Software-as-a-Service or what is briefly referred to as SaaS is basically a software distribution model in which the applications are hosted by a third-party provider. The applications are made available to the customers over the Internet. SaaS is one of the three primary categories of cloud computing, the other two being Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
The idea of software-as-a-service arises from the fact that software development has turned out to be an on-demand service. Consequently, the concept has been capitalized and monetized to make it profitable for organizations.
Now, when software-as-a-service needs to be analyzed from a testing and QA perspective, which automatically brings the independent testing vendors into play, the answers and observation of a few project managers were taken into account.
The project managers, working on software development and testing were enquired about the pain areas around testing and QA and about what percentage of budget as well mindshare would they prefer to put into testing and QA. From what they answered, it was deduced that about 85% of them needed serious help and assistance in improving their overall QA process. They also claimed to be striving hard to execute the test cases with effectiveness and, thereby, move towards a higher level of automation. However, there remained a problem regarding how much of budget or mindshare was needed to be allocated and the reason was the apprehension about on-going testing support.
Now, software-as-a-service is intricately linked to testing-as-a-service and when together, they can help organizations lower the cost of ownership and ensure trusted outcomes throughout the lifespan of the development cycle.
The Gradual Development of Software-as-a-Service
Gone are the days when testing used to be just another line item in the entire cycle of software development. The concept of Testing-Center-of-Excellence has come into shape and compelled organizations to reconsider their business model. Eventually, both testing and QA fall into the on-demand category with Testing-as-a-Service becoming an evolutionary approach. Let’s take a closer look at some of the intricacies in the concept when approached from this brand new and innovative perspective.
- First, testing-as-a-service is more of a framework comprising an unconventional way of approaching testing and QA, which has always been considered an activity.
- In this new model of software-as-a-service, organizations will focus more on a result-based invoice rather than an effort-based invoice. Further, the main objectives of Testing-as-a-Service model would be predictable outcomes, a move towards an on-demand pricing model and lower total cost of ownership.
- Organizations should start with the areas where the possibility of automation is higher. However, for certain organizations, to begin with this approach might not be a great idea at first. Necessary diligence should be done to adapt to this model and gradually derive its benefits.
- Organizations will need to collaborate closely with the testing tool vendors to decide on the licensing cost of the model. One prominent approach would be amortizing the license cost of the tool over the total time span of the usage.
Having said all that and analyzed the benefits of a new approach to software-as-a-service, organizations should make it a priority to cater to customer needs through their products and services. In that case, any industry-accepted approach that ultimately creates a win-win situation for the stakeholders is welcome and appreciated.