offshore software testing: the future ahead

Published: 11th June 2012
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Offshore software testing is testing services provided by the company’s global team from an offshore location (a team of testers operating from a different geographical location or country). Offshore QA testing has become very popular over the last few years. One can find many reasons behind the impeccable success of offshore testing, but the popular ones are: transparency, providing unbiased reports, and the most important, cost effectiveness. There was a time when testing was known to be a secondary job; however, due to the increasing competition to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction, companies have started investing in testing activities, and thus, offshore software testing has evolved as a solution for cost and resource saving.

The word ‘offshore’ was often confused with outsourcing. ‘Outsourcing’ is work (development or testing) performed by an external company while ‘offshoring’ is work performed by a company from a different geographical location; clearly, it is a result of globalization in software industry. The idea of offshore testing has allowed companies to get their application tested across the globe. Offshore software testing has been found to be very well suited with new software development models, like agile, wherein builds developed are deployed daily or weekly, and assigned to the offshore QA testing team. Often times, offshored team end up being outsourced teams as the combination of offshoring and outsourcing have significant benefits to offer to the core product development effort from time, cost and quality angles. Most big companies cannot handle all tasks internally and hiring some in-house professionals to do the work can be time and cost consuming. So, they outsource the work to offshore companies. There are many offshore software quality assurance and testing companies in India. Most product companies in USA have an offshore counterpart that they work with; however there are pros and cons to consider in such models and see how the cons can be mitigated.

India is a very populated country, so it is quite easy to get employees at a very low cost to company. Also, professionals in Indian or Asian companies are very skilled to perform any task and always live up to client and customer expectations. Therefore, offshoring software testing jobs to India will save a lot of money yet get the skilled labor that is required. On an average, we can expect that Europe and US companies will probably save around 60% of money by offshoring software testing work to Asian companies, as in India, salary of a software tester is much lower than in the US. By offshoring the work, companies can concentrate on their other important business processes. Even though offshore software quality assurance and testing has lot of advantages, it also incorporates some shortcomings like communication gaps due to physical distances and issues among countries and continents. There is always a risk involved in offshoring as confidential data has to be exposed to a third party company. Many of the offshore companies in India are new and sometimes fail to understand the business model and priorities. And most important is the stability issue in case of any disaster. Hence, companies involved in offshore work need to make sure that they should be able to continue the business and work in situations of disaster by having a robust recovery plan in place.

Thus, it is important for a company to first identify the importance of work before outsourcing it to an offshore company. Although risks will continue to exist, outsourcing work to offshore companies is the most effective way to achieve growth and success in business in terms of revenue, time or resource saving, given the current market constraints that we operate in.

Knowledge Sharing Team at QA InfoTech is responsible for research on new tools & technologies for effective offshore software testing services across all industry verticals. QA InfoTech (an ISO 9001:2008 & CMMI III certified) is one of the leading QA testing Companies with five testing “Centers of Excellence” in the United States and India. It offers end to end software quality assurance and testing services.

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