Cloud computing has been the hottest buzzword in technology circles for some years now, and not without reason. Technology companies have been increasingly moving processes to the cloud to take advantage of the “on-demand, configurable computing environment” offered by shared remote virtual resources (“the cloud”), to save enormously on computing infrastructure and overheads, enjoy immense flexibility in operations and heavily improve on efficiencies and deliveries. A Gartner research report estimated the total global cloud services market to be worth $204 billion at the end of 2016, up from $175 billion in 2015. Gartner also predicts that by 2020, the shift to the cloud will have affected business decisions worth about a trillion dollars. 26% of software applications were already hosted on the cloud in 2015, and this is only going to increase.
How DevOps is Driving Migration to the Cloud
It is not just the drive to cut costs that is pushing cloud adoption, but technology shifts as well. DevOps is a software development philosophy evolving from agile methodology. It emphasises greater harmony between development and operations in delivery processes, for operations and development to work in an iterative feedback loop, producing consistent, continuous and rapid testing and release cycles, nurturing high efficiency and less latency. In DevOps, infrastructure configurations are seamlessly incorporated into the application development process itself, necessitating continuous scaling and levels of Service Virtualization impossible to achieve without cloud deployment. In all, DevOps weaves the cloud right into the software development and testing philosophy itself as an integral and active component and not just as a cost-cutting measure or passive scaling method. DevOps and the cloud work in tandem to give companies the advantage of faster and continuous delivery, better organisational learning and greater efficiencies in application performance, one driving adoption of the other.
Software Testing and the Cloud
Among the biggest beneficiaries and adopters of DevOps and the cloud are automated software testing processes. DevOps and cloud environments enable highly diverse, scalable and complex testing and configuration environments, enabling software testing companies to push code through all kinds of scenarios with utmost efficiency without having to worry about server configurations, bottlenecks or deployment issues, helping them to focus on innovation and product improvement. In addition, as software providers migrate to the cloud, testing providers are also following suit seeking easier interoperability of services with their clients. Where the cloud has really become indispensable, however, is in the dynamic world of mobile app testing. When Operating Systems, devices, configurations, platforms and applications change on an almost daily basis, only the cloud can provide the levels of scaling and environments necessary for testing applications in infinite combinations of devices, configurations and environments. Today, the technology world is unanimous that the cloud is the future of testing.
Future of Software Testing and the Cloud
Spurred on by the emergence of DevOps and cloud, and other efficient and automated services, the software testing market is on a confident upward trajectory estimated to be worth $34 billion in size by 2017 worldwide, with spending on it increasing by 14% of CAGR, YoY5. We can confidently conclude that a large part of the predicted $1 trillion cloud migration by 2020 will come from the shift of testing and QA processes to the cloud. The emergence of TaaS (Testing as a Service), unique from SaaS, further underlines the significance of the role the cloud plays in software testing services. Driven by customer demand for multi-dimensional testing of applications across platforms and services, and enabled by DevOps, cloud, and TaaS, testing will evolve more complex integrated models in the future, making conventional delivery processes obsolete and cloud deployment of QA and testing processes the norm.
Testhouse, as a thought leader in the software quality assurance space and a Microsoft gold competency partner, runs a well-defined and entrenched cloud practice through Visual Studio and Azure, supporting quality management throughout the software development cycle. Its optimum practices enable Testhouse to provide organisations with accelerated and cost effective software delivery at optimal quality to meet their business priorities and clients’ needs.
Adopting the cloud has provided incredible advantages for IT companies, from saving costs on infrastructure, deployment, and overheads to vastly improving application efficiency and delivery practices. Today, DevOps practices, with their seamless integration of development and operations and the Service Virtualization levels necessary for this, have seamlessly made the cloud an integral part of the software development philosophy itself. This has led to software testing organisations rapidly adopting the cloud to take advantage of the flexibility it offers as the perfect platform to apply variable, rapid and continuously scaling testing environments for faster delivery cycles and efficient applications, especially on mobile platforms. Cloud testing will evolve complex, more integrated continuous delivery models in the future, redefining software lifecycles and application development and quality management in ways we cannot yet imagine.