Can Digital Testing Strategies Really Help Implement Quality Engineering?

digital quality assurance testing

Market research reports have been defining and redefining the concept of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) for enterprises. At the same time, these reports have also been emphasizing on the security aspects associated with the Enterprise Applications that are and in the near future will determine the impact of BYOD policies across an organization. Digital QA / Digital Quality Assurance and Testing is seen as a catalyst to power the implementation and effectiveness of Enterprise Applications for businesses. The new-age digital innovations and the unstoppable popularity of smart gadgets like smart phones, tablets, robotics, and new operating systems (OS) is making digital testing and digital QA a much more critical mandate.

A research report by Mckinsey states that companies are expecting digital initiatives to deliver annual growth and cost-effectiveness of almost 5-10% or more in the coming 3 to 5 years. Enterprises are making substantial investments in various enterprise-level digital initiatives with a key business objective to strengthen their customer experience strategy, and are also expecting equally exciting ROI.

As software testing and industry experts validate, there is no definite way of testing the effectiveness and seamless functioning of digital enterprises. It is an evolving pattern that is inventive and progressive at the same time. A digital enterprise mandates a new but proven strategy of quality assurance that is more focused on the outcome and not just enables the digital transformation, but accelerates the business growth. Whether born digital or loaded with redundant legacy systems, every organization today is facing a pressing need to embrace digital quality assurance to transform digitally.

Solutions ensuring Digital Assurance are enabling enterprises to unlock the value of digital economy and enhance customer experience. Besides ensuring better customer experience, it also facilitates seamless operations of various enterprise level applications, making them secure for desired performance and expected convergence across the digital platform.

While we are experiencing an absolute paradigm shift for both businesses and IT operations, the digital race is all about bringing in more creativity while adopting digital technologies and staying competitive. The deadly nexus between Social Media-Analytics-Mobile-Cloud (SMAC) and Internet of Things (IoT) & Smart devices have proven to be the key enablers for Digital Transformation. These are the major tools that are helping enterprises to get closer to the customers, empower employees, and transform business processes. No industry can escape this change.

This is it – the big Change


Quality Engineering and Assurance helps the overall software development process with required testing support across various hardware and software. It ensures that testing begins way ahead in the overall SDLC, ensuring maximum test coverage and quality.

Digital Assurance helps CEOs & CXOs assess their enterprise for digital readiness, draw a roadmap for transformation, and ensure complete business assurance.

Every organization is today working towards translating Digital Transformation into commercial success. This specifically needs the right digital skills and proven expertise to assure digital effectiveness across the enterprise. What is the key to achieve this?

A strategic and result-oriented approach that automates and integrates the entire landscape for seamless functioning.

Can Digital Testing strategies really help implement Quality Engineering?

A comprehensive Digital Assurance & Testing strategy provides scalable and reusable assets and enablers for improving the overall efficiency of Quality Assurance and Testing processes. Suggested below are some key aspects that an experienced testing partner considers while strategizing a QA approach for digital enterprises.

  • Omni-Channel Assurance:

It is an approach that takes into account a test strategy for all the channels, on the basis of the patterns of user interactions. Digital Assurance is expected to provide consistent experience across all channels of user interaction – physical as well as virtual. The user must not just feel connected, but also have an overall cohesive experience.

Testing should prominently focus on functional testing across various channels of interactions. Test environments can be virtualized to create an ecosystem for testing, which can be an effective approach to confirm a particular behaviour/outcome. The two integral aspects of Omni-Channel Assurance are:

  1. Various devices: The application should be tested across all kind of devices, such as tablets, mobiles, wearable devices, web, etc., where every platform/device should provide consistent experience. This can be ensured by implementing Test Automation across devices, for continuous integration as well.
  2. Various platforms: Compatibility across various browsers and operating systems is a must for connected and desired consumer experience. Compatibility testing ensures this and brings seamless experience.
  • Widespread User base:

Internet connectivity and Internet user density is increasing across the globe, where it is estimated that over 50% of the global population has access to Internet. This means, every user anywhere and everywhere should experience the same functionalities. Digital Assurance and comprehensive testing strategies ensure both localization and globalization tests for seamless customer experience.

  • Security Assurance:

With data sensitive applications being hosted across multiple platforms, it is important to test them to check the possible risks and ensure resilience during load situations. Security Assurance and testing measures risks and vulnerabilities of a platform and tests the system for all possible loads/hacks. Particularly, it focuses on application profiling, authentication, encryption algorithms, and data validation.

  • Application Lifecycle automation / Business process automation:

Enterprises are looking at gaining a competitive edge by building quality applications and a robust digital platform for consumers/employees. However, the overall ecosystem is getting complex due to constant innovations, and the traditional ways of testing are getting obsolete. Test Automation for ensuring high velocity and speed to market is coming up effectively and enterprises are increasingly embracing it for minimal glitches.

Business process automation works massively to gain competitive edge, as it helps organizations to scale up effectively with lowered costs and minimal efforts. With start-ups springing up every day, experts claim that process automation can improve the cost performance by almost 90% across various function within an organization.

Digitization/Digital Transformation as they say has less to do to technology, but more with the overall approach. Digital enterprises with a thorough Quality Engineering strategy are better equipped to reinvent their overall business processes and bring agility in their approach.

At Gallop we take pride in building enterprises for the future. We bring about digital transformations by establishing comprehensive testing across the organization’s digital value chain that comprises of digital marketing, web portals, web content, digital assets, web analytics, and the overall digital ecosystem – Cloud, Mobility, Big Data, and Smart devices. Connect with our Thought Leaders in the Digital QA & Testing space for a complete QA strategy and build your enterprise for the Next-Gen.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

The Need of Test Transformation in the Financial Domain

The Need of Test Transformation in the Financial Domain

The Great Recession had darkened the global economy in the first half of 1900s, which took a while to recover. The last decade has witnessed some phenomenal changes in the financial domain across the globe and has created remarkable opportunities not just for the strong economies of the world, but also for the emerging ones. Nevertheless, along with opportunities it has equally posed challenges.

