4 QA Trends to Look Out for in 2023 

Sune Engsig

Senior Product Evangelist at Leapwork

What are the most important trends in quality assurance for 2023 and how will they impact your testing strategy? Learn about the end of code-based approaches, the transition to platforms and SaaS, and the value of AI in this article. 

Skip ahead to:  

The end of code-based test automation  

The move to cloud 

Test automation with Artificial Intelligence  

From tools to platforms   

In 2022, recession and inflation led to enterprises having to rethink their priorities. Now, in 2023, having a good digital immune system isn’t just a priority – it’s a prerequisite for business continuity.  

The story actually hasn’t changed much – businesses need to release software quickly and, ideally, all of that software is tested – it’s the opportunities for QA that have changed. While testing as we’ve known it exerts a significant strain on resources, new methods have made their way into the picture, and with that, changed the game. 

Over the next few years, we anticipate that more of IT budgets will be allocated towards automated testing. However, the return on those investments will depend on which solution is chosen.  

Read on to learn how we expect the test automation space to evolve, and how you can adapt your strategy accordingly to get the maximum return on investment. 

Read more: 3 Automation Trends to Watch Out for in 2023 

1. The end of code-based test automation  

As technology advances and the software development lifecycle evolves, 2023 is the year we truly acknowledge that code-based testing tools have served their purpose.  

For many years, tools like Selenium have been the go-to solution for testing web software applications. But because these tools rely on developer resources and technical skills, they are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain (not to mention scale) as software applications become more complex and resources are tight.  

Read more: How No-code Test Automation Closes the Skills Gap in Software Development 

This has brought on an influx in low-code and no-code solutions, setting a new standard for automation, and testing at large. The barre has increased. Automation adoption is growing, and with that, higher expectations for what these tools and platforms can provide.  

But something is still wrong: Almost half of testing is still performed manually.  

Why? It’s because most no-code solutions typically simplify the automation process by adding a user-friendly UI on top of a much more complex layer of coding. This means more people can understand automation and contribute to it. They are still, however, prohibited from working with it to the extent that they can truly own it.  

Once again, automation ends up in the same place where most of the bottlenecks originally appeared: with the developers. 

We try to solve a problem and end up with the same results: bottlenecks, slow releases, and a lack of bandwidth for innovation. 

To solve these problems properly, we anticipate that new solutions – where testers can truly own the testing process from start to finish – will be adopted. This will unlock a level of productivity and efficiency within QA that has been sought for years. 

2. The move to cloud 

As most enterprises offering a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model are moving their applications to the cloud, we will see an increase in cloud-based testing solutions in 2023.  

New organizations are building their businesses on a digital-first foundation, native to the cloud, rather than investing in difficult to maintain, on-premise installations. This buys them flexibility and agility in their business models. 

Others, however, while investing in the cloud, still have on-prem installations, including legacy ones. For these organizations, hybrid testing solutions should be sought.  

A mature, SaaS-based testing offering is capable of both and suited for hybrid models.  

Regardless of whether your organization is cloud-native or hybrid, you need to be able to test (and automate that testing) across your tech stack.  

Organizations that succeed in integrating this into their 2023 QA strategy, and seek out tools tailored to their needs rather than tailor their businesses to the tools, will see the benefits of reduced risk, higher productivity, and higher quality.  

And to that point – when businesses assess their needs, resources shouldn’t be forgotten – the hunt for talent has never been more challenging, so using skills where they generate the most value, rather than putting new tooling in place that requires reallocation of valuable resources, will be a costly affair in the long term. 

3. Test automation using Artificial Intelligence 

In 2023 we expect to see more organizations adopt AI-powered test automation tools as a means to enhance the quality assurance process and drive considerable efficiencies. 

AI can be used to improve the reliability and stability of automation and generate test flows that cover critical functionality and edge cases while guiding QA professionals in the right direction during the testing phase of the development lifecycle.  

This has the potential to reduce the time and effort required to manage, create and maintain automated testing.  

When maintenance is kept to a minimum, resources can be freed up, productivity can be enhanced, costs can be reduced, and the ROI of the AI-powered automation-tool investment improves.  

Here are a few ways we anticipate that organizations will leverage AI in their test strategy: 

  • Intelligent Test Scoping: AI can help choose the most efficient test cases to create by analyzing huge amounts of data from previous tests. 
  • Test Case Generation: Test coverage can be increased by AI automatically generating test cases by modifying existing ones or creating them from scratch. 
  • Self-healing: AI can automatically recalibrate the formulas used to uniquely identify elements in an application - elements that by the very nature of software development constantly will change. This limits the amount of QA manual testing needed and can reduce the burden of maintenance. 
  • Predictive Testing: AI can analyze test results to predict which are likely to fail in the future.  

In conclusion, creating, executing, and analyzing tests will get easier for QA professionals in the near future through the use of AI, allowing testers to focus more time on other priorities. 

4. From tools to platforms

“Test automation is not always naturally integrated into the development process but organized as a separate activity, independent from development and testing itself”. 

Capgemini World Quality Report 2022-23

With 2023 comes the potential to move away from using a combination of testing and quality assurance tools in the software development process and instead adopt a more unified approach that accommodates the full range of QA needs – from defining requirements to building the test cases that validate them, reporting on those tests, and documenting the outcome.  

For a long time, companies have been struggling to integrate test automation into their software development process. Separate solutions for things such as manual testing, test management, and regression testing were stitched together in an attempt to cover all needs associated with releasing quality software. 

But with a patchwork approach comes increased complexity. And with complexity comes increased risk. 

On a practical level, multiple tools in the end-to-end QA process mean multiple costs of maintaining those tools and the licenses for them. Then there’s the price of maintaining the skills in your workforce to operate different tools, plus the need to integrate each of them into your CI/CD or software delivery pipeline.  

Each tool a company adopts requires employee resources, demanding training, and also leaving an enterprise at risk if they leave their role.  

In 2023, we should be looking towards unified platforms that provide a central location for all testing activities, facilitating collaboration through a freer flow of information, as well as greater visibility into the quality of the testing itself. 

Automated testing isn’t enough to secure QA. Only when the QA process as a whole is unified can you reap the benefits. 

Want to learn more about how you can adopt an agile testing strategy in 2023? Then consider downloading our guide below. It will help you to develop a concrete plan of action with your team. 

 

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