Discover the Pros and Cons to QA Outsourcing and Whether Your Business Needs It
Quality assurance is an essential part of the software development process. And with more and more businesses opting for custom software development for their companies, outsourcing QA has started to become quite popular.
There are a number of reasons for that. For instance, businesses have limited resources available for performing the variety of activities needed to develop, deploy, and manage a quality software product. With tight budgets and limited team resources, what can they do but outsource QA?
Now, if we see the software industry today, we will see that compared to software development services, QA services take a back seat when it comes to service providers. Some either go about it as a formality, while some omit it except for a cursory pass.
In either case, the fact is that the software product in question is neither tested nor verified for quality, which is a major problem if you desire a top-quality and robust software. So, instead of ignoring the process, wouldn’t it be better to outsource the QA process to professional software quality assurance services?
Let’s find out.
Why Do You Need to Be Outsourcing QA?
When we talk about developing a software, whether it’s a mobile app, a web app, or even a desktop app, QA testing is a process that is essential to the success of each of them. So why is it that today so many companies are opting to outsource it rather than perform it in-house?
Well, the fact of the matter is that QA and testing today are highly specialized domains, which require resources to have the right balance of necessary skills to perform the complex activities needed to thoroughly check the software and declare it a technical success.
Nowadays, with so many new technological advancements, its difficult for a developer to be equally good at both software development and QA. That is because to claim a certain expertise, you need to have more than just technical prowess. You need to be aware of the latest technologies and best practices for that, which means that you need to hire separate, dedicated resources for development and testing.
Let’s look at some of the most common reasons besides the one above about why businesses choose QA outsourcing.
Reason 1- Lack of QA Skill/Resources in Your Internal Team
The first, and perhaps the most obvious of reasons to outsource your QA operation is because your team lacks the expertise required to perform a specific QA test, or your team doesn’t have the required software testing tools at all. This one is especially true for small teams and startups, who are working with the bare minimum of resources.
In such times, teams usually focus on the core resource demands, and tackle everything else on an “as it comes” basis. By going to a QA outsourcing services provider, you will be able to get your developed software product thoroughly tested without needing to hire a tester permanently.
Let’s say that your company has developed a delivery app. But you lack the capability and resources to carefully check it for software, hardware, UI/UX, and other issues. In that case, you should choose a QA service that has the experience and the capability to test it against the industry best practices.
Reason 2- Need to Adhere to Tight Deadline
Tight deadlines are another reason why companies decide to outsource QA. Let’s say that in your current team, the developers themselves perform quality assurance and testing for the modules they develop. However, due to the lack of specific expertise, they take longer and are less accurate than a professional QA tester.
Maybe your team is burnt out, and cannot test the project effectively before the strict and short deadline. In that case, outsourcing the QA process to an external, highly professional, and specialized team would be the best way forward, instead of employing tactics like extending the timeline etcetera.
These specialists have preformed workflows and processes, which allow them to test the software product quickly for any issues, with an accuracy far higher than your developers could. This will ensure that your product is properly tested, and you are able to meet the deadline.
Reason 3- Cannot Find the Issue
Sometimes, when you do not have a subject matter expert on hand, you run into issues that you have no idea how to resolve. On the other hand, when you work too closely on a project, you start to miss its issues due to your proximity to it.
This is another place where QA outsourcing can be of help. It is often said that in order to properly review or assess something, you need to look at it with a neutral eye. But how can you be neutral if it’s a project quite close to you? That is why an outsourced service provider can be of a great help in this situation.
And this isn’t just an assumption. A 2021 Global DevSecOps Survey conducted by GitLab discovered that 60% of those polled believed that less than half of the developers could spot an issue within their own code. Considering these figures, it’s a great idea to have your carefully developed software tested by a professional QA service.
Reason 4- It’s a One-Off or Short Term Project
Finally, another common reason for outsourcing QA is because you have a small, one-time need for a QA team. Let’s say that you are developing a project for your company. At the time of development, your team has the necessary development skills, but has no QA specialist on the team because they didn’t have a need for it.
Now, the project you are working on is a one-off product, meaning once you are done developing and it has been delivered to the client, the project is over. In that case, hiring and integrating a QA specialist wouldn’t be a great idea. So what are you to do, if not staff augmentation?
Well, you can hire a QA outsourcing service provider for a fraction of what it would cost you to hire someone in-house. Moreover, the service providers would be industry experts, ideally, who would ensure that the product you developed is free of issues and errors.
Outsourcing QA Offshore or Nearshore – Which one is the Better Choice?
When we talk about software outsourcing or outsourcing in general, there are several types of we could be referring to. Outsourcing can be one of three main types:
Now, it depends on the type of your project and its needs. Sometimes, when budget is an issue, companies prefer offshore outsourcing. That is where you can usually get top-tier services for a fraction of the local cost.
In other scenarios, where you just need to outsource the project, regardless of the budget or time, you can use an outsourcing services provider from any of the three types above. However, that is rarely the case.
In short, it is generally preferred to go for offshore software outsourcing, as that is usually considered the best value in terms of quality vs cost.
Benefits of QA Outsourcing That Can Help Boost Your Performance
There are many reasons why companies outsource software development completely, or just prefer outsourcing QA. However, let’s take a look at these benefits in a little more detail to see why we should hire an external QA and testing agency instead of getting an in-house resource for your team.
