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.

How digital transformation services can help your enterprise to streak ahead

Contributed by Cigniti Technologies.

The world is moving rapidly by riding on the cutting-edge digital technologies, namely, IoT, SMAC, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, among others. Businesses are developing products or services with interfaces spread across devices, operating systems, browsers, and networks. This has necessitated their legacy systems to be updated by engaging digital transformation services.

The dynamics of market is increasingly being led by changing customer preferences reflected in new needs, habits, and ways of consuming and communicating. Digital transformation allows enterprises to derive outcomes such as increased productivity, expanded consumer base, streamlined workflows, reduced operational costs, enhanced quality products or services, and better ROI, among others.

Since consumers leverage digital technologies to perform a slew of tasks, the amount of data generated is huge. Analyzing this data and deriving business-oriented insights can be a challenge unless, of course, the business has the technology and resources. Digital transformation services can help enterprises in enhancing their customer interface. For example, by transforming their legacy systems, the utility services providers have been able to improve their efficiency significantly. As a result, the consumers do not need to queue up outside the offices of such companies for doing routine transactions. They can simply log onto the portal or app provided by such companies and transact.

With new avenues of interaction such as social media and mobile, customers want their interactions with a company to be consistent across avenues. This requires companies to take an omnichannel approach to cater to their customers. If they do not fall in line, they risk creating customer dissatisfaction and losing them. Again, to cite an example, customers want to place an order as per convenience and want it delivered through their preferred channel. So, unless the company has the technology and resources to address the demand, its competitiveness can go for a toss. Let us discuss how digital business transformation can help businesses to streak ahead in the competition.

Benefits of digital transformation solutions

The proliferation of digital technologies like smartphones and computers, and the ubiquity of the internet, have forced businesses to go digital. While many companies have drawn an elaborate digital transformation strategy to convert their systems, workflows, and deliverables, scores of them remain outside the ambit. Many companies are still wary of undertaking digital transformation implementation due to the cost and challenges involved. However, overcoming them is critical for them to stay competitive.

# Better customer experience: The customers of today have become increasingly choosy, thanks to the plethora of products and services available in the market. Customers are wont to choose products, which are not only qualitatively superior but offer better experiences as well. When it comes to the customer experience, the notable elements include aesthetics, performance, security, usability, responsiveness, and prompt complaint resolution. The last part is often crucial in differentiating between two products of similar features.

# Better analytics: Data have become the most valuable asset for an enterprise. These can help an enterprise to receive deep insights into various aspects of its processes. Also, with big data coming into play, businesses should be prepared to leverage the data for achieving success. A successful digital business transformation helps companies to collate data from customer interactions and transform them into a structured form. Thereafter, they can be analyzed to develop insights, identify outliers, and optimize to deliver better customer experiences.

# Faster time to market: Today, customers generally choose products that hit the market first. The early-bird approach of customers has necessitated companies to embrace digital transformation and streamline their workflows. This involves adopting Agile and DevOps methodologies to ensure continuous integration and delivery. As products go through a faster development, testing, and delivery pipeline, customers can receive the products early.

# Better security features: Security has assumed a critical significance in the success of a product in the market. This is due to the fact that the digital products of today have interfaces with different device platforms and third-party software, thereby creating vulnerabilities. These can be exploited by cybercriminals by introducing malware, trojans, and viruses to steal data and information. Thus, the growing menace of cybercriminals to commit data theft has brought the element of security into sharp focus.

Besides, companies need to adhere to international security protocols to garner credibility and escape censure. Hence, the need to imbibe DevSecOps in the workflows has become all the more important. In this approach, security is to be treated as an integral aspect of the workflow across departments. Hence, by implementing digital transformation solutions, companies can help to identify and address the built-in vulnerabilities of a product.

# Reduce operating costs: The digitization of businesses can streamline the workflows thereby increasing its efficiency. With procedural bottlenecks including redundancies removed or diluted, businesses can minimize their operating costs. This can significantly improve the revenue stream and make the company competitive.

# Brand enhancement: With better quality products or services delivered by the company, its brand awareness in the market increases vis-a-vis its competitors. For example, the brands or products having the biggest market share are the ones that are spoken about by the customers. This is mostly due to their superior quality brought about by innovation and digital transformation.

Conclusion

The future of IT means organizations should be nimble enough to quickly adopt the technologies and methodologies of the day. They must be agile and responsive to the customers’ needs and offer products or services that are superior and secure. The need for organizations to embrace digital transformation has become critical to stay competitive.