To begin with, let’s consider the challenges & opportunities created by the Internet and Mobile revolution.

Today, imagining a day or week without online payments / transactions can give a sinking feeling to every customer / user existing and operating in this fizzing global economic environment. The financial services domain has gone through an enormous amount of digitization. It has been further triggered by the advent and proliferation of various mobile devices and mobility services.

The growing mobile penetration and increasing density has resulted in a paradigm shift for the financial services sector. Technology innovation and varying customer expectations has positively impacted the massive progress experienced by the sector.

A study by IDC on the financial applications software market estimates that it will reach $24.2 billion by 2019. Whether it is an online / mobile interface for a retail bank or an e-wallet transaction, financial services govern every aspect of our existence.

A report by Allied Market Research states that the global mobile wallet market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 127.5% from 2012 to 2020. The key growth driver for this is, effectively managing customer expectations and experience.

Additionally, a recent report released by International Trade Administration mentions that the global Financial Technology (FinTech) activity has increased considerably in the last 2 years and is creating ripples globally. The fundamental concept is to merge financial services with technology to refurbish the financial services domain for cost effectiveness and raising the quality index

The underlying purpose is to create a much more consistent and secure financial domain for the consumers and economy at large. Incidentally, most of the ventures in this segment are predominantly start-ups. Further, Goldman Sachs estimates that $660 billion in revenue could migrate from traditional financial services to FinTech payments, crowd funding, wealth management and lending.

This implies that the sector is creating waves of opportunities, resulting in a pressing need for a robust back-end strategy and IT back-up to manage several aspects pertaining to secure and user-friendly interface. Software testing for super performance is the need of the hour and has been witnessing a surge.

Investing time & resources in devising a Testing strategy is like investing every day for assured returns in the long run and optimistically in the short run.

Specifically speaking, testing transformation means a set of processes and practices followed to attain the defined business objectives. The core purpose is to constantly foster an environment that improves processes and enhances quality standards for its stakeholders. So, the constant focus is on maintaining and improving quality standards along with developing this sense amongst every person within the system / organization.

Nevertheless, the standards of quality may differ across organizations and industry domains. It can be defined or will primarily depend on the organization’s overall vision and goals. Testing transformation process involves changes at various levels in an organization, as it aligns with the culture, technology, processes and overall performance expectations.

Some much needed investments / prerequisites for implementing Test transformation are:

  • Creating a Center of Excellence (CoE)
  • Test Data Management
  • QA practices & standards
  • Test Automation methodologies
  • Standardized Testing strategies

There are immense benefits of a scrupulous testing transformation strategy. Having a testing transformation strategy in place:

  • Results in cost effectiveness
  • Helps attain higher quality standards and faster time to market
  • Establishes a robust testing framework for any kind of testing needs
  • Provides elaborate plans and benchmarks for defining business goals
  • Sets focus on key business areas

Testing transformation brings about a change in the way you evaluate your testing needs and overall plan the entire process. It endeavours to take your testing experience beyond the basic testing benefits. It brings about a cohesive approach towards delivering tangible results and takes quality to a higher level of optimization.

‘Business Assurance’ is the new ‘Quality Assurance’

Ensuring quality is the most rational way of ensuring business effectiveness; a constant endeavour to ensure performance and desired outcome confirms absolute commercial success. The term ‘Business Assurance’ signifies various factors, namely, Risk Assessment and Mitigation, Compliance Management, and Business Continuity Management.

All this precisely boils down to ensure that your business processes continue to work smoothly and securely with the required compliances.

The financial services sector is prone to a lot of security issues / lapses and stress in terms of delivering desired user experience from time to time. Testing Transformation determines an integrated approach by:

  • Rationalising costs and enhancing productivity of the testing function
  • Successfully establishing a Shift-Left approach that reinforces the constant involvement of testing across the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC)

This injects the need and importance of testing within the overall functioning of the organization and makes an external impact while delivering quality and secure interface for the customers. The word ‘testing transformation’ predominately emphasizes on delivering ‘next-generation’ or ‘phenomenal’ experience to the customers in this constantly evolving and steaming economy.

While Manual Testing still prevails, Performance testing and digital testing are gaining further ground. Considering the challenges in the financial services domain, it requires long-term efficiency that facilitates repeatability of tests and at the same time accelerates the speed with which the tests are executed.

Mentioned below are some logical steps that can revolutionize the contemporary testing platform and further strengthen the financial services domain.

A modernized testing framework with the required tools and methodologies provides:

  • Developers with feedback and ultimately empowers the Agile Development process
  • The testers a better environment to automate the process and align it with the application development
  • Testers the environment to build capabilities to execute Continuous & Regression tests
  • Better documentation by getting the Business Analysts involved in the testing process

Testing transformation comprises of a range of methodologies, processes, and accelerators, which subsequently speed up time-to-market by ensuring cost effectiveness.

This can be achieved by collaborating with a Testing partner who can enable your business and forecast future changes that would help businesses take much more informed decisions.

Connect and collaborate with Gallop’s ‘test transformation consultants’ to reap the benefits of transformation for your enterprise.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Stress Testing ERP systems for Operational Excellence

Stress Testing ERP systems for Operational Excellence

Organizations, or enterprises, are like ‘brick-and-mortar’ on wheels. They are in a constant state of work-in-progress. This requires various elements and functions of an enterprise to work seamlessly on a day-to-day basis, which ensures consistent growth with continuous enhancement. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), a business-management software helps bridge the gap between all the functions to set the organization into motion as an integrated system.


Today the relevance of ERP has gone beyond the manufacturing industry, from where it began. It is instrumental in integrating and automating various back office functions, namely IT, human resources, operations & various administrative services. This also inherently implies that any hiccups in the ERP software may lead to disruption in the functioning of the organisation.