Access to Top QA Talent
One of the foremost benefits is that QA outsourcing, especially if you are going for offshore outsourcing, is going to give you access to a far wider pool of candidates for QA. While your region may have its share of top QA talent, a company you hire from offshore to perform your QA may have people who are more skilled and experienced. And chances are they will be more economical too.
Hiring your own QA talent may be a lot more time consuming and problematic. For instance, considering that you are hiring an entirely new category of resource, you may need to employ the services of a technical recruitment firm. Moreover, settling them into your team, and bringing them up to speed with your team dynamic, business norms, and more may take far longer than your deadline.
This is one of the biggest factors in the staff augmentation vs managed services argument, and it shows that its better to outsource than to hire an in-house resource in such instances.
Keep Internal Resources Free and Available
Secondly, lets consider you have an in-house QA resource, but they have manage a lot more than one project at a time. Chances are they might make mistakes. However, if you outsource your QA activities, your in-house will have time to prioritize their work, and focus on the core functions and features without worrying about delays from your other project.
Moreover, this way they will also be able to help you assess the progress and flow of your outsourced project, working as a kind of overseer to check if the project is on track and as per agreement.
Best Practices are Easier to Adopt
Another benefit of outsourcing your QA process is that it allows your team the freedom to explore and adopt the industry’s best practices. Overtime, the best practices that are standard in the industry change. And unless you make a salient effort to incorporate those changes into your organizational practices, following them can be difficult.
Therefore, when you need to test a critical software for your company, its better to go for a professional QA outsourcing service than to try to attempt at incorporating best industry practices for a project.
Minimizes Risk of Failure
QA and testing is hard, there is no doubt about it. it requires looking at various things with a keen and careful eye. That means that it is also quite easy to overlook certain things, especially if you aren’t an expert in the field. So if it so happens that you need to test a software product, what are you to do then?
Well, a professional QA services provider will have the team of necessary resources who are skilled and experienced enough in order to minimize the possibility of that risk by a significant margin.
Today, hiring and onboarding a technical resource takes a lot of effort and resources. Moreover, it can also take a lot of time to bring them up to speed with your team and business culture. This can be problematic for many companies, especially those who do not need a software QA resource on an ongoing basis, and just require them for a project.
That is where a software QA service comes in, by helping you perform your product’s QA without having to hire a dedicated resource for it. In the long run, this saves a lot of time and money for the company, as you only need to pay for the QA service, and not the associated overheads of hiring and retaining an employee.
Cons of Outsourcing QA for Your Business
While its true that outsourcing QA has its advantages, it isn’t without some flaws either. However, depending on your application, its highly likely that the impact of the benefits far outweigh the impact of the cons in most circumstances.
Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly associated risks of outsourcing QA and other tech processes.
Security of Your Codebases
Whenever you involve an external party in developing or assessing your codebases, there is a chance of the security and cardinality of that codebase being infringed. That is especially true if your app needs to be tested with proprietary business or customer data.
Internally, that isn’t a big problem as data is kept within the organization. However, if you opt for an external provider for your QA services, then you need to ensure that your data and codebases are kept safe from misuse or misappropriation throughout the process.
One of the things you can do as a company is to look for a service provider that is highly ranked for respecting these security measures. This will be the first step in the long process towards ensuring that your important data is kept safe.
Quality of Services
This one can be a big problem when you are outsourcing your QA services to an external company for a tight budget. In such scenarios, you look for options that fit the bill for the best price. But one thing you should never compromise on due to cost, is the quality of service provided by the outsourcing company you hire.
The fact of the matter is that once you outsource something, it is really hard to manage its quality if your service provider doesn’t care about it in the first place. And in some scenarios, its really easy to determine if the quality of service being provided would be top notch or quite low. For example, if the price for the service provided is unconventionally low, you know that would be low quality.
Time Zone Differences When Offshoring
Time zone issues can be really big problems, especially when you consider that the greater the time difference, the more issues that arise due to time zone differences. Let’ take an example of a company in the United States that outsources its QA process to a service provider in India. Now that is a time difference of over 10 hours between the two companies.
This causes many issues. For one, one of the company has to operate within the other’s working hours. Secondly, quick communication with your project team may be difficult, as an emailed dropped during your working hours will reach them long after their workday ends.
In short, managing a project with an offshore company is no easy task, especially when there is a time zone difference to cater to as well.
To sum it up, there are a number of benefits to outsourcing QA for your business, especially if your company has a small team or just needs QA services for a single project. And while there are a few cons to QA outsourcing, the benefits far outweigh the cons for the majority of scenarios.
If you are thinking about hiring an outsource service provider for QA for your company, then this guide is a great place to start.
1- Can you outsource QA?
Yes, you can outsource QA, and in some cases, it is the preferred methodology rather than hiring your own personal QA testers.
2- Why is QA testing outsourced?
In today’s dynamic business needs, companies need people who can actively help and contribute to the entire team dynamic. And if your business does not need a QA resource generally, then employing a QA outsourcing company is the better choice, as they will provide you with the exact resource you need, and only when you need it.
3- What is outsourced testing?
Outsourced testing refers to the software testing process carried out by an external organization who had nothing to do with the planning and development of the project. This has a number of benefits, including the bringing of a fresh perspective to the project.
4- What are two types of QA testing?
QA testing is of two main types:
- Manual testing
- Automation testing