History is Full of Unsinkable Ships: Software Bugs and Enterprises

The unsinkable ship is an icon. Or at least, it should be considered a cultural icon. As the big majestic ships of the White Star Line, the enterprises follow their course. But there is one big difference: The cubic feet of the iceberg which tore open and flooded the compartments of the Titanic are huge in comparison with the size of a software bug. And yet that software bug can tear open an enterprise to the media just as effectively.

The damage of a software bug is multidimensional. At first you might only see that something does not work. Then you see a customer who has a problem. But then the bug can extend as far as clients of customers of customers losing business. In complex enterprise environments the acceleration of development, interdependent systems and fast release cycles established something which was not there in the past: public awareness of the software bug.

In Tricentis’ Software Fail Watch: 2015 in Review you can find 6 Verticals who found themselves covered in the media in 2015.

  1. Government (145 mentions)
  2. Transportation (92 mentions)
  3. Retail (89 mentions)

Among others…

All in all 239 companies were struck by media attention due to a software fail. The list includes everything from big enterprises, government agencies, enterprises who are traded at stock exchanges, and more…

This report makes it clear that business risk is a major driver (if it was not clear from the beginning). Business risk should always be the base driver for your enterprise. There is no exception for testing.

Ultimately, testing harder isn’t the answer here – testing smarter is.

What is your quality assurance based on?

Read the report here.