technologies, a global leader in independent quality engineering and software testing services, is now a strategic Quality Engineering panel vendor for Toyota Motor Corporation Australia (TMCA), a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, to help accelerate its Quality & Digital transformation journey over the next 3 years.

Speaking on the occasion, Srikanth Chakkilam, CEO at Cigniti Technologies, said: “It is exciting and a proud moment for all of us at Cigniti to serve a leading automobile company. In this IOT enabled future of connected and autonomous vehicles, Technology will disrupt the entire automobile value chain. Software is going to greatly influence the future of the automobile industry. Digital transformation in the automobile industry will take place in the future across the value chain from the connected supply chain and manufacturing, to providing a virtual experience in the car buying process, Car Mobility as a Service, and autonomous driving. It is very important to ensure that high-quality software will enhance the customer experience.”

Access the full coverage here

Contact:
Midhun.pingili@cigniti.com

Quality Assurance for quality care: A healthcare perspective

Contributed by Cigniti Technologies

The rate of adoption of digital solutions in the healthcare sector has expedited in the last few months, courtesy the global pandemic, severe shortage of healthcare professionals, and high volume of incoming patients.

The healthcare institutes are compensating for the low doctor to patient ratio by deploying sophisticated digital health platforms and advanced medical devices to maintain the same level of quality while attending to those in need.

The pandemic has disrupted the normal ways of doing things, from how we engage in social events to how we get treated for a simple flu. Several healthcare organizations cancelled all the elective procedures and stopped attending non-critical patients amidst the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

In such a situation, embracing the path of digital transformation remained the only resolution to maintain the ideal equilibrium between the healthcare practitioners and the patients.

Despite the fact that the journey of healthcare on the path of digital maturity has been really slow, it has garnered the necessary speed due to the situational circumstances.

However, amidst all the chaos and the hastiness to achieve a ‘normalized’ version, it is important not to compromise on the quality of care, and that is where Quality Assurance comes into the picture.

Healthcare software solutions need to be thoroughly tested end to end from the multiple aspects of performance, functionality, security, privacy, and regulatory compliance.

A groundbreaking medical devices company leveraged end-to-end quality engineering services

An innovative medical device company, dedicated to making the lives of people with diabetes and similar conditions easier, offers a unique alternative to traditional insulin delivery methods for people with insulin-dependent diabetes through their proprietary insulin management system.

With the objective of simplifying and customizing delivery of complex drug regimens, the client is focused on innovating groundbreaking medical device technology and improving the overall quality of life. Since the technology and device developed is first-of-its-kind, a novel approach to test it was required. This involved multiple types of testing including the formal Design Verification (DV) testing using both Manual testing & Test Automation for various mobile applications & devices, as also the Medical devices.

They were looking for an organization that could provide a robust framework for integrating software, mobile devices, and medical devices. As the devices were based on the emerging technologies, they lacked test processes and artifacts. They also required certification tests to be conducted to ensure that their device is compliant with the standard protocols and interfaces.

The client chose Cigniti for our deep experience in the emerging technologies and in executing end-to-end mobile application testing to ascertain seamless performance across multiple devices.

The Cigniti team automated the end-to-end testing environment utilizing our Robotics-assisted test automation solutions. We implemented a shift-left strategy and utilized in-sprint test automation for testing the functionality and monitoring the performance and security of the application across devices. We set up a robust test environment to conduct end-to-end testing of the mobile apps, insulin administration devices, simulators, etc.

We implemented QA best practices and process framework across STLC to streamline the testing processes and ensure delivery of continuously high-quality products for the client. Our precision regression testing approach drastically reduced testing time by more than 50% and accelerated time-to-market.

Read the complete success story.

To reach out to our healthcare and lifesciences software testing experts, schedule a discussion with us today.

How testing IP can offer desired business outcomes in digital transformation

Contributed by Cigniti

Digital transformation is an ongoing journey. It is an initiative in which an organization evolves its business processes, business models, and organizational culture to adapt with a digital-first mindset.

Digital transformation is about continuous learning and applying the lessons for continuous improvement. What used to be a slow and steady journey of constant feedback and evolution, has turned into frenzy with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, in response to the changing competitive, regulatory, and consumer landscape, organizations are employing a band aid approach to digitization, leading to short-sighted solutions and failed transformation efforts.

The average digital transformation stands a 45 percent chance of delivering less profit than expected, suggested a McKinsey research.

