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Application testing costs set to rise to 40% of IT budget

Digital transformation has put software quality to the fore, resulting in CIOs spending more on quality assurance and testing

IT spending on quality assurance (QA) and testing has risen to an average of 35% of total IT spend, according to the Capgemini World Quality Report 2015.

The survey of 1,500 people working in organisations with more than 1,000 employees found the proportion of IT spending allocated to ensuring application quality and performance will continue to rise, reaching 40% by 2018.

Digital transformation in business is the key driver for the increased spending on testing and quality assurance.

Capgemini warned that the availability of a budget for application development is urgently needed to meet the increased demands from business as the rapid pace of change continues.

Given that a defect has the potential to go viral in minutes, the survey found that senior managers are more focused on protecting their corporate image and view this as the key objective of QA and testing.

Protecting the corporate image (6.07%) is the most important QA and testing objective for survey respondents.

“Ensuring user satisfaction (5.98%) placed third in this category. Interestingly, the second most important objective is increasing quality awareness (5.99%), which demonstrates how organisations want QA to extend across all roles, from user to architect and from designer and developer to operations manager,” the report stated.

While there was an increase in the proportion of the QA and testing budget spent on personnel in 2014, spending on staff dropped by 5% to 33% in 2015.

Among the reasons for the increase in QA and testing is a continued use of costly manual testing, according to Capgemini. The 2015 survey data found 39% of respondents feel a reliance on manual testing is the number one technological challenge in application development today.

“This is a clear signal that the testing approach is not at the level of maturity and efficiency required to support today’s complex IT operations,” the report noted.

According to Capgemini, organisations more advanced in their digital transformation journey appear to be spending the most on QA and testing, indicating they have made a direct connection between quality and achieving business outcomes.

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I'm curios as to the 1,000 employees mentioned. Is that an IT staff that large or company wide? I hope it's comapany wide. In my case we have over 1,000 across multiple locations. Our IT staff has 3 RPGLE programmers and a i-Series Manager. The other side of our IT department has approx 7 web .NET developers and a manager. I have worked for both departments and we tested our own code, The you may have a colleague test it for bugs as well. Not much of our code it seen or used outside the company, so maybe that is how our costs stay low.
I think it’s also being influenced by how the testing is being performed. For example, a team that has implemented continuous integration or a continuous delivery pipeline may be using CloudBees to run their unit tests, integration tests, etc. If they are, then they may also be running them on a VM spun up with Sauce Labs. Those costs can quickly rise as the team checks in more code or adds more tests to the pipeline. Another example is a team that performs load testing, and spins up numerous VMs across multiple cloud providers to serve as monitors and load generators. It’s not just a team of testers, it’s also the tools they use, that take up a large percentage of the IT budget.