Testing as an Outsourced Managed Service – Part II
In my previous article I introduced the concept of testing as a managed service, discussed how it works, and identified who would benefit most. In this article I want to dive deeper into the benefits of testing as a managed service, and show you how to find the perfect managed service provider for your business.
What are some of the benefits of managed services?
- Reduce the cost of recruitment, upskilling and training. Even companies that have their own testing competency face challenges with recruiting the testing skills they need. Recruitment can be difficult in itself, but then companies have to start nurturing, upskilling and managing those people, and incur overhead costs like seating and insurance, so the cost of ownership of skills, so to speak, can be high. That cost can be greatly reduced through managed services.
- More efficient management. The service provider basically takes over all aspects of people management and skills development, and the cost to the client is then limited to testing. The service provider also shares the cost of training and upskilling, which in today’s fast paced world is an absolute requirement.
- Scalability. Companies often find they need to quickly add resources for certain projects, but rapid onboarding is both costly and risky. With a managed service they can quickly upscale or downscale, and do so for as short or long a period as is necessary for the business without incurring any penalties. For example, if three additional testers are needed to get a project delivered on time, those additional resources can be quickly obtained through the managed service, and then scaled back when the project is delivered.
- Dedicated resources. The service provider will dedicate a team of testers to a client, who will then be integrated into the company culture and learn the specifics of the project they’ve been recruited for. Hiring and training your own staff to work on specific projects can be costly but can also run into unforeseen issues like staff churn. A managed service provider should be able to switch people in and out of a project without incurring any delays and minimal impact to client delivery.
- R&D costs are typically borne by the managed service provider. It takes time and research to keep abreast of modern testing technologies, tools and methodologies. That investment is typically ongoing at the service provider, and the value is passed on to the client.
- Peace of mind. Companies can be far more confident that whatever testing they do is done to the highest standard using modern methodologies, and the risk is shared between themselves and the service provider.
How to pick the perfect managed service provider for your business?
- Find out how many testing resources they have. I’d be wary of approaching a service provider with only a handful of testers and expect to get priority service.
- Find out if they invest in their testers. A good service provider will always look to raise the benchmark in terms of keeping their testers current, ensuring they have all the relevant certifications, and continually training their testers to keep pace with industry developments.
- Find out if the service provider offers training for your staff. A managed service provider should be your partner, and be able to offer you the same training resources they offer their own staff to keep your teams current.
- Find out how many different types of testing they offer. Do they only provide manual testing, or a combination of manual, automation and performance testing? Dig deeper and find out how they test. If they provide test automation, is it limited to using a specific set of tools, or are they proficient with a broader set of platforms and technologies?
- Find out if they have a mobile lab. Many companies are moving towards mobile applications, or at least need their services to be available on mobile platforms. Does the service provider offer mobile testing, or better yet, have a mobile lab to test your software on different devices and platforms?
- Find out about their credentials. How long they’ve been in business, who their management team is, where they’ve come from and who they’ve worked with. A good service provider shouldn’t only have this information ready, but also offer it willingly.