Updated: Apr 15, 2021
Why software testing is important for business?
Pre-requisite - What is software testing?
During the industrial age, the automobile sector was the most important component of a country's economy. All major economies of the world, be it the USA, Germany, France, Japan, the UK, etc, had top-notch automobile manufacturers strengthening their countries' economies. Developing high-quality and reliable automobiles was the aim of every manufacturer. This led to manufacturers improving the quality checks and testing processes to gain a competitive advantage and testing became the most critical part of manufacturing.
These tests range from blasting the car on all angles with a high-pressure stream of water to check leaks, running the car on a muddy, off-road track to check suspension, and many more rigorous tests before a car are finally rolled out for public use. These tests ensure that the end-users get the best quality and tested product. A product that does what it is meant to do with finesse and excellence so that the product remains reliable throughout its life cycle.
Now in the information age, where software is the defining growth of the economy, and testing has become a significant part of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The software has to be tested for faults and discrepancies to ensure the desired outcome, quality product, and satisfactory user experience in turn allowing companies to have a competitive advantage over rivals.
What business should expect from software testing?
Software testing is the set of procedures that a software tester executes and a phase in the software development life cycle (SDLC) that aims to ensure -
The software does what it IS intended to do: Checking the correct working of software on the system by evaluating its response to various input values, the time taken by the software to complete tasks, and the behavior of the software in different scenarios.
Doesn't do what it is NOT intended to do: This involves checking the proper functioning of the software and the fulfillment of its purpose. For instance, file compression software is not doing what it is intended to do if it not only reduces the file size but also deletes some essential data in the file. It also involves ensuring that the software doesn't overutilize the resources of the system on which it is working.
Bussiness significance of software testing
A failure in software could cause severe consequences such as financial loss, customer and reputation loss, or even loss of life. With software now being used in every sector and industry, be it in advanced medical treatments like robotic neurosurgery or surgical implements, a failure in the software or a minor glitch can cause catastrophic implications. Software that is used in online payments, investment banking, government systems that hold confidential data, needs to work bug-free to avoid any such events.
One of the most recent examples of a software malfunction is the infamous Boeing 737-Max jetliner. A software called MCAS was installed in the aircraft to align the nose of the plane to compensate for the bigger engine, but the malfunction resulted in various incidents of a ‘nose-dive' which caused several crashes taking many lives with it. This was caused simply because this nose-dive wasn’t contemplated by the engineers and the software wasn’t tested for that particular scenario but the issue has been rectified because of rigorous testing.
Benefits of software testing
Competitive advantage: A thoroughly tested software will ensure a seamless customer experience, winning their trust and confidence. On the contrary, customers will move to the competitor if they experience a poor quality product with defects. Moreover, for software with sensitive information or operations (like financial, defence software system), quality and accuracy is the most critical factor and can lead to a severe loss of business to organizations in these fields.
Build Brand: All the top companies of the world don’t compromise on quality be it in any industry. In the 20th century, the German carmaker Volkswagen, Japanese car company Toyota build their reputation and brand on quality. A similar trend is followed by software companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc, which have integrated and comprehensive testing processes.
Cost-saving: If the bugs and errors in software are caught before its larger-scale roll-out, a significant amount of money is saved in the long term. Earlier the bug you fix, the more the cost business will save. Fixing a defect early in the lifecycle of software costs a fraction when compared to fix the defect in production. There is an exponential increase in the cost to fix a bug as we move right in the software development life cycle. As per the estimates, it will cost you 30x more to fix a defect in the product than to fix the requirement or design level.
User experience: Testing ensures the rectification of possible lags, performance issues, exceptions, and interferences in the smooth functioning of software which enhances the user experience.
Customer satisfaction: Quality software that runs seamlessly ensures that the c