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Who Is Offshoring QA and Testing?

Numerous companies in a variety of industries—banking, financial services, software, automotive, and manufacturing—are embarking on this strategy. For example, enterprise software company iRise hired Disha Technologies, an independent QA and testing organization, to create a testing strategy and product test plan for its Application Simulator platform. Working from labs in Bellevue, WA, and India, Disha is performing testing that targets simulation verification and validation. In addition, Disha will carry out user interface, performance, and browser compatibility testing of the web-based front end on different browser platforms and operating systems.

In another instance, Datawatch Corporation, best known for its Monarch desktop report-mining application, hired offshore software firm Vested Development (VDI) when it wanted help with stress/load testing. VDI carries out the bulk of its testing work at its Moscow development center. Using automated tools and manual testing methods, VDI corrected known and unknown defects in Datawatch's ES 4.0 server to ensure that it would operate under heavy loads.

Disha, VDI, and others may offer any of the following testing services: application reliability and security testing, stress/load testing, functionality and regression testing, test process assessment and improvement, test automation, software integration testing, release cycle testing, as well as customized testing services to meet unique customer requirements. IT managers should note that some companies may offer testing as one of a long list of developer services, while other companies specialize strictly in testing.

The following list shows the top benefits and drawbacks of offshoring QA and testing (source: Sanjay Jejurikar, CTO, Disha Technologies):

  • Benefits:
    • Offshoring QA projects may introduce added engineering discipline in-house
    • Companies forced to evaluate and plan testing strategy carefully and accurately
    • Enhanced test coverage within the same budget (without having to increase expenditure)
    • Ability to leverage multiple time zones, especially if the offshore company has a strong presence in India
  • Drawbacks:
    • Initial, one-time overhead expenditure to integrate the offshored project with in-house personnel
    • Perceived (or actual) loss of project control, especially in tight deadline scenarios
    • Perceived (or actual) loss of project ownership

If your company is interested in outsourcing performance and functional testing, benchmarking, or test automation, you need to carefully consider seven critical success factors for outsourced testing projects:

  • Vendor focus
  • Experience and expertise
  • Tools and test automation
  • Specialization
  • Security
  • Pilot project experience
  • Project management and communication

Failing to consider these issues is a certain recipe for disaster.

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