Customer value and end-user experience, which are at the heart of all digital initiatives, are realized in the multi-channel ‘front office’. But they rely heavily on the dependable, safe, secure and performant behavior of the ‘back office’, where “Large and fairly complicated conversations that you’ve triggered occur entirely among things remotely talking to other things: servers, switches, routers, and other Internet and telecommunications devices, updating and shuttling information back and forth."
In the past, these components were stand-alone applications and were considered non-mission critical because they did not interact directly with each other, but were intermediated by people that were able to control and, if necessary, bypass their behaviors and modify their outcomes “by hands.”
Now, these components interact without human intermediation, and their end-to-end interactions become mission critical since there is no manual alternative "in an Always-On World." Systematic testing of these services, architectures and processes is a growing fundamental challenge that is having a significant impact on the Quality Assurance (QA) and Testing market, which must respond to the demand for greater assurance that underneath interconnected components are dependable, secure and performant for all users. The World Quality Report 2015-2016 - that results from a survey among 1,560 CIOs and IT and testing leaders, from 32 countries across the globe - relates a spectacular progression of the allocation to QA & Testing in percentage of IT spend: (i) 2012: 18%, (ii) 2013: 23%; (iii) 2014: 26%; (iv) 2015: 35%; (v) 2018 (predicted): 40%.
The budget increase suggests a growing awareness of the value of QA & Testing as a critical contributor to the digital transformation, but, according to field and market research and our direct experience, distributed services architectures test raises enormous industrial and economic problems, and the available infrastructure is still inadequate.