More companies take QA tasks to the cloud

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Cloud-based applications are gaining traction among QA and test teams.

By now, just about every organization uses the cloud in some capacity. The various benefits of this technology have made it wildly popular with everyone from IT staff to C-level officers. However, there are always additional opportunities to deploy hosted solutions. It's in the best interest of company decision-makers to look hard at their various areas of operation and consider if they could be enhanced through the cloud. In particular, quality assurance and testing tasks can be greatly streamlined and improved upon by utilizing cloud-based tools.

Across various sectors and departments, cloud migration is on the rise. The recently released "World Quality Report 2014-15" surveyed more than 1,500 business stakeholders across the globe, including numerous C-level officers, regarding current software development testing trends. According to the responding IT executives, 28 percent of applications are hosted in the cloud, whereas only 20 percent were cloud-based in 2013. The study's researchers predicted that this trend will continue to grow for at least the next few years, with 35 percent of all applications moving to the cloud by 2017.

More than a quarter of applications are now hosted in the cloud. - Image from "World Quality Report 2014-15"

Although there is still ample room for improvement in the software testing field, QA managers are quickly making up ground. Last year, fewer than one-quarter of all testing was conducted through the cloud. Today, approximately 32 percent of QA processes are done through hosted solutions. Furthermore, nearly half of all testing will be cloud-based by 2017.

"This latest research data confirms that organizations are beginning to actively take advantage of cloud infrastructure and are discovering the strategies and deployment options that best fit their needs," the report stated.

Why the cloud makes sense for QA
There are many reasons for the growing interest among QA teams regarding the cloud. As much as any department, QA thrives off of collaboration with disparate team members. The continuing popularity of offshoring and nearshoring practices has made effective communication an essential attribute of any successful software developer. However, it's not always easy to adhere to first-class communication principles when developers, programmers and testers are spread out across the globe, working in locations as diverse as India, the United States and Bulgaria. There are inherent obstacles that organizations must overcome in order to foster a testing environment that supports strong communication and collaboration.

Cloud-based tools like enterprise test management solution can provide the platform needed to link business units that would otherwise be working in isolation. With high-quality QA management software, team members operating out of India can post updates in real time, making them available to their counterparts in the U.S. These updates include bug reports, test metrics, run results and other documents and information that is vital to a development project. This way, even teams that work on opposite sides of the globe can relay information in the blink of an eye and put crucial resources in the hands of other stakeholders.

Furthermore, the level of asset availability offered by the cloud will be crucial as more organizations embrace agile testing methods. Communication and collaboration are crucial in agile environments, and cloud-based test management solutions can help QA teams stay on the same page and continue working toward the ultimate goal of quality software.

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