An important question to bear in mind is what could be the best possible solution or preventive measure for implementing a seamless ERP system?


Experts suggest ‘Stress Testing’ or ‘Performance Testing’ before it goes LIVE, which often goes unnoticed while the implementation is taking place. The term ‘Stress Test’ holds more relevance in the context of critical software, for instance, Web interface for Retail banking or some critical software for an Airline.


The reason being that Stress Testing emphasises on robustness, readiness, and error handling capacity of a software. In essence, software that has been stress tested performs flawlessly even in business-critical situations where things are falling apart.


Following is a checklist that answers the question ‘Why Stress-Test’ and how?

  • Readiness check: Stress Testing, a software testing activity ensures that the chosen ERP solution is enterprise-compatible-ready. It is important to confirm that the software operates effectively in a real production environment. ERP testing is generally performed in isolated settings in fragmented subdivisions of the entire eco-system. It is critical to test it in real environment, where it performs under pressure and performs as expected.


  • Planned failure: It is important to plan the testing and segment it – specific use of the software, kind of transactions and determine the expected results. When you plan for failure to occur, you are ready to rectify and avoid similar errors in the future. Remember the adage – ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’?


  • Open Communication platform: An open communication environment for all users is crucial, as it will bring out actual feedback and lead to steps for resolving the same. Experts suggest that this could be done by assigning a (Stress Test) Manager to answer and record these questions for future reference.


  • Resemblance to Production: Considering it is critical to get actual-environment-performance from the software, it is advised to perform stress testing on a server that closely resembles your production server and not a server merely used during training period.


  • Planning the Network and required groundwork: Before you plan the stress test, it is important for the internal team to get a quick check of the required network and get the actual production environment in place for executing performance testing activities.


  • Dealing with External factors: Normally, the external or third party factors (if relevant) are skipped during the testing process. So, it is absolutely imperative to consider unique situations occurring due to external factors and incorporating them during the testing process. It would be difficult to do the same after the ERP system goes LIVE and could lead to waste of time and costs. This approach also gives the enterprise a holistic view of the ecosystem in which the software will operate in the future.


ERP Testing Ecosystem

As they say “A stitch in time saves nine’’


What if there is an absolute rush from the concerned stakeholders to go LIVE, which somewhere undermines the testing time and need?

Let’s understand the repercussions.


  • ‘We will fix it later’, does not make sense: It is important to understand how it works in the actual environment, as fixing it later can lead to exhaustive tons of rework and could incur costs.


  • Test run for the users: Users need to get a hands-on experience with the software, which they are probably going to operate on a day-to-day basis. If the software goes LIVE without any practise, the users will have to dive in without any required training or hand-holding. This could lead to problems in handling issues and unnecessary consumption of time.


  • Plan for the outcome: If you have no plan and testing done to reach the desired outcome, it will lead to hiccups during the implementation. So, it is recommended to reach the finish line before you even start the actual race!


  • Check the Checklist: It could be a checklist or a task list. It plays a crucial role in testing all the aspects of the ERP solution and save you during error-handling situations. A meticulous review of this list along with the internal team is crucial.

The ultimate solution for this to devise a Test plan.


Whether it is a new implementation or merely an upgrade, the test plan helps you sail seamlessly through it and answers even miniscule queries such as:


  1. What is expected from the ERP solution?
  2. Do the users know their specific roles and responsibilities in the entire system?
  3. How can you collaborate with your ERP partner to develop a test plan and execute it effectively?


Though this might sound quite cumbersome, it will definitely ensure effective implementation, operational excellence, and a seamless experience for all the stakeholders.


Most importantly, it is best to plan for the worse. It is impossible to evade errors completely. However, expecting the worse and testing it, makes you more confident and market-ready.


Gallop holds extensive experience in ERP Testing and has helped clients get the best possible outcome by implementing the software in a test environment. This has significantly enabled them to mitigate risks and achieve cost-efficiency resulting in attaining Operational excellence.


Connect with Gallop experts to devise best in class ERP Testing strategy for your organization and experience a smooth transition.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Creating a Cloud Load Testing Strategy for your Enterprise

Cloud Load Testing Strategy

Cloud Load Testing continues to be an increasingly discussed and important topic. Nearly everywhere I go, questions arise as to: what, why, how, and when these capabilities are important. Perhaps you are looking for a quick read to understand how to start defining a Cloud Load Testing strategy for your enterprise. That is what I am setting out to do in this blog and provide to you.

1. What are you delivering to your end users?

As an end user, I always wonder, why is it that organizations want me to find their defects? Not sure if you have had this same experience, but surely you have, and I am sure your experience is equally as frustrating…if not more.

So as an organization, we need to think about ‘What are we delivering to our end users?’ because if we don’t, we can be sure our competitors are. Most successful organizations with longevity have a ‘best intent’ to deliver valuable products / services to their end users at a fair price.

Thinking of and recognizing the results they are delivering against this ‘best intent’ is often not done. This limits the continuous assessment and feedback of the market and performance of their products / services in the hands of their end users.

So, what are you delivering, how do you get feedback, and how are you continuously improving your end users experience? The reasons I ask this question is simple; what if you had a way to capture these results from production, then replay them across your pre-production environments, getting results you could use to optimize your applications for maximum value to your end users? Now won’t that be really good for the business!

2. Why do you spend cycles proactively ensuring it works?

Consider your position in the market, what the customers are saying, and how your competitors are constantly improving. Do you even stand a chance if your strategy is status quo? I think not, and now is the time to figure out how to pivot and proactively make a difference…or else your book will end at Chapter 11.

With the Olympics and Holiday Shopping as two large upcoming events, many organizations see these as make or break, and are seeing this as a reason to spend cycles proactively ensuring their systems are working. Of course, with these events (and others like them) volumes are going to be extraordinarily high; which if your business can hold up to the increased demand, there is much to be gained in a number of ways. Do you measure any of these ways today?

Perhaps you have ways to correlate flows, transactions speeds, downtime, user sentiment, employee satisfaction and the like; to that of revenue, brand value, competitive advantage, customer (acquisition and retention), employee satisfaction, and user sentiment. In today’s organizations, this is typically not the case, and an area lacking which can result in exponential returns.

Of course, perhaps you are thinking “Yeah right Todd, easier said than done.” Would not be the first time I have heard that by the way. My suggestion, let’s start with one flow; perhaps measuring the correlation between ‘transaction response time’ of a specific page on your site or app, and that of ‘revenue’ related to that system. I believe when you start to look at the trend, and find quick ways to improve that ‘transaction response time’, you will be shocked to see the change in ‘revenue’…even if only 1%, what does that mean annualized for the organization and you? [that answer is often measured in millions]

3. How are you maximizing value, efficiency, cost, and time?

Everyone opens bananas differently. And, is there really a right or wrong way? The objective is to get to the edible fruit and nurture your body with vitamins and other goodness. Whether you start with the stem or the bananus, the shared goal is the same; there is an easier and better way, how are you doing it?

In this metaphorical reference to proactively working to maximize value, efficiency, cost and time is a very strong relationship. Again, most if not all organizations with paying customers are thinking about these factors, and working proactively to bring the best end user experience.

Along this path, whether primate or human; we are learning by doing, and observing the results, then repeating. Organizations and individuals are evaluated on how well they maximize the value of investments, along with efficiencies being built-in to lightweight processes, reducing the costs to an appropriate level, then spending only the amount of time needed to maximize the overall equation.

In a recent poll, 58% of individuals opened the banana by the bananus. This is the same behavior observed by primates. Not saying there is a right or wrong, just a majority. Where do you count yourself, and why? Is it because of how you are doing something…which could be done better another way?

4. When do you focus on these capabilities? 

“Always, at the beginning and throughout”…that’s what I wish I heard. Sadly, when the topic of working proactively to ensure a good performing experience for your end users arises, it is often something raised after a massive production incident of some sort.

Another common topic that is risen has to do with ‘highly skilled resources’ and/or ‘scheduling to have a scenario run’ as excuses as to why this has been deprioritized and not done. Seems this is another huge limiting factor to when people can run these types of tests and get the results they need, so as to improve the end user experience proactively and earlier.

I don’t know what your personal experience has been…but, when “it’s hit the fan” most CIO’s and Business Leaders are NOT saying ”Glad we did not waste time and effort thinking about performance for our end users.” It is often “How will you prevent this from happening again!” When this happens, it is a great opportunity to have a prepared response, so you can appropriately address the immediate concern, and the future for the organization and your end users.

In short, this consideration is something that should be built-in from the beginning with accountability and responsibility across the technology and business teams to the end users. Making this a reality is a bit of a cultural adaption, but having visibility on the impact this has on your organization, enables you to leverage this tipping point for the moment for the beginning of a transformation.

In the four (4) above points we can see why the capabilities of Cloud Load Testing would be important to ensure that the end user experience is optimum. There are a number of reasons why organizations find Cloud Load Testing as an easy adoption and high value. I have outlined five (5) of these below.

  1. Burst: Leveraging Cloud Load Testing as a way to supplement your existing load and/or performance testing capabilities. For example, perhaps you typically run a 1000 virtual user test, but for an upcoming event, you want to ensure you can handle and tune for a 5000 virtual users’ scenario. Rather than purchasing an additional 4000 virtual users, simply leverage Cloud Load Testing to drive additional traffic to your application under test only for the required period.
  2. No Infrastructure to maintain: By using the capabilities of Cloud Load Testing, you are leveraging ‘The Cloud’ to host your load generators and engines, so maintaining a separate infrastructure for this capability is no longer required. Build and maintenance of these core infrastructure components is the responsibility of the vendor you are using, as they are responsible to deliver this as a service to you. In some examples this is a significant savings of capital and operational expense.
  3. Integrations: As this capability has been further adopted broadly over the years, so has the demand across the varied stakeholders. Resulting from this has been the flurry of integrations, which now makes it very simple to schedule, execute and report on Cloud Load Testing results. This is because now it can be triggered from any number of locations including: IDE’s, Build Systems, Quality Reporting Systems, Load and Performance Tools, and more.
  4. Run concurrently with existing load test: Scheduling and shared resource models have increased the complexity and reduced the availability of load and performance testing resources (people and tools) in the past. Now with Cloud Load Testing, this capability is available exponentially, and can be triggered by anyone provided with access to do so. This capability along with Lifecycle Virtualization has enabled teams and organizations to introduce continuous testing scenarios with an extremely reduced costs model.
  5. Adding on supplemental testing types: When driving fast and adding value, often others will turn to you for considerations on how to help solve for other challenges. One of these I have often run into is, “If you can do this with performance, can you also add: Functional, security, usability, etc.?” Well, the answer is yes. And, quite frankly, I wish more people would think this way. It makes you ask some hard questions about what your production environment is like, and how your end users will experience life with your capabilities. Just imagine, what it would mean for your organization and business if you could add performance, functional, security and usability as all capabilities under a single test with a single result which runs continuously. The time is now!

*Other resources:
Blog: How Cloud Load Testing helps you deliver amazing software
Trial: StormRunner Load (trial)
eBook: 2015-16 State of Performance Engineering
Book: Effective Performance Engineering Book

gallop-software testerAbout the Author:Todd DeCapua is the Chief Technology Evangelist with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and cofounder of thought leadership site for IT Heros.

DeCapua is a seasoned software professional with 20+ years of experience in IT applications development, IT operations, technology integrations, channels operations, and business development in several domains, including Mobile, Agile, Cloud, and Performance.

