Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Craig Lowell, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo

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
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
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 lead...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.