Diego Lo Giudice, VP & Principal Analyst at Forrester says –

“There’s a connection between the different transformations and digital excellence. For example, what is it that makes a digital transformation successful? It’s software, and it’s the way you build, deliver, deploy, test and do all that to the software. There’s a need for excellence, which we haven’t fully mastered yet. Today, many are just scratching the surface in terms of the advanced practices of Agile and DevOps.

There are three aspects to digital transformation that Diego suggests:

  • Businesses must master digital to stay in business
  • Software powers the digital experience
  • Software execution excellence equals business execution excellence

These three inter-laced aspects of digital transformation points to the necessity to employ mature software testing processes to test more, test better, test faster, and test smarter.

The key to successful digital transformation is continuous testing that leverages next-gen smart automation technologies to deliver quality at speed in every release.

IP-led testing services

Kalyana Rao Konda, President at Cigniti Technologies, elaborates on the key components that organizations must master to successfully make the digital transformation effective –

“When it comes to the role of testing in the context of digital transformation we have to approach it from two different aspects – one is the skill set and another one is the mind set. As more and more organizations are moving towards digital transformation, the aspects of early testing and utilizing test automation in an optimum manner are very key components.

BlueSwanTM – the next-gen software testing platform

BlueSwanTM, the next-gen proprietary software testing platform developed by Cigniti, is a composite suite of varied testing frameworks in which each platform is tailored to serve a range of challenges that organizations might face. It aligns the organizational goals with the prevalent trends, assures optimal performance of your chosen framework through continuous QA, and accelerates the migration process with its intelligent proprietary tools. It fortifies our IP-led software testing services approach along with the Cigniti 4.0 services and domain-centric approach for offering world-class testing services to business across the different verticals.

Cigniti & Forrester are coming together for our upcoming webinar on “Delivering business outcomes in Digital Transformation initiatives leveraging Testing IP”. Register to save your spot and listen to the two industry leaders offer a detailed understanding on the utilization of testing IP to achieve digital excellence.

Read the complete blog here.

The need for Next-gen technologies in the BFS sector

Contributed by Cigniti

With user experience as the central purpose of the transformation, the BFS industry is gearing up and accelerating the digitization of their core operational activities.

As per a report, 75 to 80 percent of transactional operations (e.g., general accounting operations, payments processing) and up to 40 percent of more strategic activities (e.g., financial controlling and reporting, financial planning and analysis, treasury) can be automated. The BFS digital transformation is being propelled by the introduction of next-generation technologies including Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big data & Analytics, and Smart contracts.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the sector to take immediate measures for ensuring that everything is running smoothly, the transformation is still a high priority and is expected to be addressed as soon as the situation normalizes.

The Everest Group, in their recent article about the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the BFS sector, suggested, “As an immediate response to the current situation, designing and executing customer assistance programs should be the top priority for BFS firms. In the medium term, the firms’ focus should gradually shift to modernization of legacy systems that slowed down banks’ agility and ability to respond to this crisis. Post COVID-19, BFS firms will need to reimagine their products, pricing, and channel strategies to fulfill evolved customers’ expectations.”

The next-gen technologies coupled with DevTestOps and Quality Engineering practices enable the industry to deliver quality services at speed. We talked about the integration of banking and financial services sector with these advanced technologies for leading them on the road of innovation, productivity, and user-centricity in our new blog. Read it here.

In our very first Virtual Round Table Conference, we have gathered four eminent industry leaders who will talk about how exactly the next-gen technologies help the BFS sector realize quality at speed. Join Ritesh Jain (COO, CTO, Former Head of Digital Technology at HSBC), Dr. David A. Bishop (CEO & Founder at Agile Worx), Avik Ganguly (Director of Engineering, DevOps, & Quality at London Stock Exchange), and Nanda Padmaraju (Senior Vice President at Cigniti Technologies) as they engage in an insightful discussion about the adoption of next-gen technologies in the Banking and Financial Services sector. Register for the virtual conference now to get your free access.

Implementing Test Automation, the right way.

Contributed by Cigniti Technologies

The most sought-after outcome that organizations are looking for is quality at high speed. This outcome has become more of a necessity with the ever-changing market dynamics leading to fiercer competition and shortened customers lifecycle. Automation presents a practical as well as a viable way of fulfilling this dual need for quality and speed. There are several promising benefits of automating your tests and overall software development life cycle, including accelerated time-to-market, higher productivity, reduced costs, and better efficiency. However, it is important to get the implementation of test automation right for reaping these benefits. As a matter of fact, more organizations have failed than succeeded in their test automation efforts.

