Businesses across a variety of industries have taken to the cloud, and there are many others that are still planning their transition to a hosted platform. Development teams have also started leveraging the cloud for software testing and defect management. However, just because something is beneficial or effective for one company, doesn't mean that it will be as advantageous for another. Instead of just going along with the hype, stakeholders must evaluate whether software testing in the cloud is right for their operations and if these practices will be sustainable as the business grows. For this reason, we'll look at some of the challenges and benefits of this approach to help you determine if testing in the cloud is best for you.
Common Challenges When Testing in the Cloud
Transitioning to the cloud often entails significant planning, and the journey has numerous challenges to consider. One issue comes from delegating responsibilities. TechTarget noted that when a tool is no longer in-house, the loss of control can be damaging, especially if quick fixes need to be made. Teams must have a reliable vendor that moves quickly and can easily help them regain their footing.
On the business side, staff must have the tools that they require at a moment's notice. They should be able to make changes and communicate seamlessly with their co-workers, to open up collaboration opportunities and improve project quality. However, this can be easier said than done. Organizations must not only choose the best tools for the team's requirements, but the assets also need to scale according to business fluctuations. The scale rate for a project may be unclear, leading to higher costs. To combat this challenge, teams should experiment with the services and review vendor agreements to ensure that they only pay for what they use.
Other challenges can come from network connectivity and a lack of skills when handling cloud environments. The Register noted that teams must have the expertise on hand as well as vendor support to maintain testing in the cloud and ensure that latencies are minimized. This will help leverage cloud testing effectively and give teams the reinforcements they require.
The Silver Lining of Cloud Benefits
While there are certainly a number of challenges to contend with, there are also a variety of benefits that teams can see from testing in the cloud. In fact, a Telstra survey found that IT managers were moving to the cloud to reduce costs and optimize data, as well as improve security and efficiency, The Register reported. While these advantages are all significant for business operations, there are other benefits that can offer meaningful capabilities to development teams.
With the app space becoming significantly more complex, organizations must have the ability to keep pace with their needs and user expectations. A Cognizant white paper noted that the cloud not only offers support for complex apps, but it also helps improve test quality, quickens time to market and integrates real-time testing. These benefits will help reduce the number of identified defects, make configuration of the test environment more accurate and analyze app performance to detect bottlenecks even while tests are running. Teams will be able to significantly improve their testing and development capabilities just with the number of resources and amount of support the the cloud can offer.
"Cloud computing has opened up new opportunities for testing departments," Cognizant stated. "Testing has traditionally required expensive dedicated infrastructure and resources that were only used sporadically. The growing complexity of business applications also made it harder to build and maintain in-house testing facilities that mimic real-time environments."
Asking the Right Questions
In order to know whether cloud testing is right for your organization, you should understand the potential benefits and challenges as well as ask critical questions to ensure that it will be valuable to your operations. Some queries may relate to the amount of support offered, ease of scalability, payment options, and how well the platform will integrate with current enterprise test management software. These answers will help organizations determine if cloud testing is right for their needs and can also help them decide on the best option for their software development practices.