iBeta Quality Assurance, a leading full-service software quality, security, performance, and biometrics testing lab has released the eBook “7 Questions to Ask Outsourced QA Service Providers” for download at:

http://www.ibeta.com/download-7-question-ask-qa-service-providers/

The “7 Questions” eBook was written to be a practical tool for mid- and high-level technology company managers to help them successfully select the right quality assurance partner from a diverse service provider marketplace. The book describes the four categories of QA service providers (Crowdsourced, Offshore, IT Generalist, and QA Specialist), and analyzes their relative merits through the lens of seven questions that a buyer should ask:

  1. “Who does your testing?”
  2. “Can I talk to you?”
  3. “Can you keep up?
  4. “How much will I have to do for you?”
  5. “Can you work with our tools?”
  6. “Do you have the gear?”
  7. “Can you help me achieve my business and technical goals?”

“7 Questions” was written in response to a confluence of factors this year:

  • The exceptional number of high-profile, quality-related technology failures in 2016 across a broad spectrum of companies – including top-tier mobile device makers, major search providers, and several car makers to name a few – that, together, reveal an overall pattern of quality slippages. The pattern raises questions such as:
    • Are organizations struggling more than is generally understood to incorporate Agile, DevOps, and other high-speed development strategies, i.e. letting the need for speed compromise quality?
    • Are organizations misapplying concepts such as Minimum Viable Product which can become pseudo-strategic justifications for minimum work effort?
    • Are organizations running aground on the inherent limitations of test automation technology and discovering (as iBeta has long known) that there are consequences to over-reliance on automation technology?
    • Are organizations also relearning the lessons of what happens when companies bring inside functions or processes that are outside core competencies, e.g. Samsung trying to internally certify battery tech on the Galaxy Note 7 phones.
  • The quantity of mergers and acquisitions in 2016 as technology companies continue to seek scale to ward off increased competition and dominate markets, which inevitably lead to an intensification of competition.
  • Also, an intensification of user behavior trends observed over the last two years in which end users are spending more time on fewer apps and sites, appear less willing to experiment with new apps, and have higher expectations for bug-free performance, and less tolerance of bugs, than ever before.

Taken together, these trends point to a maturation plateau in mobile, desktop/server, and Cloud/SaaS where “disruptions” and grand innovations are less important than capturing and keeping market share through incrementalism and “old school” business values, especially the delivery of product quality as a key competitive feature, even while trying to maintain a near-continuous release cadence. (As an aside, this “maturation plateau” will only last as long as key near-future technologies such as practical AI, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, and Internet of Things continue to seek their own “killer app” breakthroughs.)

In this competitive environment, iBeta sees all QA service providers having a larger role to play in 2017 augmenting and expanding corporate QA resources to meet more rigorous product quality goals. iBeta predicts that it will be those QA service providers who are able to offer a complete and comprehensive package of testing, QA, and customer-focused services (including flexible “on demand” services) that will be best positioned to help their clients rise to the top of their markets in 2017. Still, companies must make choices that best suit their unique needs and practices which means that even QA service providers with more limited service offerings have a role to play. Helping buyers to sort out these choices is the central purpose of the “7 Questions” eBook.