According to new research by no-code software test automation platform company, Leapwork, 69 per cent of UK CEOs think it’s acceptable to release software that hasn’t been properly tested, so long as it’s patch tested later. And 82 per cent of testers say that up to 40 per cent of software goes to market without sufficient testing. As a result, 68 per cent of testers claim their teams spend five to 10 days per year patching software.
Overall, there is a huge disconnect between CEOs and testers regarding the adequacy of software testing. Despite the majority of testers expressing concern that insufficiently tested software is going to market, the overwhelming majority (75 per cent) of CEOs say they’re confident their software is tested regularly.
CEOs are aware of the risks of insufficient testing, with 71 per cent saying they’re concerned about losing their jobs in the wake of a software failure. About three-quarters (73 per cent) of testers have the same fear. Over half (54 per cent) of CEOs say software failures have harmed their company’s reputation in the last five years.
Leapwork, in collaboration with market-research firm Censuswide, released ‘The Leapwork Risk Radar,’ a new global research study that surveyed just under 500 UK and US. CEOs and software testers at companies larger than 500 employees across multiple industries. The survey outlines attitudes towards, and perceptions of, software testing within large organisations.
Christian Brink Frederiksen, co-founder and CEO at Leapwork, comments: “Our research shows the widespread issues that exist in software testing today. While CEOs and testers understand the consequences of releasing software that hasn’t been tested properly, an alarming number still think it’s acceptable to issue it and prefer to rely on patch testing afterwards to fix any problems. This often comes down to not thinking there is a viable option and choosing speed over stability – a devil’s dilemma. But what’s more concerning is the disconnect between CEOs and their developer teams, indicating that testing issues are falling under the radar and not being escalated until it’s too late.”
Why software isn’t tested properly
When asked why their software wasn’t tested properly before being released, CEOs and testers had a similar outlook across both markets:
- Manual testing: Four in 10 (40 per cent) CEOs cite ‘reliance on manual testing’ as being the main reason.
- Underinvestment in automation and insufficient time: Of those whose company uses or develops in-house software that goes to market without being insufficiently tested; nearly four in 10 (39 per cent) testers say ‘underinvestment in test automation’ is the main reason sufficient testing does not occur. Only half of testers (50 per cent) say they are using some element of automation (i.e., an automation tool or a combination of manual and automation). Just over a third of testers (35 per cent) cite ‘lack of time’ and 28 per cent say they are ‘unable to test all software due to increased frequency of development.’
- Lack of skilled developers: Just over a third (34 per cent) of CEOs and 36 per cent of testers whose company uses or develops in-house software that goes to market without being insufficiently tested; cite ‘lack of available skilled developers.’ This indicates the digital skills gap is still a big issue in the UK with companies struggling to find the right skills to manage test automation.
- There isn’t enough professional development: More than one-third of CEOs (34 per cent) and 35 per cent of testers whose company uses or develops in-house software that goes to market without being insufficiently tested; say ‘underinvestment in testing personnel including continuous professional development’ is the reason why software isn’t tested properly, implying that teams aren’t focusing enough of their efforts on upskilling testers.
Frederiksen added: “As more companies transition from manual testing to automation to meet the testing requirements of increasingly complex software, they’re struggling to scale their chosen solutions and leverage their existing QA departments as many solutions in the market rely on low code to manage the process. Combine that with the pressure of meeting digital transformation goals and companies are cutting corners and taking unnecessary risks.
“We’ve seen the implications of huge software failures in the news, so on the current trajectory, more and more companies will struggle with failures and outages which could cost them a significant amount in financial and reputational damage. Businesses need to urgently consider a different approach and embrace no code test automation systems that don’t require coding skills and free up their teams to focus on the most high-value tasks.”