UK businesses risk significant financial loss with inadequate software testing

82 per cent of UK businesses believe that poor software testing costs them significant amounts of money, and a third (39 per cent) have had firsthand experience of this in the last two years.

Despite a clear appreciation of the benefits of testing, a worrying 81 per cent have no idea what proportion of project costs are allocated to it.

The independent survey commissioned by software testing and quality management consultancy SQS revealed that although there was widespread acceptance of the importance of software testing, some companies are failing to carry this out adequately. Over half (55 per cent) admitted that they had experienced post-release problems during the first few months following testing even though three quarters of organisations (76 per cent) now give their staff testing training in-house.

“The research shows that there is a growing understanding within the business community as to the importance of software testing. However choosing to train staff internally to do this only goes some way towards tackling the issue” said David Cotterell, CEO SQS Group.

“In the same way that an outside auditor is employed to oversee a company’s financial affairs, organisations should be looking to outsource testing projects to realise the maximum return on IT investment and fully achieve business goals,” he said.

It appears that companies are beginning to appreciate this. Despite the current economic climate, the budget for external testing is expected to grow in over half of companies this year (52 per cent).

“Businesses need to start budgeting for software testing properly. A time and cost effective way to do this is to outsource non mission critical testing projects,” said David Cotterell.

The research also revealed that:
62 per cent of companies do all their software testing in-house
45 per cent of companies have plans to further invest in test automation tools within the next few years
91 per cent of companies believe that automation can deliver real value and return on investment
73 per cent believe that increasing focus on regulatory compliance influences testing procedures