Guest Column | May 17, 2021

5 Reasons To Move To Cloud-Based Testing In 2021

By Alexander Golubovich, a1qa

2021 Security Technology

Discover the five advantages of cloud testing infrastructure that make it a worthy candidate for adoption.

Cloud-based software testing is a relatively new trend in QA, but the one that’s gaining momentum. As the name implies, this form of testing is performed in a third-party cloud computing environment rather than in the traditional on-premises one. –°loud-based QA can apply to all types of software, including mobile apps and SaaS solutions testing.

Initially applied only for performance and load test cases, cloud testing technology saw a significant upturn in development. Today, the market offers cloud-based tools for a wide range of testing types and will gain a 13% CAGR between 2017 and 2023.

But how much is this excitement around cloud-based testing justified? In what ways does a cloud testing infrastructure prove more efficient than traditional QA processes, and what transformational advantages can its adoption bring?

Below are five points in favor of cloud-based testing that make it worth embracing this year.  

#1: Easy To Set Up And Customize

Depending on application type, and purpose, feature set, target audience, and other factors, the testing team needs different hardware as well as OS and software configurations to run the intended test cases. However, assembling all the required infrastructure components into a coherent testing environment and then maintaining it functional and updated proves one of the most demanding tasks in the QA life cycle, eating up a lot of testers’ precious time.

When switching to cloud-based testing, a company can bypass this cumbersome hardware and software configuration step. Since the cloud testing market is proliferating, QA specialists today have a wide choice of tools, varying in prices and feature sets, and can opt for the one that is best suited for their current project specifications.

Also, when setting up a cloud testing environment, the team can easily emulate as many device/OS/browser/screen resolution combinations as the project requires and run test scenarios in various combinations and permutations. In the meantime, all work on infrastructure maintenance and upgrade will be completed by the testing software provider.

#2: Scalable On-Demand

Unfortunately, it’s quite common for QA project requirements to get changed along the line, occasionally more than once. When it happens, the testing team gets the short end of the stick, forced to manually configure the locally-hosted testing environment to meet new specifications, installing, updating, or uninstalling software and adding or removing devices. This takes not only time and effort, but in some cases additional costs the company needs to bear.

Cloud-based tools allow QA specialists to be more flexible. When more virtual machines, computational power, or storage is required, the team can simply request them from the software provider and get access to them in short order, with minimal disruption to the project’s timeline. What is more, when the resources are no longer needed, testers can promptly scale down the infrastructure and stop paying for excessive resources.

#3: Cost-Efficient

Since the onset of the pandemic, the IT market has been volatile. Some companies had to go out of business entirely, while others put software projects on pause or cut down their IT expenditures. In 2021, the worldwide IT spending is to grow 4%, yet it will still be 5.4% lower than the 2019 total.

Faced with budgetary restraints, companies tend to cut corners and give up what they don’t deem critical to the end product’s success. Regretfully, QA is a common candidate for elimination from the development life cycle.  

But there is a way to avoid such drastic decisions. A switch to cloud-based testing can help development companies lower internal QA expenditures and allow testing providers to bring down the price of their services, gaining a competitive edge.

The total cost of ownership of a physical in-house testing environment, with its wide range of hardware and software, is much higher than the monthly expenses on a cloud-based one. Since most cloud providers use the “pay-as-you-go” model, companies can utilize only the testing resources they need and have full control over their expenses. Also, unlike on-premises testing infrastructures, a cloud one requires neither regular maintenance nor emergency repairs, which also allows sparing a fair share of operational costs.

#4: Automation-Promoting

QA automation, with its potential to ramp up the testing life cycle efficiency, streamline repetitive and cumbersome test cases, and improve their accuracy, is a sought-after service in the IT industry. However, for many tech companies, especially SMBs, the adoption of QA automation is a considerable investment, and they are cautious about venturing into a full-scale transformation.

Today, many cloud-based tools offer automation options for performance, accessibility, cross-browser, and other testing types. Integrating them into the software testing life cycle, the company gets a perfect opportunity to dip their toes into building and running test cases without committing fully to automated testing. Allowing for parallel execution of tests across browsers and devices, cloud-based testing software also can help to accelerate the project delivery pace, while a built-in integration with popular CI/CD tools will allow the team to build a robust delivery pipeline.     

#5: Telework-Friendly

Since the onset of the pandemic, most tech companies have switched to full-time or optional remote work. Despite the indisputable advantages for employees’ well-being and productivity, the transition posed additional challenges for QA specialists working in teams.

Traditionally, testing infrastructures are set up on-premises and, for the sake of data security, are allowed to be accessed only from within the office. Now, working remotely, testers try to overcome this limitation with dedicated remote access software, which typically slows down the connection speed, or establish separate testing environments at home and complete their scope of tasks despite being unable to get the full picture of the project.   

Against this backdrop, availability anytime and anywhere is the last but not least important factor in adopting cloud-based tools. By establishing a single cloud environment, a geographically distributed team can work on separate tasks but still have access to a single pane of glass, understanding the project scope, completion status, and requirements changes. Cloud setup also promotes unhindered collaboration between team members, allowing them to overcome issues and possible misunderstandings more efficiently.   

About The Author

At a1qa, Alexander Golubovich is a Unit Coordinator having 11+ years of in-depth experience in QA. Alexander is a professional at providing effective QA solutions and coaching passionate QA specialists.
With over 100 successfully completed projects across such industries as eHealth, real estate, eCommerce, media and entertainment, and many more, he manages a 140+ QA team helping the global customers from Fortune 500 list enhance the software quality of delivered solutions, thus, boosting customer experience and accelerating time to market.