Over the years Todd has transformed three organizations to Agile/DevOps, consulted with 100+ organizations worldwide, and amassed a variety of perspectives and practical experiences. He has earned an MBA in Finance and a BS; has been recognized with several industry certifications and awards; and is an industry-renowned leader, speaker, and author.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Detecting Software Security issues before Hackers Strike

Detecting Software Security issues before Hackers Strike

In today’s connected IT world, the damage caused due to online security breach is well known. The brand and reputation of the enterprise is damaged if hackers gain access to corporate systems, and it also costs a lot of dollars in order to repair the damage caused. The consequences are similar for businesses dealing in creating embedded and mobile systems when their software are hacked.

The IT network is the path travelled by hackers to gain access to critical systems. Because of this, the general tendency being followed is deploying the security methods to detect and prevent breaches at the network level. Firewalls are used by Enterprises as an attempt to restrict the unauthorised access and analytics is being widely used to detect abnormal data usage activities which can be used as a source to signal an attack. But, many businesses don’t realize that if steps are taken much earlier in the process, it will be easy as well as cost effective to prevent security breaches. It starts with the testing the software code used to power the business applications and the embedded systems. Developing the applications with secure software code helps an enterprise prevent attackers from accessing valuable data and also save a lot of money, time and effort spent in mitigating it.

Security Starts with Developers

If the security issues are addressed in the software development phase, it will save almost 80-90% of the cost and effort spent compared to when dealing with issues in production. Hence, the developers should be ideally positioned and equipped to protect the businesses from heavy costs involved, bad publicity and customer dissatisfaction caused due to security breach.

Several Government and Industrial Organizations have also come out with standards to try and mitigate the damage caused by security breaches in order to achieve secure software codes. E.g. CERT Secure Coding Initiative works in collaboration with the Software Developers and the Organizations developing Software to reduce the vulnerabilities which result from coding errors that are developed in software before deployment. Security Technical

Implementation Guides (STIGs) contains the technical guidance on locking down information systems and software that may be vulnerable to malicious computer attack.

These Organizations working behind standards are well aware of the risks that are involved when hackers look for avenues and attack. E.g. If the website of any retail giant is hacked and Credit Card details are exposed, it will make the headlines globally, letters will have to be sent to the affected and also the affected ones will be compensated by the retailer. The banks will eventually have to replace the Debit/ Credit Cards to avoid future risks. All this will lead to loss of a huge amount of money. If the attackers target industries like Automotive, Oil and Gas, etc. then the consequences may be even more severe as it may lead to fatal accidents, explosions, etc. Hence, the role of Developers is of utmost importance in order to analyse the security breach during development and deploy methodologies to avoid them.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

Keeping the enterprise software applications and embedded systems secure is like managing the health of a person by preventing attacks from infections and other disease history. The best treatment method to avoid any security issue is prevention and it is best if it starts early. Many-a-times software developers are clueless on how to develop more secure software and what approach to follow in order to achieve the same.

The best practice to be followed to achieve the objective of developing secured codes is to educate and arm the Software Development Organizations with the right set of tools to help prevent the threats/attacks. Some of these tools may include Static Code Analysers which can help automate the process of detecting potential security vulnerabilities in the source code and help in identifying where open source code is used in software so that vulnerabilities can be tracked and avoided. The usage of right tools will help the Developers to simplify the approach, shorten the duration and improve the process of detecting security threats in software and mitigate it easily.

Gallop can help you in every stage of software development lifecycle to deliver a superior end product. Please contact our security testing specialists for a free assessment.

gallop-software testerAbout the Author: Abhijeet Srivastava is an Associate Manager at Gallop Solutions. He is a part of Enterprise Solutions Group which primarily helps convert Leads to Deals by devising the best solutions. He holds a B.Tech in Electronics & Communication Engineering from Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology and PGDM from TAPMI, Manipal. His Core Skills are Business Analysis, Sales pitch, Architecting Solutions, building Proposal, etc.
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

10 Emerging Trends in Software Testing: Predictions for the next decade

10 Emerging Trends in Software Testing

The last decade has seen an overwhelming evolution of the software testing industry giving way to greener pastures. This rapid scale of development is keeping not just the developers, but also the testers on tenterhooks, making them to continuously strive to upgrade their skills. Even businesses today need to be even more aware of what is best in terms of performance and security. This disruption has been caused by the new technologies, and it is always challenging for testers to overcome the new issues posed by these upcoming technologies.

2015 saw the acceptance of testing as an early activity in the software development lifecycle. This was predominantly due to the widespread adoption of Agile and DevOps methodologies by organizations across the globe. The goal was to get their apps faster to the market. 2015 also saw an increase in the use of virtualization and service oriented architecture along with cloud computing that led to many testing tool vendors vying for the market space in the testing arena.

This post summarizes the Top 10 emerging trends/predictions for the next decade that may change the landscape of software testing. This is based on our observations and experience with leading Fortune 500 enterprises and industry analyst research reports. It is interesting to discover each of these trends and to know how enterprises as well as testing professionals can get leverage these trends, re-strategize or re-skill themselves.

