Points of View

Why Aren’t We Talking About Testing Services?

Jul 13, 2015 Tom Reuner

A few years back Capgemini aptly titled a whitepaper “The Last Outsourcing Frontier: Software Testing?” As an independent discipline, testing is lagging almost all other sectors of outsourcing.


The reasons for that are manifold: A lack of investment, immaturity of organizational models, a highly fragmented supply-side as well as inadequate marketing top the list.


Fast-forward to today’s market development and testing still lags the other sectors, but maturation is tangible. Increasingly, we see standalone testing outsourcing deal worth up to nine digits. Organizational models are evolving with mature approaches often blending centralized and decentralized concepts. However, what is still woefully inadequate is the marketing around testing services.


With the emergence of comprehensive outsourcing deals the criteria of decision-makers are shifting toward the classical sourcing arguments: Business case, transfer of assets and people, and mitigation of risk. Yet if you are looking for marketing material supporting go-to-market initiatives or to inform yourself, you will be struggling to find those arguments. The discussions around comprehensive outsourcing are just an indicator of a broader challenge. Similar to comprehensive outsourcing, you are likely to struggle to find meaningful information on how to leverage test automation in an agile environment or how to adapt agile in a broader outsourced context. Testing executives are passionate people. Many of them are career testers, but that also means they can lack a cross-fertilization of ideas from other outsourcing sectors. As such, many discussions remain on a technology or tools level, so they run the risk of missing emerging opportunities.


Moving the perspective from a narrow testing context to the emerging As-a-Service Economy, the challenges around testing magnify. The notion of the As-a-Service Economy is not technology-led but signifies business model change and a cultural change at large. As such, we need talk about how to test these new approaches:


Testing providers need to proactively engage with clients on the fundamental shift that the emerging As-a-Service Economy represents. So far, for instance in the discussions around RPA and Autonomics testing issues are largely absent. The testing community has to find its voice in these discussions and move from the siloed existence in a technology cocoon towards supporting business transformation.


To be heard in those discussions requires a different level of marketing and go-to-market initiatives. What do you think about these issues? How can we fix things? I’d love to hear your ideas. Drop me a line at [email protected].


Let’s talk about testing!