On-prem software testing solutions belong to the past: By 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today, according to Gartner, Inc.
Webmail and Dropbox were the pioneers in this road, but today Software as a Service (SaaS) is a huge trend. This trend is so massive that already in 2016, Gartner described it as the cloud disruption. According to their study, more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud until 2020.
Companies are increasingly shifting their tools and platforms from on-prem to cloud based, including their testing tools. The benefits are very straightforward and can be divided into 7 main categories. Read below to comprehend why you – a QA or IT professional – should also shift your software testing framework to SaaS.
1. Availability of a SaaS testing platform
The first point to highlight is that SaaS provides an optimization of the company’s IT resources, mainly because the framework’s operation does not depend on a robust internal infrastructure. SaaS platforms are deployed on massive cloud servers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) that ensure a continuous functioning and strict data security. Moreover – and most importantly – cloud based frameworks require no installation time, expertise, and effort so in a matter of minutes your tests can be up and running.
Also, by being made available in the cloud, SaaS lacks the need for internal infrastructure and staff dedicated to maintaining its operation. All the maintenance and setup are done by the SaaS provider, so the platform is always available for the company without the need of internal servicing. Plus, the installation of extra modules in the software, for example, is no longer an extra cost generator, because the package is contracted with a predetermined value – according to the needs of the customer.
2. SaaS testing platforms give mobility to its customers
As mentioned earlier, SaaS companies handle all the setup and all the infrastructure. Once the customer gets the credentials and has the platform running internally, it is supposed to work similarly to a website on the internet – just log in and start using the service. This gives each employee of the company the ability to access the application from anywhere and at anytime, while on-prem softwares mostly require that the employee only access it through the company’s internal devices.
3. A SaaS testing platform enables teamwork and cooperation
Software testing is usually performed by a team of manual QA testers. A team needs to be able to capitalize on each individual’s effort and progress. With a SaaS testing platform, manual QA testers can reuse elements already created by their peers, as well as collaborate on the creation of new testing projects on the same canvas. Manual testing is by definition a repetitive process, hence any effort of facilitating teamwork is appreciated by your employees.
4. Automated testing software updates made easy
On-prem solutions usually get a bi-annual update and it is normally a hard process where the customer needs to deeply validate the migration. Even worse, if the customer detects a bug within their on-prem solution, they would have to wait until the next update. With SaaS, the software update process is no longer bureaucratic and time-consuming. The times where it was necessary to send a hardware (pen drive, CD, etc) to those who will update the system are long gone.
New SaaS versions are deployed every other week, as to have minor deltas to the framework’s code and ensuring smooth and continuous updates. For the customer its like the updates are being done automatically.
SaaS companies update their software in the cloud, and instantly allow all of their customers to have access to the recent features. SaaS companies also ensure that each computer receives access to the appropriate version according to their different system requirements (Windows, Linux, etc.) thus avoiding compatibility failures.
5. Free trial before switching to SaaS testing platform
Most SaaS companies offer either a comprehensive demo or a free trial (or both), so the tester can be fully familiarized with the features before implementing it in their testing environment. The ability to do a free trial is extremely important to assess the viability of the test platform, and see how well it fits the company’s testing team and application under test. During the free trial period, the user is not only able to understand the platform’s features, but also to analyze what’s available, and what should be developed especially to fit his needs.
6. SaaS seamlessly integrates with your internal software
Integration refers to the unification of systems, reducing the chance of errors caused by the use of software incompatible with each other. Installing an on-prem software may sometimes be risky because it can clash with other internal environments – and we shall not even start discussing the costs related to such malfunctions. If a clash happens to one of the on-prem softwares, the company needs to contact the IT service provider, and this would be time and money consuming.
If a SaaS company has a problem in their server – which may affect the end customer, they are alerted on this issue automatically and can frequently fix it in a matter of minutes – the customer does not need to take care of anything. The enormous stress caused by software failures in SaaS does not exist, and if, eventually, there will be a bug or a miscommunication between your internal server and your cloud based platform, no internal software will be compromised.
7. SaaS optimizes QA operation investments
SaaS can be hired for a monthly fee, without the need to purchase a software license, for example. The model allows more freedom for the company to control its investments, since they can modify the plan or cancel the service at any time. The main focus here is to save money and optimize resources, as well as to not compromise quality. With this in mind, test managers seek for a hybrid process that combines their manual team with automation platforms. They can go even further and opt for codeless automation, which enables the team of manual testers to create scenarios without any knowledge in coding, which ends up saving more time and costs.