  1. The Future belongs to Open Source Tools: The next decade (may be more!) will see a lot of Open source tools in action as more and more organizations will adopt them for proper implementation of Agile, DevOps, and Test Automation. Support communities for the open source tools can only become more and more involved and active.
  1. Quality @ High speed is the new mantra: Everyone wants the best products in the fastest possible time. This is making organizations focus on providing the best user experience along with the fastest time to market. The speed is only going to increase (and the quality better) with the latest technologies and tools at the disposal of teams.
  1. Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs) will be in huge demand: SDETs have been existing among us since almost a decade, but their role was very different from traditional testing roles. That said, by early 2020, almost all testers will need to wear an SDET hat to be successful in the field of Test Automation, that is going to become mainstream.
  1. Agile and DevOps will rule the roost – TCoE is dead: According to Forrester, organizations are not looking at having centralized Test Centers of Excellence anymore. Test automation developers today are now a part of the agile teams. The erstwhile testing arena is making a shift towards quality engineering, and testing is intended to become more iterative, progressive, and seamlessly integrated with development.
  1. Digital Transformation is here to stay: With a majority of organizations making a foray in the digital world, the need for digital transformation will require a huge shift of focus towards digital testing. Robust strategies for digital assurance will be required for focusing on optimizing functional testing across channels.
  1. BigData Testing will become really BIG: We are sitting atop an explosive amount of BigData today and need to have a very strong strategy around BigData Testing. Testing datasets requires highly analytical tools, techniques, and frameworks, and is an area that is set to grow big.
  1. IoT: Heralding an era of Connected Devices: With IoT growing in leaps and bounds, more and more customers rely on IoT Testing before using the products. If the products are not tested, their functionality, security, and effectiveness – all will come under scanner. According to a HP study, 70 percent of devices in the Internet of Things are vulnerable to security problems.
  1. DevOps will drive Quality Engineering: DevOps ideology is based on seamless collaboration and integration between the different departments of an IT Organization – developers, quality professionals, and IT professionals. Testing plays a business-critical role as developers are involved not just in the correctness of their code, but also in the testing and overall Quality engineering aspects. DevOps thus is propelling businesses towards greater speeds of deployment and quality assurance and is thus helping them realize higher returns on investment and faster time to market in a cost-efficient manner.
  1. Performance Engineering is replacing Performance Testing: Repeating a cliché – “A good user experience is the key to a successful product”. Consistent performance across diverse platforms, OSs, and devices defines how much of a market can a product really capture. The need to provide the best experience to users is making organizations change their strategy. They are now moving away from just providing Performance tests to providing Performance engineering.
  1. The best news is that Software Testing Budgets will continue to grow: It is but obvious that with such huge focus and demand for high quality products, and with major IT trends such as BigData analytics, Cloud Technologies, Mobility, and Virtualization, Testing has become more than just a need. This will push the organizations towards allocating a bigger chunk of their IT budget (around 40%) for software testing and QA.

About Kalyana Rao Konda

Kalyan is the President & Global Head of Gallop Solutions Inc. With 17+ years of experience in IT Services, specifically software testing, Kalyan has led large QA teams of 2000+ people at AppLabs as VP-Delivery and had been in QA leadership roles with Virtusa&BaaN earlier. He has a rare mix of high technical understanding with a pragmatic approach to testing services delivery. A strong proponent of Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS) delivery model, Kalyan is a thought leader with hands on expertise in building large scale test automation suites, executing and maintaining them. He has a patent pending with USPTO for ‘iGenerate test Scenario’ and ‘Web Services Validator’ filed last year. Kalyan is a speaker at various testing conferences including DevOps East, StarEast& Agile Testing Conference in Boston. He was recently awarded the prestigious “40 Under 40 Award 2016” from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

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The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Successfully Implementing TDD/BDD to Enable Shift-Left Testing Approach

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Today, when developers are using tools like J unit/N unit for testing their code, approaches such as test driven development (TDD) and behaviour driven development (BDD) focus on improving the quality of the code that is being written. Though the approaches require a different mind-set, the objective remains the same.

Usually Behaviour driven development is focused on the business behaviour of your code: the “why” behind the code. The focus is usually on the intent rather than process. It supports a team-centric (especially cross-functional) workflow. BDD works really well when a developer and either the agile product owner or a business analyst sit down together and write the pending specifications:

  • The business person specifies the exact functionality they want to see in the system.
  • The developer asks questions based on their understanding of the system, while also writing down additional behaviours needed from a development perspective.

Ideally, both parties can refer to the list of current system behaviours to see if this new feature will break existing features. This way quality comes first and the entire product is understood which decreases the defect entry into the development related to requirements or functionality of the system.

Test Driven development on the other hand focuses on implementation of the system. For example, writing a better quality code that helps in maintaining the health of the code with no nonsense into the system.

Approaches like TDD/BDD are used to understand the requirements clearly without any ambiguities and help developers to write tests in a way that makes code execution successful. These methods enable testers to think of solutions using a bottom up approach that helps prevention of defects in the later stages. This approach also helps clarify any ambiguities in the requirements early on in the software development lifecycle, before coding actually begins. With an increased level of understanding of the features and requirements, developers know what exactly needs to be coded, as also what needs to be included or excluded in the code, thereby preventing leakage of defects into the code in the later phases of development lifecycle. The mindset and ability to focus on producing quality product with minimum to no defects from inception/upstream process is enabled by these methods that complement the shift left approach.

While the development teams like this approach, the project teams blame the TDD/BDD process for slowing down the software development process. However, it has been realized that implementation of TDD/BDD practices in the initial development phases enables organizations face lower defects in the later stages. This helps in the maintenance of the code, increases the defect removal efficiency, and also reduces the time to market of the product. The TDD/BDD approach is also best suited for applications where the requirements undergo progressive elaboration. The frequently tested code has lesser defects and enables faster delivery of working software to the clients.

Practices like unit testing and adopting TDD/BDD provide high code coverage coupled with faster feedback regarding unexpected defects/surprises/issues and thus becomes an additive element in the reinforced process.

TDD/BDD practices also enhance practices like requirement management for covering the finer topics like requirement elicitation, requirements acceptance criteria, and requirements review prior to the development process. Requirement traceability is also enhanced when test cases are traced back to the requirements giving a picture of test coverage functionally.

A seamless implementation of both approaches identifies defects early on in the SDLC process, reduce risks, and reduce cost of rework which is a significant cost in software development process. TDD/BDD helps align the mind-set to the left focussing on quality from concept-to-cash for building the right product with the right intent in the best possible way.

In a nutshell, the BDD/TDD practices enable the following:

  • Move defect identification and prevention to the left (early stages of SDLC)
  • Reduce issues/surprises/incidents in the production
  • Help teams stay focused on Continuous Delivery
  • Compliment the agile/iterative development
  • Improve the overall build deployability by reduced lead times and increased quality
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Digital Assurance and need of Omni Channel Testing

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Assurance refers to a positive declaration that instills confidence or a sense of surety.

