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Displaying articles for: June 2011

World Quality: In the Instant-on software world, Quality is still “job one”

The more things change, the more they stay the same – On June 15th in the beautiful city of Paris, France, Cap Gemini along with Sogeti and HP announced the availability of the third annual World Quality Report.


The World Quality report is laser focused on the state of application quality and testing practices across multiple industries and geographies. It reveals most organizations (85%) recognize their application portfolios need rationalization and modernization, and a renewed commitment to quality.  In fact, the report reveals 42% of companies plan to increase their budget for application quality assurance (QA) and testing in the next year.


You may be asking, "why is this interesting news given the focus today on moving faster--can you say “Agile”?-- decomposing application silos, harnessing the social network and embracing the cloud?"   The reality proposed by the World Quality Report is that in the face of accelerating change, Quality is and will continue to play an increasable important role.  All the innovation and modernization in the world doesn’t amount to a bag of peanuts if the resulting software doesn't work.


I had the pleasure of being in the audience during the Cap Gemini launch of the 2011 World Quality report in their breakout session at HP Discover last week.  The speakers engaged the audience by asking intriguing questions and sharing bags of peanuts when the right answer was provided (a nice audience attention technique for a late afternoon presentation)


Some of the eye opening and stomach filling data points presented included:


42% of the companies surveyed indicated they would increase their Quality Assurance budgets but on the flip side, only 4% of those surveyed had operational Testing Centers of Excellence (TCOE).


This data point seems to me to indicate a major opportunity to optimize budget spend by consolidating and standardizing best practices and processes for Quality and testing. 


Emerging economies are now the fastest adopters of cloud infrastructure.


Over a third of Chinese companies (37%) plan to migrate between 11-25% of their applications to the cloud in the next year with a further 40% making arrangements to host between 26-50%.  In contrast, 24% of companies in the North America and 18% of Western and Northern European companies indicate they still have no interest in migrating their applications to the cloud.


In parallel, emerging economies are also now investing more in quality. 


In the last year, 83% of Chinese companies and 56% of Brazilian companies substantially increased their QA investment, contrasting with relatively steady budgets in North America and Europe.


It’s interesting to think if these two patterns are related.   The impact of poor quality in the cloud is amplified in that it impacts all consumers and potentially adjacent applications, especially if in the area of Application Security as an aspect of Quality.  And, poor quality in the cloud for service providers can quickly drive an organization to be a Twitter trending topic, not good for customer satisfaction and shareholder confidence.


In general, the move to cloud and Agile methodologies are increasing the need for modernizing and investing Quality and testing. 


The report highlights that as organizations adopt agile delivery methods as part of their application quality assurance, the percentage of world-wide companies that are moving at least some of their IT systems to the cloud have grown to 81%. The emergence of new technologies such as cloud-based services is also fuelling the need for stringent testing and QA as application security becomes vital for quality and mitigating risk.


And another interesting data point shared at the breakout that caught my attention was that in the Financial services vertical, 11% of those surveyed are suggesting that more than half of their IT systems will be in the cloud by 2012. 


The report and the data point above both highlight the growing importance of Application Security as a core aspect of quality.  Much of this is being driven out of the move of mission critical applications to cloud and hybrid delivery models and Web 2.0/Internet application styles.  The report indicates that over a quarter (27%) of large organizations (5,000+ employees), are putting in place dedicated information security (IS) teams to design and test security procedures and requirements and ensure that confidential and sensitive information is protected from access or damage. In addition, testing in the cloud means a new generation of testers will need to manage the entire portfolio of IT services rather than just verifying the quality of individual systems.


Composite application testing and application security will become front and center and application security and QA teams will have to cross the chasm and work well together.  (This was another bag of peanut producing dialog in the breakout session)  The good news is that the software testing capabilities for Application Security in the form of software solutions are actually a bit ahead of the organizational cultural willingness to adopt them.


Wrapping up my summary of this report – the report is a rich set of insights into the dynamics, trends and implications for World-wide organizations looking to modernize their applications and ensure they work, perform and are secure in the dynamic, fast changing world of Cloud, composite application architecture, distributed teams, security threats, mobile, and Agile and iterative methodologies.  It’s definitely worth a read by anyone managing testing and QA teams and looking to refine their strategies, garner greater support, raise visibility and grow investment.


Download the report here.

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Guest post by Mark Ford, Sr. Test Environment Administrator


Imagine if you could know which requirements in your next release were hit with the most lines of code changes.  Imagine if you knew which defects in your next delivery resulted in the most rework.  Imagine if you could automatically be alerted to key business functions that were modified outside of any known requirement or defect?  You would have an even better idea of where to focus your testing efforts wouldn’t you?  Well you won’t have to imagine much longer with the new Application Lifecycle Intelligence (ALI) add-in for HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).

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About the Author(s)
  • Brian is a Product Marketing Manager for Application Development Management Solutions with and previously for Project and Application Portfolio Management, with extensive experience in presales and implementation roles.
  • I have more than 12 years in IT, with over 10 years working with the HP Quality Management suite of tools—seven as a Professional Services consultant for Mercury/HP. Additionally, I am the Regional Practice Lead for the Quality Management Strategy and Solutions organization which helps drive inovation in the areas of Best Practices and constancy of delivery.
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • Kelly has over 20 years experience with enterprise systems and software in individual contributor and manager roles across product management, business development and product marketing. A majority of my focus has been in areas directly related to applications spanning from developer environments, enterprise Java, integration middleware, SOA infrastructure, SOA Governance and now application lifecycle management. Kelly has a B.S. in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and an MBA from the University of Santa Clara.
  • Malcolm is a functional architect, focusing on best practices and methodologies across the software development lifecycle.
  • Michael Deady is a Pr. Consultant & Solution Architect for HP Professional Service and HP's ALM Evangelist for IT Experts Community. He specializes in software development, testing, and security. He also loves science fiction movies and anything to do with Texas.
  • Backed up with over 20 years of IT experience ranging from Application Development, QA, Product Management and Product Marketing, Ofer Spiegel has acquired deep insight into the intricacies of Enterprise IT and its versatile challenges.
  • HP IT Distinguished Technologist. Tooling HP's R&D and IT for product development processes and tools.
  • 36-year HP employee that writes technical information for HP Software Customers.
  • WW Sr Product Marketing Manager for HP ITPS VP of Apps & HP Load Runner
  • Areas of expertise include project/portfolio management, software education and application lifecycle management
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