Is your toolset keeping up with your needs? Tips for selecting the right software testing platform

Growth-focused companies – whether disruptive startups or innovative enterprises – are looking to push releases out quickly, frequently and confidently as they pursue market growth and transformative initiatives. Regardless of what development methodologies they call upon, these companies are finding it essential to make software testing an integral part of their software delivery process, and to find a toolset that supports their current testing needs that can scale as their development efforts grow. Below, we outline key considerations for selecting a software testing platform to meet your needs.

Keeping pace in a world run by software

As software development methodologies continually evolve and software delivery channels expand, companies must ensure their software testing tools support their evolving needs. Whether your testers need to support agile transformation, quality in continuous delivery pipelines, or testing software across web, mobile, or enterprise applications, testing is critical to success.

Selecting the right software testing platform should begin with a review of your current development and delivery methods across the organization, as well as what you plan to adopt in the future. For example, if you’re transitioning to agile, you’ll need tools that support rapid feedback cycles as part of each development sprint. If you’re migrating an enterprise application to the cloud, you’ll need a way to assess the highest-risk areas to accelerate the migration, as well as to test to ensure there were no interruptions to critical business processes.

Without the right platform, companies may find themselves hampered by a set of disparate testing tools used across groups to support different projects and initiatives. Such decentralized use of critical tools leads to communication challenges and lack of transparency across teams.

Before settling on a particular toolset, verify that the company you choose to partner with is committed to continually evolving to support the latest testing approaches and delivery expectations. Take a look at recent release announcements, and ask about their roadmap. Align with testing leaders across the business to ensure various needs can be accommodated now and in the future. If the platform you choose can’t keep up with the times, testing can quickly become disjointed and software quality will suffer.

Fueling growth with the right software testing platform

A partnership with the right vendor (or vendors) will ensure your company can support its existing testing teams, tools and approaches, address complex use cases without distracting from core job responsibilities, and is positioned to scale with your team. In fact, such a platform can help a growth-focused company jump-start its initiatives to be more innovative. With the rise of open source tools, you might be wondering whether a platform or a best-of-breed approach that incorporates a variety of specialized tools is best.

For enterprises, it’s most likely a combination of the two. Testing teams across the organization may have different needs, and while many (and in some cases all) needs can be met with a diverse platform, it’s likely that at some point, some teams will want to supplement with point solutions or open source frameworks and tools that fulfill a specific purpose. With that in mind, it will likely be important to select a platform with a broad ecosystem of technology partners and robust integration capabilities.

Also worth considering is that vendors understand the value of a broader community of professionals, and that they offer resources in the form of user conferences, forums, product training, best practices and online resources as a catalyst for innovative ideas and processes.

With that in mind, here are the hallmarks of a software testing platform that keeps pace with industry and customer needs:

  • Robust integration capabilities and a commitment to support best-of-breed integrations with the right tools, making it easy to integrate with tools across the software delivery pipeline and enable a mix of development, testing and delivery approaches.
  • Demonstrated customer focus, shaped around a well-defined, forward-thinking roadmap and enterprise-grade support. Look for case studies, testimonials and customer references, and check out the online community and support sites.
  • Covers end-to-end testing needs across diverse application architectures, enabling better, faster testing across legacy, private and public cloud applications, microservices and APIs, and the ability to test complex business processes from end to end.
  • A substantial onboarding and training program or resources that encourage end-user adoption and help your team get up-to-speed quickly.
  • Transparency into testing execution and status that makes it easy to identify, prioritize and resolve critical issues. Integration with popular application lifecycle management tools like Jira and CA Agile Central that provides real-time insight to developers and product owners is paramount here.
  • Regularly releases enhancements and/or expands its portfolio of testing tools. Testing is growing more complex, and quality more critical to business success. So it’s important that your toolset addresses a variety of use cases and needs, from innovative new product development to back-office application upgrades and major cloud migration initiatives.
  • Demonstrated industry knowledge and expertise, and a willingness to advise users across the software testing platform on its strategic use.
  • Ability to apply a risk-based testing approach, which aligns testing activities with business priorities so your teams can quickly reach optimal risk coverage.

While not exhaustive, the above list should help you narrow your list of potential vendors and quickly eliminate the ones that are not equipped fit for your needs, both now and in the future.

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