IDC Viewpoint: Application Testing Services: Lessons for European Enterprises
We have just published our "IDC MarketScape" report on application testing services in Western Europe, based on end-user input and detailed interrogation of the key vendors. We analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of vendors including global, European, and regional full-service outsourcers/systems integrators as well as pure-play application testing service providers.
Overall, we have yet to see the emergence of an industry leader or leaders - almost all the vendors we assessed fell in into the second-ranking IDC MarketScape category of "Major Player", and none has yet made it into the prized category of "Leader".
Bottom Line for ICT Buyers:
1. Question potential providers on their automation capabilities. Are they just glorified body shops? Automation drives higher quality and lower cost, and it's the way forward for testing. The planned availability and range of automated end-to-end application life-cycle testing solutions are therefore vital success factors for testing services vendors (and thus for their customers). Growing pressure on CIOs to reduce cost and time to market is making testing service automation more important in delivering better-quality and lower-cost services.
2. Look for industry-specific skills in vendors. Of course, generic cross-industry testing capabilities are critical, but the leading-edge testing services vendors are taking these for granted and differentiating themselves by supplying testing services that have industry-specific aspects, based on their domain expertise, thereby making their services faster and potentially higher quality.
3. Look for a collaborative and proactive mindset from testing vendors. Testing is not a "black box" utility service, it's a relatively new area and the European end-user organizations we talked to in the field research for this IDC MarketScape were looking for (and indeed selecting) those vendors that "go the extra mile" in terms of client guidance, feedback and general service commitment. There is much reliance on the initial service-level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) put in place. Nevertheless, while these are concrete and important to measure and report, it is often the "soft" parts of the relationship (e.g., communications, trust, honesty, openness, and cultural awareness) that make a big impact "on the ground."
For more detail, please see: " IDC MarketScape: Western Europe Application Testing Services: 2011 Vendor Assessment", IDC document #EA01U, March 2012.
IDC Central Europe GmbH
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