In today’s world where everything is being digitized or automated, it is very much necessary that the end users of the products get a feeling of security and assurance that their data and other personal information that they might share on the web is safe. This is what Digital Assurance is all about. Digital Assurance refers to assuring the customers that none of their personal data is vulnerable to being exploited by hackers. This in turn ensures maximum customer satisfaction.

Now a days as digital technology is covering all spectrums of business solutions there is a rising demand for almost a completely flawless customer experience and safety. Digital Assurance aims at meeting this demand. Organizations providing a holistic assurance strategy not only ensure successful digital transformation but can also optimize their IT budgets.

Digital Assurance refers to Q&A practices that ensure the relationship between the various components of Digital Ecosystem remains smooth. The Digital Ecosystem includes various interconnected people, processes & things cutting across the Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud stack.

Here are the few reasons why organizations need to take up Digital Assurance.

  1. Need for being Agile: Being agile through continuous quality assurance initiatives, and automating processes to ensure shorter delivery cycles become highly critical in a highly dynamic digital landscape.
  1. Make or Break the Customer Experience: Delivering enhanced customer experience while leveraging a variety of components of Digital Ecosystem becomes challenging. Ensuring each component delivers optimum performance leading to customer delight becomes difficult as the organization becomes more digitally matured.
  1. Organizations are vulnerable to Security Threats: Security is of paramount importance specifically in an interconnected world. The smart interconnected ecosystems on one side enable an unimaginable world of possibilities, but it makes the entire system highly vulnerable to security threats, if not properly configured and tested, on the flip side.
  1. Performance of Organizations Legacy Infrastructure needs to be maximized:This is an important challenge specifically with those enterprises who are not born Digital. They need to change their organizational DNA both from a cultural perspective and from legacy IT infrastructure standpoint. Ensuring their core functionalities are not impacted as they chart their path towards Digital Infrastructure can be much challenging.
  1. Complexity: The most difficult challenge comes from the complexities arising from the nexus of forces –Social-Mobile-Analytics-Cloud, to ensure that they work in synchronization with organizational goals.

We need to consider the following important points while implementing Digital Assurance: 

  1. Omni-Channel Assurance: Omni-channel testing is based on preparing a test strategy with a view of all the channel and user interaction patterns.
  1. Users spread across the globe: Internet users are spread across the globe with around 46% of the population having access to the internet. The region wise statistics are: Asia-48.2%, Europe-18%, Latin America-10.2%, Africa-9.8%, North America-9.3%, Middle East-3.7%, and Australia-0.8%. Irrespective of these statistics the users should find similar functionalities, semantics and experience. Therefore Digital Assurance strategies should include both localization and globalization tests.
  1. Validating business scenarios:The Digital Assurance strategies must ensure that the business functionalities and expectations are met by the application.
  1. Customer experience and social integration: The Digital Assurance strategies must ensure a good user and brand experience irrespective of the channel and the other factors.
  1. Security Assurance: Application are being hosted on multiple platforms which has increased the risk rate thus having to necessarily perform security testing for these possible vulnerabilities by focusing on application profiling, authentication, data validation and encryption algorithms.
  1. Lifecycle automation: Let me discuss more about Omni-channel testing in detail.
    Omni-channel is a multi-channel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store.What distinguishes the Omni-channel customer experience from the multi-channel customer experience is that there is true integration between channels on the back end. For example, when a store has implemented an Omni-channel approach, the customer service representative in the store will be able to immediately reference the customer’s previous purchases and preferences just as easily as the customer service representative on the phone or the web chat. Also, the customer can check inventory using laptop by store on the company’s website, purchase the item later on with a smartphone or tablet and pick up the product at the customer’s chosen location.The main difference between Omni-Channel and Multi-Channel lies in the process being tested.
    If you want to test a single process that spans across multiple devices, you want OMNI-CHANNEL testing.
    If you want to test the same process on a range of devices, you want MULTI-CHANNEL testing.Omni-channel testing is not just about consolidating testing across channels but designing a test strategy with a view of all the channels and real user behavior.

So what are the top advantages for businesses due to Digital Assurance:

  1. Customer-centric business: This is done by ensuring flawless customer experience.
  2. Agility in business: Automation and virtualization ensures quicker time to market.
  3. Stability in business: Finding out errors in advance and modifying the tests accordingly to ensure the best testing cycle.
  4. Future proofing the business: Anticipating the future and developing methods of minimizing the effects of shocks and stresses of future events.

Are you looking for Digital Assurance services and leverage the advantages listed above for your business? Then, reach out to our digital testing experts for a free assessment.


gallop-software testerAbout the Author: Dheeraj Kumar M is a Software Consultant at Gallop Solutions. He is part of the Innovation Vertical which primarily transforms an Idea into an actual product. Part of multiple Technical workshops right from his college days has helped him shape up his skill sets. His Core Skill is with Core Java, HTML5. He is also an avid shutterbug capturing the picturesque Mother Nature in his spare time.
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Why Digital Testing Requires a Different Approach?

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In this world of digital transformation, testing new products is getting more and more complex. The testing processes can be long and costly because of the increasing number of mobile devices, smart appliances, media channels, developmental environments and business applications, all of them demanding faultless connectivity. Companies need to launch their products in the market faster than ever before by covering all the possible testing challenges.

The disruption of digital transformation is the biggest fear across all industries. Today’s connected world has unified multiple aspects of businesses such as multiple customer channels, supply chains, interfacing devices, application touch points, etc. Hence, the QA organizations are in urgent need to assess customer experience capabilities as well as to ensure the functionality of each and every application applying the developments in quality, cost, and agility.

There is a need to focus on the disruptive nature of digital technologies with an emphasis on customer experience testing. In order to achieve it successfully, more attention should be paid toward service offerings with an integrated test delivery platform which encompasses channel and tool agnostic test automation framework, a structured mobile testing strategy and proper crowd testing.

