COVID-19 Outbreak: Offshoring Software Testing Models Need To Change

COVID-19 Outbreak
  • October 7, 2020
  • HibaSulaiman

COVID-19 is a global challenge that threatens people, and businesses that are making a continuous effort to protect their employees, customers, and business positions. COVID-19 has impacted the software testing industry which has increased the demand for IT products and services including offshore software testing services. As we know the current pandemic calls for extraordinary measures, all industries including the software industry is also gearing up to negate the impact of COVID-19 and ensure business continuity. 

Uncertain Times for All Business Verticals 

Without any doubt, the offshoring model works best for all IT businesses. It helps companies test, develop, and bring digital products to the market in a relatively cost-effective manner. It is no secret that this pandemic has affected many businesses and entire industries to reevaluate and discover new ways to sustain their position in the market. Many IT outsourcing companies have also been impacted. These companies were clearly not prepared for such a situation or speculated a possible lockdown. But who can be blamed? It caught almost all businesses and sectors unprepared and prone to risks. Unlike other industries, the pandemic uncovered pre-existing loopholes in the offshoring model.

Were the Offshore Companies Ready to Face the Pandemic?

When COVID-19 hit, it broke the supply chain. Development and QA teams have to work collaboratively in cloe proximity in order to stay updated and meet customer demands. Outsourcing companies did not have enough infrastructure to support remote work, that too had an adverse impact on the business. This raises questions for companies that are used to the offshore model for QA, what is the best possible way to test applications in a post-COVID-19 situation?

Firms had their reservations about offshoring even before the pandemic began. Although offshoring has offered businesses cost-effective and scalable solutions to deliver large IT projects for many years. QA testing is just as similar and software professionals relied on offshore teams instead of their in-house teams. However, now demands have changed. Just like software development, QA testing has become more sophisticated. It is not only about quality, it rather includes more aspects like end-user experience and customer journey that need to be considered. In addition, speed and agility are also key factors when it comes to testing apps and other digital products. It appears if offshoring can provide a better turnaround, coverage, and valuable insights that brand needs from QA testing. The increasing costs have also resulted in companies moving on to other offshore locations, which involves in managing time differences, cultures, and ways of working.  Most of these issues raised by the pandemic, but it quickly became apparent was that outsourcing companies and their employees did not have enough infrastructure to work remotely, which has negatively impacted the business continuity. 

How to Redesign the Offshoring Model?

Crowdtesting is about remote and distributed groups of QA testers gathered to form a testing team. It has been a huge success factor for digital firms for more than a decade, firms believe that internal teams can no longer maintain business while working remotely and the offshoring model no longer works for the businesses in the current pandemic. 

The main reason why the crowd testing model has helped firms survive during COVID-19 is that is always conducted remotely, by a group of testers who already work in remote environments. This allows testers to maintain business continuity, and improve their test coverage across devices, OS, and geographical locations. 

Although an offshoring model just moves testing activities from one office to another, the crowdtesting uses a globally distributed team of testers in an already-built remote environment. The main differences between offshoring testing services and crowdtesting lay comparisons to the management of IT systems. Crowdtesters also use their personally owned devices, thus firms do not need to send them IT devices to maintain business continuity. 

Using the right Blend of Offshoring and Crowdtesting

Offshoring and crowdtesting could side-by-side on different factors. Due to a lack of cultural understanding, there can be a negative impact on projects, however, there can be some barriers like language and time zone differences. All these issues can be eliminated by using a crowdsourced model. Besides being community-based, the leading crowdtesting service provides provide only highly vetted testers and ensures professional guidance. These projects are coordinated by management teams that work closely with customers, providing them as much visibility as they want. In today’s fast-evolving environment, testing alone is not enough. End-users have high expectations and the best apps that requirement of QA throughout the app development lifecycle. 

Should Offshoring Companies use the Crowdsourcing Model?

It is speculated that firms will be more interested in remote and distributed testing even after the COVID-19 ends and more and more firms remote work as a regular part of their business operation. Crowdtesting is beneficial in bringing digital experiences and software releases, on their personally owned devices and in actual-user locations. This can assist testing teams in identifying issues that wouldn’t be detected in a lab environment. The reason behind this is that traditional QA labs are typically delicate environments with certain conditions.

For instance, a new mobile app needs to be tested on different devices in a QA lab, while testers do not have ways to manage Wi-Fi strengths or older OS that are outdated however still used by many end-users in the real world. However, crowdsourcing uses real devices and people in their environments, which account for all these factors, making it a reliable testing approach even after the pandemic ends. So an offshore testing company is compelled to consider the crowdsourcing model and change its dynamics in order to provide excellent testing services whether working from an office in post-COVID or while working remotely during the lockdown phase.