About a decade back, offshore software testing services was a very lucrative business. The offshore testing model’s benefits around round the clock productivity, reduced overall cost of quality, resources available to test at significantly lower prices than when hiring them onsite, were all recognized and appreciated by clients. These were sufficiently significant differentiating factors to seriously consider offshore software testing. However, this scenario has changed drastically over the last few years. It is not that these selling points have vanished today, but these are now prioritized lower compared to the requirements product companies need to handle, given their Agile cycles of development.
Times are changing, where not just paired development efforts and upfront testing such as TDD are in vogue. You even have scenarios where developers are themselves doubled up to play the role of testers. Whether this is the right approach or now, is a completely different discussion – in fact I recently did a keynote at STC 2015, on why we need to resurrect independent testing. Does this mean, there is no place for independent offshore software testing services providers? Not really. For instance, at QA InfoTech, we have been growing very well in newer disciplines and technologies equally with repeat business from older clients. What is important to remember is that currently what we need is “Conscious, continuous and consistent” quality. If an organization can align its functioning with these core themes, build capabilities to enable product companies deliver these to their end users, and at the same time bring in their own differentiation to set them apart from other testing service players, the market is certainly still very lucrative. And it will continue to be so. The global testing outsourcing services market is forecast to touch $50 billion in revenues by 2020, with India expecting to have a huge share of about $15 billion. Offshore testing providers, should be cognizant of the changing times – the changes predicted for the software testing industry are equally applicable to services companies as is for product companies. If they are able to showcase their value add in areas of test automation, bring in objective end user focused test metrics around user expectations and requirements, help drive back product changes based on end user feedback, promote independence in quality not by sheer isolation of testers, but from an angle of being consciously unbiased in test efforts, help empower the rest of the product team bring in continuous quality in their areas of operation – all of these go a long way to bring in the awareness that offshore software testing is not just about lower cost resources, but indeed about having an empowered team that is an extended arm of the core development and quality efforts. This glamour will never die down, as long as teams are aware of where it all stems from and continue to build on those strengths.