Before you take the plunge in your organization, you should follow these best practices to ensure a successful test automation implementation:

Begin with why

When test automation is supposed to bring all those benefits of shorter release cycles and better efficiency, why do organizations fail at reaping them? Wasn’t test automation supposed to be the ultimate cure-all elixir for the time-consuming and expensive manual testing – a magic potion to heal all the testing issues?

The answer to these questions is both Yes and No.

Yes, test automation is supposed to empower your organizations to perform faster and quality deliveries at much lower costs. But no, it cannot fix what is already broken. This means, that if your manual test cases, test data, test suite, and test environment were incapable of performing the Quality Assurance part effectively, then automation will just reflect those incapabilities in a really fast pace.

Before you get your automation wagon into gear, it is necessary to take a step back and find out WHY do you want to automate, WHY do you need test automation, WHY would automating tests would be able to do what manual tests could not. Having clarity of vision and objectives for test automation will help you develop an effective plan that will deliver the outcomes that you are hoping for.

Then go on to what

When you figure out the why part, the next step is to learn the ‘What’ of test automation in your organization. Understand what is it in your testing processes that you want to automate. And, automating everything is not the solution.

Ideally, you should automate those tests that are highly repetitive and are required to run for multiple builds. Tests that need multiple data sets, have a low risk tolerance, are very demanding in terms of hardware and software configurations, and require a great deal of manual testing efforts make for the suitable candidates for automation.

Additionally, also determine the type of tests that you want to automate – whether it is only unit tests and GUI tests, or functionality tests and others. It is highly critical for test automation to be successful that you carefully prioritize the tests that need to be automated. Otherwise, you might end up with a really fast testing cycle with no substantial results.

Talk about how

The next logical step is to figure out how will you automate. Choosing the right tool for automation is as important as choosing the right tests. You should pick a tool that supports your existing technology and platforms. If the selected tool is something that performs the job with the greatest efficiency and your team is already familiar with it – nothing better than that. The tool should be rich in features while allowing the testing team to create automated tests easily. It should be able to create automated tests that are reusable and easy to maintain. The automated tests should not fail if there is a change in the application’s UI.

Cigniti’s test automation methodology (and team) is well accustomed to Agile and DevOps environments ensuring consistent ROI during the entire software development lifecycle. Our test automation experts implement automated test suites with a focus on long term utilization of the suites.

Building a truly Agile enterprise with QA

Contributed by Cigniti Technologies.

The clarion call to embrace digital transformation is accelerating the pace of software development. Development teams are under pressure to deliver software quickly in response to increasing customer demand. However, going to the market as a first-mover can backfire if your software is not quality-compliant. In a technology-driven world where customer experiences have become the final differentiator in staying competitive, QA is integral to the development pipeline. If your enterprise is not delivering digital experiences of high quality, you risk becoming alienated from the end-users. Further, your market reputation can be damaged and market share lost should your software turn out to be bug-infested. Surprisingly, to beat the competition, enterprises often resort to transforming their software development and delivery processes without prioritizing software quality assurance.

As a result, QA teams are often stuck with ineffective and legacy solutions that are part of the waterfall model. So, as long as enterprises use the waterfall model, their digital transformation journey is bound to remain incomplete. This is due to the fact that in the traditional software development process where software QA testing is done at the end of development and integration, there can be issues galore. The reasons for the issues to remain entrenched in the software are as follows:

  • In the waterfall model of quality assurance and testing, bugs often remain unidentified due to the constraints of manual testing.
  • Since manual testing is taxing for the software quality assurance services, especially concerning repeated regressive testing, testers can falter in testing every piece of code.
  • The scope of testing gets reduced, especially when it comes to testing the code on a slew of platforms, browsers, devices, and networks.
  • In case any bugs are identified, the cost and time required for their removal can be huge. This is because the process would then entail unscrambling the integrated software suite to reach the right bug-infested unit.

To overcome the inadequacies of the waterfall model, enterprises should adopt the agile testing approach. In this, the software development process is shifted left wherein QA is conducted alongside development and not afterward. Let us understand the process better and find out as to what it takes to build a truly agile enterprise with QA.

What is the agile testing approach?

In agile, enterprises aim at becoming robust and flexible to prepare for unexpected events, challenges, or even opportunities. It incorporates policies and procedures that are focused on driving speed and transformation. This way enterprises can achieve continuous delivery of quality software products and services, quickly and consistently.

Any agile testing service has automation at its core. It helps testers by allowing a test automation suite to conduct repetitive tests saving time and cost in the process. Moreover, since the test automation suite can run tests under various test conditions for any number of times, the chances of identifying bugs are significantly high. Besides, running test automation can release manual testers to be deployed for other critical jobs.

