As Quality Engineering leaders, it is essential to stay abreast of current industry and technology trends. I also find it helpful to read industry reports and other publications from companies like Gartner, Deloitte, Google, Micro Focus, Capgemini, and Smartbear, to name a few. Today, I’d like to focus on four specific metrics gathered from recent industry reports and elaborate on what they mean for us as QE leaders. 

1. Forecasted Growth in Global Cloud Spending 

Gartner, Inc. predicts that global public cloud spending will increase at a rate of 21.7% to reach $482 billion in 2022. In addition, as referenced in the Deloitte 2021 Quality Engineering Trends Report, “The proportion of global IT spending on cloud transformation is expected to encompass 14.2% of total enterprise IT spending by 2024, compared to 9.1% in 2020.”  

Why are companies making the investment to migrate their applications and services to the cloud? In the past, the key benefits were mainly cost savings and replacing complex or unreliable data centers. 

But today, cost savings is no longer the primary benefit. Companies are considering numerous drivers to move to the cloud such as a mobile workforce, global customer base, scalability, simplicity, performance, environment & application modernization, and last but not least, data modernization.  

As Gartner Research Vice President Sig Nag says, “Emerging technologies such as containerization, virtualization and edge computing are becoming more mainstream and driving additional cloud spending. Simply put, the pandemic served as a multiplier for CIOs’ interest in the cloud.”  

What does this mean for quality engineers? 

I believe all QE professionals should become familiar with at least one of the major cloud platforms as well as concepts like containerization and virtualization. To begin, QE leaders should understand the differences between the migration strategies by knowing the 6Rs of cloud migration: Repurchase (“drop and shop”), Rehost (“lift and shift”), Replatform, Refactor/Re-Architect, Retire, and Retain. 

For any migration, I recommend creating a testing strategy or checklist. Make sure it is comprehensive of all types of testing, not just functional testing. Security, performance, and integration (especially 3rd party) testing are key testing types for a cloud migration. In addition, perform a risk assessment for your specific company risk profile.  

2. Top Test Spending Drivers = Emerging Tech and Test Environment Challenges  

According to Capgemini World Quality Report 2021-22, regarding test environments and emerging technologies, “As many as 42% of survey respondents felt they would be upgrading their existing test labs with capabilities in 5G, IoT, AI, and autonomous systems. It seems they are confident they can accommodate these new technologies but we’re not sure how many of them appreciate the level of investment they may need to make.”  

In addition, Deloitte 2021 Quality Engineering Trends Report survey figures that, “Top testing spending drivers within the organizations: emerging technologies (60%), mounting test environment challenges (58%), and hardware and tooling needs (51%).” 

The trending emerging technologies on our radar entering 2022 include IoT, AI/ML, VR, and Edge Computing. Intelligent Automation is an emerging technology particular to quality engineering. Cloud and containerization technologies create spending and testing efforts as well as provide solutions to mounting test environment challenges. 

What does this mean for quality engineers? 

Test data and test environments are common testing pain points, which is which is why Test environment management (Test Environment Management) is becoming more common. Emerging technologies such as cloud, containerization, and virtualization mentioned earlier are some of the emerging technologies to resolve these mounting test environment challenges. 

Test data management (TDM), test environment management (TEM), and 3rd party integrations are often intertwined. Therefore, modern QE organizations should create holistic TEM and TDM strategies to overcome these challenges. Leverage the best of breed of emerging technologies for automated continuous build, test, and deployment. 

3. Agile and DevOps Top Organizational Investment Trends 

According to Deloitte 2021 Quality Engineering Trends Report, top trend areas organizations are likely to invest over next 1-2 years, “Agile & DevOps (73%), Intelligent Automation (54%), Performance and security testing; test data & environments (48%).” 

Agile and DevOps are not new IT trends for 2021-22 or even 2011-2012, yet they top out organizational investment trends. Agile & DevOps is a broad and all-encompassing trend, but it is more than that. Agile and DevOps transformations are not a won and done, they are a journey. An organization is not simply Agile or non-Agile, in a binary sense.  

Anecdotally, I have observed so many organizations that are quasi-Waterfall, Agile-ish, or use terms like Scrumbut. In the Practitest State of Testing Report 2021, they used the category label “Agile or Agile-like,” citing 92% of organizations in 2021, up slightly from 89% in 2020. Most often, organizations have already embarked on an enterprise effort of transformation, follow many of the Agile ceremonies, and have some form of test automation, and some form of a CI/CD pipeline, and have some form of business involvement.  

What does this mean for quality engineers? 

Quality Engineers should strive for organizational relevance in Agile and DevOps transformations. Quality practices can lead by example with initiatives such as TDD, BDD, CI/CD, and especially Test Automation. I have often witnessed QE rather than development or IT ops organizations lead the way in such initiatives. In addition, QEs are empowered to participate in cross functional teams with greater awareness of the business priorities and domain.  

4. DevOps Elite Deployments Outperform by Orders of Magnitude 

According to Google Cloud State of DevOps 2021, “Comparing elite DevOps groups against the lower performers, we find that elite performers have: 973x more frequent code deploys and 6570x faster lead time from commit to deploy.” 

This is an encouraging and motivating figure and demonstrates return on investments in Agile & DevOps practices, as well as realization of cloud migration and app modernization. Laggards are exponentially behind the elites at delivering value to their customers. I was taught that practice makes perfect. We can recognize that elite companies doing almost 1000 more frequent code deploys get better at deploying software.  

As Jez Humble said in continuous delivery, “If it hurts more, do it more frequently, and bring the pain forward.” 


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