Software QA FYI - SQAFYI

QA Needs to Jump on the Cloud Bandwagon

By: Vu Lam

Cloud services have really captured the imagination of the business world. According to a Gartner survey 71% of organizations have adopted SaaS (Software as a Service) within the last three years.

Quality Assurance teams however, seem to have missed the boat, barely leveraging the benefits of the cloud. While enterprises and their so-called “QA Verified” software may be cloud-based, Test Management itself generally isn’t.

Advantages of Test Management in the Cloud
The benefits a cloud-based approach brings are plentiful and are particularly pertinent for QA teams. Top of the list for most companies adopting SaaS is the cost-savings. The ability to eradicate setup and ongoing maintenance costs for your QA toolset and data storage is most welcome. Working via a browser means no special software/hardware overhead.

Consider the nature of most test projects and you’ll find that they involve disparate groups working in remote locations, often around the clock. A central repository that remains accessible for everyone with solid SLAs (service level agreements) ensuring zero or minimal downtime is a vast improvement over the traditional approach. This increase in reliability comes alongside solid security encryption for peace of mind.

A snapshot of cloud-application benefits include:
* No on-going infrastructure management, operational or installation costs incurred. Backup and recovery is relatively simpler and cheaper than traditional methods, as service providers offer recovery services;
* Access to applications is location-independent (e.g., office, home, hotel, airport, customer site)
* Ability to always run on the latest application release from vendors; thus can quickly leverage new functionality;
* Subscription-based licensing model requires less upfront investment; no lock-in with any particular vendor.

What to Look for in the Cloud
First and foremost you want your cloud-based test management to enhance workflow and streamline processes for greater efficiency. One of the first things worth considering is integration. Can you integrate your existing bug tracking software? Are there any plug-ins or browser based tools that can help generate logs and record screenshots to create clear and concise bug reports? Can you easily import and export documents, deliverables, log files, images and other files? Can you set permission levels, make bug status changes, and see real-time updates? Does it support automated test scripts

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QA Needs to Jump on the Cloud Bandwagon