Businesses could face prohibitive costs arising from software failures as firms cut staff because of the economic slowdown.
In a white paper from IDC, analyst Melinda-Carol Ballou said companies are taking risks because there are fewer people to fix software bugs.
"It makes good business, financial and development sense to test early and often using effective processes, organisational and automated tools strategies," she added.
Ballou said users should become better educated about the business consequences and labour costs of poor-quality software and defects.
Ben Chelf, CTO of Coverity, a software testing company that sponsored the research, said, "Quality problems are consuming significant resources and still compromise the integrity of software in the field."