In the fast-moving information technology industry, barely a year goes by without a new ‘next big thing’; a radical new discovery that will transform the way businesses conduct their everyday operations, while saving them a small fortune in the bargain. The cloud is such a game changer.
The growing importance of applications to modern society is driving the growth of testing. Every software application requires testing in one form or another, from a simple Web 2.0 widget through to a major enterprise system. With both consumers and businesses demanding smarter, faster and ever more sophisticated applications, and the cost of application failure becoming ever greater, the need for testing solutions and services which can ensure this is achieved is more pressing.
However, to suggest that testing will simply continue its current trajectory without any major changes to the landscape of the market would be foolhardy. The market as it now stands is virtually unrecognisable from that of ten or fifteen years ago, and it is reasonable to assume that the rate of progress over the coming decade will be even more rapid.
In addition to the obvious benefit of flexible pricing, the cloud model has a great deal to offer to the testing industry due to what is likely to be an exponential increase in demand for load testing. Cloud is a compelling option for companies conducting load testing, due to its ability to conduct short bursts of tests without requiring significant outlay on hardware or maintenance.
As applications become more complex, they consume more resources and can lead to increased loads. They also become more difficult to test due to the complexity of simulating interactions like those via Web 2.0 applications. Businesses require reassurance that these systems are durable enough to handle thousands of individuals using the application simultaneously and from multiple points of access. Companies that can offer the products and services required to do this look well-placed to prosper from the cloud age.
The rise of Testing-as-a-Service
IDC estimates the testing-as-a-service will grow by over 33 per cent each year between now and 2013, meaning that the market for cloud-based testing tools will reach over $US700 million by 2013. This represents a huge opportunity for outsourcers, ISVs and software vendors alike, and shows just why many analysts have described cloud computing as the biggest step change in IT since the adoption of the internet itself.
Applications: Too big to fail
The financial and reputational cost of application failures will continue to skyrocket. The need to stay available and functional will drive a greater understanding of peak demand times and software quality processes, meaning that website outages or system failures, while not altogether becoming a thing of the past, should not occur as frequently as today. Organisations simply must test to ensure that applications perform, even under massive peak loads.
Bruce Craig is Micro Focus’ country general manager for Australia and New Zealand. Based in Sydney, Bruce is responsible for further extending the company’s healthy foothold in the application modernisation market into new growth areas such as application testing and ASQ (Application Software Quality).