Improving the customer experience is the number one requirement for organizations but almost half of businesses are not testing the real user experience
- Business focused on product usability, while frustrated with speed of app development
- IT leaders focused on reducing testing times, and feel held back by budgets, fragmented technology and access to skills
London, UK and Boulder, Colorado: Improving the customer experience is the number one goal for organizations when planning and orchestrating their software strategy. However, as far as testing practices are concerned, 47% of development teams on average across businesses are not testing the real user experience.
This is according to research released today from Eggplant, the customer experience optimization specialist. The study also highlights a gap between IT and business leaders thinking when it comes to testing strategy.
The commissioned study, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Eggplant, found that almost half (49%) of organizations rated improving the customer experience as their top priority, with ensuring compliance, risk reduction and improve security (47%) and revenue growth (46%) making up the top three. Other organizational objectives included; business process efficiency (46%), winning new customers (45%), gaining competitive advantage (40%) and employee productivity (39%).
As a result of the desire for organizations to achieve superior customer experiences, speed and quality have become essential in application delivery. However, the study also found that there is much room for improvement, especially when ensuring that quality is maintained. Forty-six percent scored the speed of testing as “average,” “fair,” or “poor,” and 41% say the same about the speed of their overall application development. Over a third (36%) also rated the quality of code in development (for testing) as “average” or worse.
In March 2019, Eggplant commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the state of continuous testing and test automation within application development at large organizations, ranging from 1,000 to over 20,000 employees. The survey of 310 IT and business leaders in the US, Europe and UK revealed that while the ambition is to move towards continuous testing to increase levels of automation, they are currently lagging in their capabilities to do so. However, firms that are evolving toward continuous delivery model are transforming testing practices as part of this shift to continuous testing. On average, over half of application development teams are implementing continuous testing (52%), and nearly half (49%) apply automated functional testing.
The study found that testing capabilities are being hindered by several major challenges. The biggest, highlighted by nearly a third of firms (32%), was budget pressure stifling testing innovation. Over a quarter (26%) of firms pointed to legacy technology that is fragmented and difficult to automate, while getting the right technical skills was the third highest challenge cited by firms while other major issues included getting the right domain skills and access to reliable test environments.
While 47% of teams on average are exploring an intelligent approach to AI usage, the research indicates large enterprises are still encumbered with traditional approaches, with 51% of application development teams still applying manual functional testing.
Quotes and Commentary
“To accelerate digital transformation, business leaders recognize that delivering the best customer experiences hinges on the quality of their software,” said Dr. John Bates, CEO of Eggplant. “Yet the transformation of testing is facing several hurdles as firms move towards continuous, AI-enabled test automation, including budget pressure, legacy technology being difficult to automate, and lack of the necessary skills. Businesses are having to do more with less, and using AI brings the significance of business testing back into focus, making companies smarter about what needs to be tested.”
“IT app development and delivery teams must fully embrace a more Agile, DevOps, continuous and automated approach to software delivery. As a core element of this transformation there needs to be some dramatic changes in testing approaches to enable software delivery at speed without compromising quality,” John Bates, CEO Eggplant.
According to the Forrester study, “A drastic change in the approach to testing requires alignment on testing strategy across the business and IT teams. While there is agreement on the need to focus on product performance and functional quality, business leaders and IT teams have different priorities regarding other desired outcomes for testing strategy,”
The study also states “Businesses must quickly evolve their testing practices. While change requires training, re-skilling, and adopting new practices, continuous intelligent testing implies that most need to turn to technology like AI and machine learning, and products that embed this technology, to help them achieve continuous intelligent test automation.”
Download a full copy of the Forrester study, here.