Quality engineering and testing trends for 2023

Gwen Iarussi, Solution Architect, Quality Services Practice Lead – UST Xpanxion

DevOps helps teams easily integrate and deploy software and application updates through continuous collaboration and delivery methods.

Gwen Iarussi, Solution Architect, Quality Services Practice Lead – UST Xpanxion

Gwen Iarussi, Solution Architect, Quality Services Practice Lead – UST Xpanxion

2023 is kicking off with a bang! Teams are diving headfirst into critical deliverables and initiatives. At the same time, the world faces a domino of challenges: from a shifting economy to global instability, workforce shortages, supply chain deficits, and a war in Ukraine. As the icing on the cake, January brought the AI (Artificial Intelligence) disrupter we have been hoping for to shake things up and keep us on our toes.

Though it may appear like we are entering the perfect storm of impossible barriers mixed with everything moving at the speed of light, there is hope on the horizon. Gartner predicts several areas of strategic focus for businesses this year:

1. Optimization of teams and systems

2. Scalability

3. Sustainability and resilience

With these areas as the backdrop, we have identified the top five trends to keep on your radar in 2023:

1. Increased focus on customer experience

With the rise of digital and online interactions, businesses are under pressure to provide an exceptional customer experience across all locations and devices. Expect to see companies investing in customer experience management solutions to personalize and improve customer interactions in a way that scales. A better customer experience builds customer loyalty, which leads to more customers, brand recognition and trust.

In 2023, we will see increased adoption of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, VoC (Voice of Customer) applications, social media management, and analytics management platforms and services that utilize AI and machine learning capabilities. By using these tools and methods, businesses can gain valuable insights into their customer’s needs and preferences, and pain points, along with creating more personalized and effective customer experiences that will give them a competitive edge.

2. Greater use of automation

One of the biggest steps forward in software delivery is automation. It is not just about automating tests anymore — successful delivery teams know the value of targeted automation as part of their delivery strategy. They have built out continuous, multi-faceted testing models, adding several levels of automation and helping teams gain quality feedback earlier and throughout the delivery lifecycle and even in production. Test automation speeds up cycles, reduces testing efforts, and improves test case scenarios for faster and more affordable quality delivery.

Next-generation automation is expanding to other aspects of delivery, including testing enablers and data generation, environment setup and configuration, and non-functional testing (performance/observability/ accessibility).

The biggest step forward on the automation front is that it is becoming increasingly important to the larger business as a means of increasing operational efficiency and reducing errors in all aspects of day-to-day functions, enabling organizations to re-focus their human capital on growth and innovation. Expect to see more organizations investing in automation technologies like RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and BPA (Business Process Automation) solutions to streamline operations and increase quality outcomes.

3. Evolution of Dev & TestOps into platform engineering

As agile delivery teams continue to face the challenges associated with moving quickly yet maintaining the highest levels of quality, they have had to find better ways to orchestrate the build, deploy, and test activities associated with moving an application from conception to production. Dev and TestOps have helped teams bridge the gap between delivery and IT (Information Technology) operations. Despite this, teams have struggled to get the tooling/environments/configurations that support their delivery pipelines in an efficient and repeatable way that does not cause massive overhead to a team’s already heavy workload.

As part of a larger move towards the democratization of IT, and with the recent advancements in virtualization and orchestration tooling, these efforts have paved the way for the emergence of platform engineering. This discipline treats development platforms as products emphasizing self-service/on-demand delivery tooling and services. Platform engineering enables delivery teams to manage all aspects of their delivery pipelines without waiting on other teams or third-party support. In short, platform engineering helps companies streamline their internal technology operations and delivery support environments quickly and effectively.

This includes:

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The benefits of DevOps and TestOps:

DevOps helps teams easily integrate and deploy software and application updates through continuous collaboration and delivery methods. TestOps allows teams to move quickly by automating large automation test suites at scale – across software and applications, making it easier to deliver value to customers.

It is a holistic solution for maximizing the delivery speed, reliability, scalability, and overall resiliency of applications at every stage of delivery.

As companies look at optimizing their IT operations, we will see a move towards more investment around this evolving discipline and the tooling associated with it, positioning teams to keep up with the increasing speed of business, as well as preparing for the onslaught of new capabilities.

4. True adoption of AI

Speaking of new capabilities, the era of AI is officially upon us and it is expected to significantly impact the world of testing and quality, as well as the way we do business. With the development and excitement around AI-generated content, advances in synthetic data, and the recent release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT (among other tools).

With the help of AI, teams can execute thousands of varied and large test cases, which is impossible to do manually – improving accuracy with little to no manual intervention and reducing or eliminating manual testing needs. AI lets teams analyze and identify repetitive and time-consuming tasks, generate test cases and data, predict defects, optimize processes and monitoring, and leverage an endless set of other practical applications.

One thing is certain; one of the major differentiators in businesses that are successful in this new era will be the ones that understand this tooling and applications today and figure out the best way to apply them to their technology practice, both at an organizational level as well as an individual contributor level.

5. Reliance on outsourcing specialized expertise

During these times of recession, budgets are tightening, and the never-ending war on talent continues to influence our ability to acquire and retain high-quality talent. As a result, companies now face tighter delivery timelines and a lack of talent to get work done. Even as the industry faces more layoffs, the NYTimes reports that “80% of laid-off tech workers will find a new job within three months.” (Mickle, 2023).

Outsourcing testing and delivery expertise in 2023 to reputable partners like UST Xpanxion can provide businesses with access to the expertise, skills, and knowledge they need to achieve their initiatives in a way that is cost-effective, scalable, flexible, and continues to help them utilize the latest tools and methodologies to ensure quality outcomes happen in a timely manner — all while allowing organizations to focus on their core business and drive value.

These trends for 2023 reflect an ever-evolving industry and a game-changing moment for delivery teams. This moment will push us, both individually and collectively, into a state of agility, innovation, and evolution of our people, tools, and processes. Organizations that effectively embrace, leverage and adapt to these trends will be better positioned for success in the fast-paced world of 2023 and beyond.

To take your quality and delivery to the next level in 2023, reach out to us to learn more about our services at UST Xpanxion and how we can help you stay ahead of the curve.