Software quality has evolved from a compliance checkbox to a strategic business priority, but has your organization kept up with this change?

As InformationWeek’s Lisa Morgan puts it, “Quality now means lots of things, more than some teams are addressing well or at all…If you have a certain market (say, you’re the only traditional energy company operating in a certain region), you may not be motivated to elevate a one-star rating because where else are people going to go except solar? That kind of attitude may be missing the bigger picture which is whether their application is helping them advance their business objectives.”

In the digital age, it’s imperative that quality aspects be built into the entire development process—whether it’s a customer-facing website or an internal workflow application. Key considerations include:

  • Interoperability: Exchanging data or services with other applications working on different operating platforms, databases, or protocols
  • Reliability: Continuing to operate under various conditions and consistently provide correct results
  • Usability: Ensuring the application is user friendly, easy to learn and offers a consistent user interface
  • Reusability: Using a software component in another application with small or no changes required

According to Thomas Murphy, senior director analyst at Gartner, “Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s a good experience. If it’s my employee, sometimes I make them suffer but that means I’m going to lose productivity and it may impact employee retention. If it’s my customers, I can lose retention because I did not meet the objectives in the first place.”

To address this issue, companies must modernize their approach to testing. Just as the importance of software quality has evolved, so too has the technology companies can use to test for the various quality attributes.

A key part of this change is the use of predictive analytics to identify possible areas of bugs, likely reasons for encountering those bugs, and the events that led to the glitch in the first place. Analytics can also be used to predict how users may react to specific situations based on patterns they’ve displayed in previous interactions with the technology.

For more on this modern approach to testing and why it’s so essential to delivering the quality software your users demand, check out Morgan’s article here. With expectations for a high-quality digital experience increasing in tandem with the complexity of application and production environments, companies only have one shot to get quality right.