QA trends come and go. What really matters is definitive ROI.

Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS) is a trusted solution that helps companies significantly lower software failure costs.

Before we look at why TaaS is the single biggest money saver in software development, let’s dive a bit more into what TaaS really is and why it’s important.

What is Testing as a Service?

When you develop software products, they need to be tested before they can be released to the market. Software engineers test for all sorts of contingencies that might be found in real-world environments. From load and stress testing to security testing.

This obviously takes time and development teams need to build in a buffer to accommodate the tests.

TaaS is a way for companies to outsource these tests to a dedicated team, so their development teams can focus on building the product.    

Testing is critical

Every software developer needs to evaluate their product before bringing it to market. It gives companies the chance to stress test their product in order to eliminate possible downtime or faulty function. It also helps to eliminate security vulnerabilities that could affect their users.

Testing is a cost

Tests cost money. From the testing environments that need to be built, to maintenance of those environments. There are less obvious costs to a company though: when developers aren’t developing, there are opportunity costs associated with that. If there is a breach, there can be incalculable costs to a brands reputation.

Getting costs down

Testing is similar to another big cost in any organization; customer support. As a software developer, you are always looking at scale and customer support doesn’t scale well. If you have 1 million users and 10% need support, you’re looking at a large cost. If you have 10 or 100 million, that percentage usually stays the same so your support cost outlays tend to trend upwards as you grow. This fact is what drove call center support. A large group of people and infrastructure that could be brought in and expanded on short-notice to supply swings in demand.

For Windows, Microsoft went a different way and uses its own customers for testing and support. They use a group of Microsoft enthusiasts to test new builds, known as the “inner-ring”, but the problem is that they aren’t experts and may fail to catch all potential problems.

Specifically with testing, bug bounties could work too, but that means that companies have an untested build in the wild, while hoping that a bounty hunter comes along and lets them know that there is a vulnerability. And then they’ll need to pay them anyways.

When cost is a factor, outsourcing is the best option

It’s easy to make the case for outsourcing cost centers: there is the unpredictability of market demand for those services, the cost in resources required for those services, and their elastic demand. When a company outsources, they’re able to limit the outlay and adapt to changing demands in a more cost-effective manner. In the case of TaaS, you also have the added benefit of having expertise in testing. When a company’s developers are the ones doing the testing, whether that’s in UI/UX or security, they tend to have a blind spot because they know how the system should work. It’s therefore beneficial to get an outside perspective when evaluating the build.

You could have the contractor that built your house install a security system, but he certainly isn’t a security expert. You should rather go with a security firm that specializes in such matters and can see the security flaws in your house. The building contractor probably won’t find any.

CEOs and Product Managers need to look at Cost of Quality (COQ). The definition given by QAI is “Money spent beyond expected production costs (labor, materials, equipment) to ensure that the product the customer receives is a quality (defect-free) product. The Cost of Quality includes prevention, appraisal, and correction or repair costs.”

Here is how COQ costs are calculated:

 

Cost of Control (Prevention and Appraisal costs)

+

Cost of Failure of Control (Internal and external failure costs)

=

Cost of Quality

 

It’s a fine line that companies need to evaluate. What would a security risk or a bad user experience cost if there is minimal testing done? These numbers can also be hard to evaluate and often change over time as a company adds more users, thus increasing failure costs.

By using a TaaS company, it’s much easier to asses the Cost of Control part of the equation, which will lead to a more accurate project budget.

In the same way that testing should be evaluated by a TaaS company, it’s also highly recommended that you have these costs calculated by someone outside of the development team. A Controller or another Product Manager that doesn’t have a vested interest in the product.

Testing your own product will always carry significant costs. TaaS could be the answer.

If you’re ready to set your developers free using TaaS, schedule a demo today.

Dog owner, expat, gin lover. Allegedly wise to the ways of digital marketing, PR, and social media. Currently waging a war on mediocrity in communication and storytelling.