There is also a need to provide more niche expertise to the customer with the realization that as testing teams comprise of a co-located team with a combination of Onsite, Offshore, and Nearshore teams, there is a need to bring better quality, improved communication, and a structured and layered approach with reduced cost and enhanced values. There is also a need to prioritise and place more emphasis on niche services at all the locations in order to capitalize on defined values and speed and meet the growing challenges to be fulfilled in Digital testing.

There is also a need to adopt Centralized and Decentralized approaches while organizing QA and testing functions as the development process comprises of critical integrations and transformations. In order to perform the testing smoothly, a structured approach will prove to be very fruitful. Also, multiple approaches should be tested before arriving at a final conclusion as one size doesn’t fit all. While searching for a testing partner, the emphasis should be to find a partner who has expertise in multi-layered operating approaches, continuous integration and governed by real-time dashboards.

Successful integration in the digital world also demands adoption of swift practices and a proper platform engineered to meet the testing needs efficiently. This kind of fast and responsive QA and testing needs can be better met by integrating it with agile development. The QA organizations also need to integrate the upstream as well as downstream approach and create a Test-Operations concept to stay ahead from others. This could also be achieved by successfully adopting risk based techniques and testing, Test Driven Development (TDD), Service Virtualization, etc.

With the migration of a lot of applications to Cloud, there is also a need to gain expertise in Migration Testing to Cloud along with keeping an eye on the security as well as the performance aspects that may be hampered during the migration process. Focussed Migration testing techniques focussing on multi-channel and Behaviour Driven Testing (BDD) models will prove to be of great use in these situations.

Hence, we can conclude that with increasing complexity and competition in this Digital world, there is an extreme need to analyze the trends, examine them, and follow the right steps to enhance one’s testing capabilities and implement the right testing practice that will help in managing the testing activities and complexity seamlessly and achieve the standards required for Digital Testing.

At Gallop, we cover all the bases and ensure that effective testing is performed by the right set of experts. We ensure the best quality for your product and that your customers are happy. Our tool agnostic test automation frameworks ensure accelerated testing so that you get higher productivity and an enviable time to market.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Practical Approach for Improving Agile Testing Maturity – Part 2

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Continuing from where we left off in Practical Approach for Improving Agile Testing Maturity – Part 1, let us deep dive into the remaining critical factors for improving an organizations’ agile testing maturity. As explained, the 5 steps to improve your agile test maturity are:

  1. Discover and Document
  2. Analyze and Benchmark
  3. Develop a Roadmap
  4. Transformation Approach
  5. Continuous Process Improvement

We discussed the first two steps in the previous blog. Let us now see what the remaining steps entail.

Develop a Roadmap

Based on the results and inferences that can be made from the Analyze and benchmark phase, a transformation agenda can be generated. This agenda, if adopted, will act as a roadmap to convert your goals into reality. The Vision and Mission must be clearly drafted and put in place. The roadmap should contain both long-and-short term strategic objectives that are aligned with achieving the business goals.

At a very high-level, the roadmap should include the objectives being targeted, the low-hanging fruits, quick wins, and the potential benefits. Usually a roadmap must be proposed against a set of focus areas or business objectives governed with a strategy, reference models, and enablers that complement the mission. In a testing environment, the organizations can focus on the following focus areas including, but not limited to Testing in Agile Environment, Test Coverage Enhancements, Improving the Testing Lead times, and focusing on the elements that enable the transformation. Organization can do a quick cost benefit analysis, prioritize the areas for improvement based on the value proposition, the business impact, and return on investment (ROI). Categorizing the improvement areas will help teams to stay focused and resilient. Usually efforts invested in enhancing customer satisfaction, quality, and product alignment take precedence over efforts being made on improving the operational efficiency.

That said, a roadmap without a proper transformation approach is as useless as trying to reach a destination without a proper route map to reach there.

Transformation Approach

Transformation approach is another vital aspect for converting Vision to Mission. A Target Operating Model has to be designed that sets the tone for transformation. This model can be developed with all the intended and implied needs of customers or clients. For an organization invested in, is following agile development, and is focused on improving its testing maturity, the following focus areas may be considered:

  • Test Organization
  • Functional and Non-functional test coverage
  • Test Efficiency
  • Test Tools Management
  • Transformation levers such as Knowledge base, Skilled resources, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), infrastructural needs etc.

In essence, the Target Operating Model is a low level framework and a workable solution with the finest of the details in the transformation strategy.

In the later stages, transformation can be noticed in the re-baselining of processes, training the associates on improved process, piloting the improvements in a phased manner, collecting the feedback and then re-optimizing the processes. This is an everlasting, continuing loop that organizations should tend to adopt for meeting the ever increasing demands and needs of their clients/customers.

Continuous Process Improvement

Having discussed the roadmap and transformation stages, let us get now get an insight on the process improvement journey. A continuous process improvement requires formal self-assessment/Independent audits/Third party audits to be put in place with the help of industry accepted frameworks, or customized and home grown frameworks.

The incessant demands and needs of the customers force the organizations to adapt new changes and improve existing processes. Hence, the entire ecosystem we spoke about earlier comes into scope and is again applicable.

Audits and assessments give us ample opportunities for finding the shortfalls in the system against the current business needs or prevailing conditions, thus enabling us to focus on the new improvement aspects. The shortfalls are addressed by taking corrective actions that enable improving the existing agile testing environments. This never ending journey helps organizations keep on their toes and motivate them for making continuous improvements to their process according to the changing demand scenarios created by their customers. These changes and improvements help come up with better, and user friendly features that make the product more popular and stable, thereby bringing about a much desired increase in the demand.

Organizations that try to follow and implement these 5 steps to improve their agile test maturity will definitely see a marked positive impact in their business outcomes.

If you are a large organization trying to implement an Agile test automation strategy, contact Gallop’s team of test automation experts. Our tool agnostic test automation framework consists of a huge library of keywords that help you build your tests quickly and efficiently, and seamlessly integrate with leading commercial and open source tools.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.