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Outsourced Software Testing or In-house Team? Answer to the Riddle

Software testing is the most important phase in Software Development. As it is so important, every organization wants to get the most of it and this leads to find the answer to the riddle to choose between outsourced software testing or in-house team. This article focuses on helping such organizations to get the answer themselves as per their business goals.
Software testing has always been crucial for the quality of the application and also for businesses in terms of customer retention and customer attraction. But still, there are a few companies where the importance of software testing is not at the level that it should be and ad hoc testing is what they follow before every release.
Though 82% organizations across the globe has recognized the value of software testing, we would like to educate the other 18% organizations who didn’t recognize the value of software testing first before we go deeper whether to outsource software testing or maintain an in-house team.

Software Testing is a process of ensuring the software developed does what it should

A narrow view towards testing a software, whether it is due to lack of time or resources or whatever the reason it may be, can impact the business that the software represents. Software Testing ensures software quality, which means it makes sure that the software delivers what it should deliver for end users.
Let’s consider “net banking portal” as example, where customers log into the portal for online banking experience. If a customer has transferred fund to his/her friend account through the portal and got the confirmation message and also the fund got deducted from his/her account but his friend didn’t receive the fund transfer, then it impacts not just net banking experience but also overall banking experience.
This is just one situation, there an ample number of situations like – an E-Commerce website can crash on its big discount day if it is not tested for performance before.

Software Testing implies software quality and software quality is not an easy task

In this Agile software development world, software is released faster than ever and in a number of releases with bug fixes and enhancements. The highest software quality is achieved only when the software is tested for functional assurance, performance assurance and security assurance. If there is a release ready and the software quality is assured at the highest level, then the release becomes successful ensuring that what the end users expect.
Ensuring the software quality at the highest level is not an easy task as meeting functional assurance, performance assurance and security assurance needs before the release within the narrow timeline. So, a thought of outsourcing the software quality responsibility or having an in-house team, and the wariness of bringing more value and efficiency to the table increases the pressure on organizations.
So, to take a wise decision, let’s dig deeper on pros and cons of both outsourcing software testing and having an in-house software testing team.

First, let’s us commence with pros and cons of having an in-house software testing team

The biggest pro of having an in-house testing team is the control on the team, you can keep a check on their activities and can control the whole process to address the issues instantly. However, it is associated with multiple cons.
Though you have a well experienced in-house team, you need to maintain a fleet of testing tools that the team requires to give their best. It costs to get the tools that team needs and also it also seeks effort in managing tools’ licenses.
There is also a need to maintain or upgrade tools as required, let’s say you are developing a software with new technologies and testing the software with existing tools is not possible, then you need to buy that tool which is compatible to testing that software. It becomes expensive to maintain multiple tools’ licenses have no idea whether those tools will be used in future or they are only for one time use.
Another con of having in-house team is upskilling your team on latest software testing practices and methodologies by conducting trainings. Upskilling the team is essential to complement software quality but it is time consuming and you need to facilitate resources accordingly.
There is also operations cost and effort involved with having an in house for software testing.

Now, let’s look into pros and cons of outsourced software testing

Obviously, the ultimate goal of outsourced software testing or in-house software testing team’s is delivering a high quality software. But the concern is which one can give the better result.
Most organizations maintain software testing process in two ways, the first is having two separate teams for testing and development headed by separate managers – project manager and QA Manager; the second is leveraging the same team for development and testing headed by one project manager.
Organizations who are going in the second way of software testing process are having a team who cannot think in a different perspective to test the software. The team which has developed the software is also testing the software, and this can impact the overall software quality. For such organizations, outsourced software testing is the best approach to ensure that software quality and empower their team to focus on their core activity.
For organizations who are going in the first way of software testing process may come across operational costs and effort involved in managing the team. And also there requires specialized skills for software testing, like logical skills in defect detection, thinking like an end user and also technical skills (especially if test automation is adopted), so organizations to invest in training the team on latest happenings in the software testing industry. Because of this, outsourced software testing becomes an ideal to avoid all the costs and effort involved.
The following are the pros of an outsourced software testing:

  • Cost saving on infrastructure required to build testing capabilities like software testing tools and testing lab to perform testing activities.
  • Outsourced Software Testing services provided by an adept vendor leverage the capabilities of their experienced and expertise testers’ efficiency. So, the repository formed with knowledge and expertise of testing a variety of applications empower to achieve the goal – faster time to market with high quality software delivery.
  • Cost saving on team management and HR activities
  • Outsourced software testing will enable to focus on your organization’s core process.
  • Better collaboration between testing and development to deliver better quality software can be brought by outsourcing. Bringing this collaboration with in-house testing team and development team is a tough task due to the gap in communicating about defects.