How to build a truly agile enterprise

Agile can truly be transformational, provided it follows certain procedures. Let us discuss them in some detail.

Involvement of stakeholders: Since every organization follows a typical ‘work culture,’ which may not be congruent to the agile scheme of things, stakeholders must be taken into confidence. This is important as status quoist working in silos may challenge any change. This can create roadblocks for initiating the change. To overcome such a situation, the management should articulate a clear vision and enable the organization’s culture to be aligned with the vision.

Break the silos: This is a follow-up to the entrenched ‘culture’ where people working in departments or processes (read silos) may not follow a similar process across the organization. The agile process should take explicit steps to get rid of such silos and streamline the overall working environment. This entails better communication that is aligned with the vision of the organization.

Communication at the heart of scrums: In agile methodology, teams are supposed to follow processes that are transparent. To achieve the same, purposeful communication should be established across the scrum-led value chain.

Responding to change: Agile entails quick response to changes instead of following a fixed plan. The changes can come from customers’ feedback, the advent of new technologies, growing competition, or within the organization. So, in a ‘perform or perish’ landscape, agile will allow your enterprise to remain adaptable, sustainable, and result-oriented.

Conclusion

Agile has become a critical requirement for enterprises to remain competitive and cost-effective. It is arguably the way forward to address the changes that are driven by technology and customer preferences. QA has become the ultimate lynchpin upon which enterprises can ride their way to success or oblivion depending on the efficacy of their agile transformation.

Why independent software testing is the best way to approach Quality Assurance

Contributed by Cigniti Technologies.

Today, everything boils down to customer satisfaction. The technological advancements taking place across the industries are being undertaken to deliver enriched customer experiences and improve the user satisfaction ratio. Customer satisfaction, in today’s market dynamics, rely on three key factors – speed of delivery, cost effectiveness, and, most importantly, quality. If the customers are able to derive value from a product/service, their satisfaction levels will rise proportionally.

During 2019-2023, the global market of software testing services is expected to grow by USD 29.84 billion, accelerating at a CAGR of over 12%. Software companies are trying to break away from the legacy processes and methodologies as well as the old-school approach toward software development, where QA was placed at the bottom of the priority scale.

For companies to build quality offerings, they need time, which they do not have in spare due to fierce market competition. In order to align both quality as well as delivery speed, automation becomes the key. Consequently, the test automation services market is also growing exponentially along the software testing services. In fact, software test automation is one of the key reasons for the rising market share. However, neither automation nor quality comes cheap.

Hosting a test environment, maintaining test tools and test cases, developing the infrastructure is all too cumbersome and cost-intensive. Independent software testing services prove to be a boon here. Partnering with an external QA vendor for Independent software testing services allow you to leverage the advantage of a dedicated testing team without the challenges of maintaining such a team. Let us discuss why independent software testing is the best way to approach Quality Assurance:

Quality of testing

The developers who have written a code are often unable to look at it objectively, which means that there is a high chance that they will miss a critical bug. An independent testing team brings an unbiased and impartial view to software testing, which helps in maximum defect detection and minimum defect leakage to the production. This is all about bringing in a fresh perspective and a new outlook toward assessing a software for errors and glitches. More the number of defects found and resolved, higher the quality of the final product and better the performance.

Less effort, more focus

Traditionally, developers were expected to write, integrate, as well as test a code. This would lead to burnout, and therefore subpar quality of codes and a lot of defects in production. With an independent testing team to back them up, developers can center their focus entirely on writing an effective code while the hired testers will bear the responsibility of finding the bugs. Testers also come with knowledge of industry standards and compliance, which results in an end-product that is developed following the best practices.

Cost effectiveness

An independent testing services company has its own set of the required testing infrastructure. This removes the need for businesses to set up the hardware or software required for testing or to maintain testing practices, test environments, and tools. Also, as there is minimum defect leakage into production, the iterations for each software development cycle is decreased. All of this collectively results in reduction of overall costs.

Faster releases

With a separate testing team taking care of the quality aspect, development and testing can occur in parallel with each other. The automation expertise of the independent software testing services provider adds to the ability of delivering a quality software in shorter turnaround time. A dedicated testing team becomes key to ensuring success of such contemporary software development methodologies such as Agile and DevOps.

In Conclusion

As per Forrester, “much of the recent growth in outsourced application services has been fueled by customers engaging independent testing services where the development provider is separate from the provider performing the testing.” Independent pure-play software testing providers have all their resources dedicated toward quality assurance. They have all the required tools, infrastructure, processes, and resources, along with the expertise and experience.