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Safeguarding SaaS Organizations during COVID-19 with Continuous Assurance

 
July 20, 2020

As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, employees across IT companies are increasingly working in a distributed, agile environment with the common goal to meet end-user expectations. This is pushing technology organizations to find new ways to perform their business and operations as usual.

Companies are offering digital solutions for online meetings and conferences, enabling smart hiring, and remote management of teamwork and projects. This is crucial to boosting revenue, especially for custom software development companies. However, this requires focusing on a cost-effective operating model, hosting products on the cloud, and automating processes. Ensuring data security is another important consideration to combat data and application security threats and meet changing customer and end-user demands while diversifying against risks. This means offering products and services of the highest quality with shorter delays in order to generate significant business outcomes.

Continuous testing and artificial intelligence are key to ensuring accelerated automation, preventing bugs, and enhancing customer experience. Here are four ways to do it:

Align Customer Priorities with a Cost-Effective Operating Model

Companies can leverage assurance-as-a-service model (AaaS) for functional testing, test automation, remote workforce management, and aligning customer priorities. The pay-per-use and consumption-based nature of AaaS provides organizations with the flexibility to pay for a particular unit of testing rather than spending tons of money for the entire quality assurance (QA) team. This lowers risk and improves returns.

Leverage SaaSification for Enhanced Scalability

To offer their customers the scalability and flexibility to meet the needs of remote working environments, organizations are turning to software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployments.

SaaS helps companies quickly add new features and functionalities to their IT environments. In addition, the QA team can help software companies be purpose-driven and resilient through increased adoption of crowdsourced testing. Here, the testers, business users, and end-users can test the product through their own devices and environments or can access virtual machines (VMs) or device emulators from their homes.

Similarly, ad hoc testing can help testers identify potential errors through buddy testing, monkey testing, and pair testing. Customer experience testing is a great way to measure performance, accessibility, usability, and browser compatibility, whereas targeted execution of automated regression tests helps uncover defects that occurred due to changes in software products and applications.

Automate First Time

It is important to revisit and review the QA delivery cycle and automate processes from the first day itself. For instance, impacted regression automation helps save time and effort and accelerates the build, test, and deploy cycle, which is common in agile and DevOps. Similarly, browser compatibility automation helps users access multiple browsers to upload their resumes, file their taxes, or share information. This frees up resources to focus on the core services of the software product customization.

Bolster Data Security and Regulatory Compliance

With employees now remotely accessing their organizations’ network, applications, and data, insufficient virtual private network capabilities, insecure mobile infrastructures, and lack of standardized work-from-home policies can weaken cybersecurity defenses. Continuous assurance prevents security breaches through static code analysis, penetration testing, and compliance testing. This helps testers review the source code to identify flaws in an application, identify weak points in the application, infrastructure, databases, and network, and ensure compliance with regulatory frameworks such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Meet Business Goals during COVID-19

With digital acceleration and increased demand for user experience, continuous assurance will help software organizations by securing infrastructure, enhancing customer experience, and optimizing the cost of operations. Continuous testing techniques like test driven development (TDD) and behavior driven development (BDD) allow users to develop test cases as soon as, or even before, the software is created. This will empower organizations to meet business goals and deadlines during the global crisis. Further, continuous testing will help organizations make strategic decisions and drive digital programs with leaner operations even after COVID-19.

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Vaibhav Dubey leads the quality assurance solutions and delivery team within the Digital and Enterprise Transformation group of the HiTech business unit at Tata Consultancy Services. He brings over 13 years of IT experience in institutionalizing innovative solutions and operational optimization across the high tech industry. Vaibhav has been recognized for developing QA strategies and aligning them to the Business 4.0 framework. He has conceptualized AI and NLP-based solutions to optimize test cases and predict defects. He holds a bachelor’s degree in technology and a master’s degree in business administration from M.J.P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly.