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3 Ways to Reduce Software Development Costs for the C-Suite

The average organization spends a quarter of IT budgets on quality assurance and testing. But because of the economic downturn, they are reducing spending, and this puts pressure on quality assurance. So how can organizations reduce software development costs without compromising quality or speed?

For businesses to remain stable, it’s crucial that they respond to and remain unaffected by outside disruption, and come out on top. 

In this guide, we outline three approaches to achieving lean operations without sacrificing quality. They all point to no-code test automation as a solution, and outline why this investment will be essential for seeing measurable outcomes fast.

Executive summary

Companies need to leverage a systematic approach to strengthen the resilience of their current business models to ensure their ongoing operation during COVID-19. CIOs can play a key role in this process, since digital technologies and capabilities influence every aspect of business models. - Daniel Sun, VP Analyst, Gartner.

For organizations with complex technical structures, you’ll be running more than one project at once. So how can you cut costs without causing further ramifications to overall development?

  • Make testing in development maintainable and scalable using business user friendly automation platforms. For example, no-code test automation tools.
  • Take a risk-based approach to testing where you test as early as possible and prioritize risk-prone areas. This ensures your QA managers target areas with the biggest chance of influencing software quality. 
  • Free up resources not by cutting staff but by rethinking which resources you invest in test automation - technical experts or business experts? Find a codeless automation tool that closes the skills gap between developers and testers, and make your development much more efficient and lean.

Make software testing scalable and maintainable

Nearly 60% of total software development costs are spent on testing. And no wonder, as it directly impacts the quality and speed organizations get to market. 

For the average large organization, the ability to deliver is hindered by the mounting number of regression tests to run to ensure the quality of software. It’s only natural that organizations look to test automation for solutions.

In theory, the benefit of code-based automation is that you can build a unique automation framework to fit your needs. However, the time, resources, and dependency on developers to maintain the framework outweighs the benefit of automation. And this quite severely prevents your organization from scaling their projects.  

In turn, this slows down the software development life cycle (SDLC), and often results in mounting costs from the lost market opportunities and lack of good practices that aren’t immediately obvious.

For organizations seeking fast results and cost reduction, you have to search for alternative methods: An agile software testing tool that doesn’t require programming skills. 

Take-away

To scale, you need a business user friendly automation framework. Using automation tools with a visual language rather than code makes you less reliant on developers to move testing through the development pipeline. 

You will need developers to innovate and build software. But a test automation tool that enables more people to participate in creating test cases removes bottlenecks that stop teams from scaling their testing.

It’s up to IT leaders to invest in automation projects that remove repetitive tasks and in automation tools that reduce the already mounting maintenance.

Take a risk-based testing approach

Software is among the most labor-intensive, complex, and error prone technologies in human history - CISQ

In 2018, CISQ estimated that poor-software quality of legacy systems cost $635 billion. 

Software testing is risk based. No matter the software development method you’re following, whether it’s agile or waterfall, it’s important to detect bugs early. 

The longer it takes to discover a bug, the more costly the fix will be and the more likely it will be to severely impact business continuity.

Averare cost of a software bug

Take Amazon as an example. In 2013, after a 40 minute outage from a software glitch, Amazon lost almost $5M. That’s $120,000 per minute. 

Takeaway

Prioritizing risk-prone areas in software testing is important and allows the product to fail fast, while costs are still relatively low. With risk-based testing, QA software testing managers prioritize the risks that have the highest chance of influencing the quality of software. 

Test automation is critical for failing fast, but the start-up costs are high compared to manual testing. As a CIO, it’s up to you to make the investment in test automation sooner rather than later. 

Investing in a commercial vendor that removes the complexity of coding, rather than having a Center of Excellence build their own test automation framework, will also help flatten the cost curve of test automation, thus containing costs in the long run.

Close the gap between testing and development 

Automation is a driver of agility. And while test automation has been around for over 10 years, past approaches to automation haven’t helped development teams keep up with modern and speedy deliveries. 

A tool that removes the added complexity of automation scripts gives QA teams more flexibility. They can test sooner and reduce excessive costs incurred from complex code.

This gets you one step closer to the hail Mary of software development production - continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).

Closing the skills gap: a use case 

Investec, a specialist bank and wealth manager, searched for a UI driven test automation tool that could be used by business and technical experts. 

 

 

With primarily business experts as testers, they needed a tool that allowed testers to define cases without programming experience. They introduced LEAPWORK into their continuous integration environment.

It took them four weeks to execute their full regression suite, and could perform regression tests with 20% the speed, 24/7. Now, 95% of cases run automatically, allowing them to focus on edge cases. 

Takeaway

Find a tool that closes the gap between the small talent pool of skilled developers and testers. With LEAPWORKs codeless development platform, you hide the complexity of scripted test cases and let testers, developers, and essentially anyone who needs to contribute, collaborate on test automation. 

Even if your testers enjoy writing code, or your developers enjoy testing, their skills are better deployed on the task they were hired to do. It all comes down to resource management, and finding a tool that will enable everyone on the team to contribute where they are strongest. That’s the only way your business can become truly lean and move at the speed that helps you maintain a competitive edge.

Conclusion

Maintaining profit and growth during a global pandemic and recession is undoubtedly a difficult task for the majority of businesses.

But regardless of the industry you’re operating in, whether it’s compliance heavy industries like finance and healthcare, there are ways to reduce software development spending without sacrificing quality or speed to market. 

With LEAPWORKS no-code automation software, business users can build and maintain test cases, and can learn how to use the tool in a matter of days. 

LEAPWORK integrates into your CI/CD pipeline, and lets teams easily collaborate with the universally understood visual language, making automation easy to scale, and reduce costs that aren’t always immediately obvious. 

Learn more about no-code and how to maintain your competitive edge with automation in our upcoming webinar.

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