Companies spend 35% of IT budgets on QA and testing

IT departments are spending more on QA and testing than ever before, according to Capgemini’s World Quality Report 2015-16. The consulting firm found that companies are now spending an average of 35% percent of their IT budget on QA and testing — a 9% year-on-year increase. The report was based on a global survey of 1,560 senior IT executives and testing leaders from 32 countries.

Capgemini predicted budgets will rise further, with testing set to claim 40% of IT spend by 2018. Budgets are spiraling out of control, despite the facts that QA and testing are mature disciplines, automated testing is widely adopted, and agile is also widely adopted.

What is driving all this spending on QA and testing? Two factors: a focus on customer value and the impact of IT quality on the end-user experience.

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Digital transformation puts customer value and end-user experience at the heart of digital initiatives. “Get it wrong and the company’s reputation will suffer as customers vent their dissatisfaction via social media,” noted the report. “Thus, the ranking of protecting the corporate image as the top QA and testing strategic priority is wholly understandable, with an average of 76% of the executives interviewed saying it is important or very important.”

Testing has always been integral to producing top-quality software but nowadays, testing is more important than ever and more strategic to companies’ businesses. DevOps and agile methodologies have intensified the pressure on testers to find faults early and often — and well before product roll-out.

One thing is for sure, the level of test automation is increasing. With the greater adoption of agile, test automation is integral to continuous testing as part of continuous delivery. Capgemini’s research found that the average percentage of test case automation increased from 28% to 45%.

“The constant and rapid changes being introduced during agile make it vital that defects due to these changes are caught earlier in the lifecycle,” noted the report. As a consequence, respondents ranked better detection of defects as the number one benefit of automation. Better control over testing services ranked second, ahead of cycle time reduction.

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