Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Scott Allen

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Agile Computing

Microservices Expo: Article

Achieve Software Quality Improvements via Outsourcing

Offshore product development (OPD) of software involves a lot more than just cutting costs and accelerating time-to-market

Contrary to common misconceptions, offshore product development (OPD) of software involves a lot more than just cutting costs and accelerating time-to-market. Savvy companies know OPD enables them to improve the quality of their software.

Outsourcing software development and independent software testing is a great way for companies to reduce cost, improve quality, cut cycle times, eliminate the need for in-house skills, and increase efficiency.

Unfortunately, far too many companies focus excessively on the benefits of cost savings - and end up paying the price in poor quality software and/or poor testing results.

However, companies that approach offshore product development as an opportunity can improve productivity and software quality by tapping into the skills, expertise and technology that they lack in-house.

The digitization of business has created an increasing reliance on software for internal and customer-facing activities, which in turn has elevated the importance on testing as part of the software development process.

A recent report from analyst company Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) supports this assertion. Ninety-one percent of IT departments interviewed by PAC said testing is one of the most important tasks that can be enhanced through outsourcing. The report also revealed that 75% of the companies interviewed already use testing vendors with onshore and offshore capabilities.

Outsourcing should be viewed as a way to improve software quality. Many people simply measure quality using traditional metrics such as open/active defects. To derive maximum benefits from outsourcing you need to analyze the business impact and the return on investment from using your testing team.

To ensure software quality, ask this question of your in-house test team and contract resources: How is your combined testing team helping you keep and satisfy your current customers, and attract more?

To ensure an adequate focus on the quality of the delivered software product, you should also ask:

  • Can I reduce the current cost of quality by 20% or more through a handful of ‘quick wins'?
  • Can I improve quality with my current project budgets?
  • Is my current testing solution able to do more?

Outsourcing activities to experts rather than low-cost offshore firms will help your organization proactively answer the above questions effectively.

In his paper ‘Roadmap to Successful Outsourcing', IEEE editor Wolfgang Strigel pointed out that outsourcing allows organizations to:

  • Realize significant cost-savings for resources. Businesses can take advantage of global resources to cut costs while retaining the permanent foundation of expertise in those areas that represent their competitive differentiator.
  • Use their core staff for strategic work while contracting other activities. This improves company focus and increases margins by using specialty knowledge only when needed, avoiding make-work projects for in-house staff not on a mission-critical path.
  • Shorten delivery cycles and get greater flexibility to ramp resources based on project needs.
  • Access experts through a reliable pool of resources - to confront the challenges of having in-house experts in all areas.

Building a long-term relationship with an outsourcing partner does not have to be dramatic. Serious partners will want to participate in services that can be verified by performance, while they work on and improve the current projects and process frameworks.

Starting with a sample or ‘pilot project' of a controlled size and scope will allow you to measure the results and judge the potential value of the service provider for future projects.

To maximize the value of outsourcing, you need to think about a tailored solution for your company that uses the following types of testing methods and techniques as part of the overall testing methodology:

  • Black Box Testing
  • Compatibility Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • Regression Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • Scalability/Load Testing
  • Security Testing

Your outsourcing partner should also understand the impact of manual efforts associated with test execution during a mission-critical project. Since manual test cases are a way of life in most organizations, your partner should have an effective way of getting manual test cases under control and automating the painfully repetitive areas of manual testing.

Equally important, your partner should be adept at defining and implementing an automation strategy - one that carefully analyzes the areas that can be automated to get maximum time saving and test coverage. This can be achieved by leveraging an ROI model (comparison of the cost of manual execution vs. the cost of automation and maintenance) as well as applying an approach to import/convert manual test cases to automation.

Finally, consider that every testing engagement should track information to measure and ensure quantifiable improvements. On a monthly, even weekly schedule, data should be collected in the following categories: application quality, test coverage, productivity, project-specific metrics, and automation metrics.

Summary
Outsourcing is rapidly creating a new competitive reality for companies, which have much to gain from global sourcing. For many companies, outsourcing has proved itself as a way to reduce operating costs and jump productivity by tapping into the skills and expertise of an outsourcing partnership.

More Stories By Mush Honda

Mush Honda is QA Director at KMS Technology, a provider of IT services across the software development lifecycle with offices in Atlanta, GA and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has previously played various QA roles at Ernst & Young, Nexidia, Colibrium Partners and Connecture. KMS services include application management, testing, support, professional services and staff augmentation.

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...