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Does Outsourcing QA Really make Sense?

Why companies need to outsource their business unit to an external company? When you Google this question, most of the answers you get are related to cutting costs and enhancing the product quality. Outsourcing a business unit has a lot of benefits. It saves costs, enhances quality and enables innovation and fosters high degree of specialization. Outsourcing sounds like a very apt and smart solution to assign a company’s business process to an external agency and save a lot of bucks. However, things are not that simple. There is also the other side of the coin. Therefore, it is important to look at both, the pros and cons of outsourcing a quality assurance department to a software testing company.

Let’s start with the IT industry. A development company first has to hire a pool of developers to develop the app and then testing team is required to test the app to meet the technical as well as end user requirements. In order to setup a testing lab, healthy sum of money is required to purchase the devices and equipment. Therefore, it is a good approach for an app development company to capitalize on its strengths of development and coding i.e. core business process and hire the services of a software testing company for the purpose of testing and quality assurance. Let’s look at the pros and cons of outsourcing and how good it is to outsource testing to a QA company?

Pros of Outsourcing:

High Degree of Specialization
Outsourcing fosters high degree of specialization. Outsourcing companies are specialized in their departments and they have the right tools, techniques and team to get the things done.

Cut Costs:
Outsourcing helps in minimizing indirect and operational costs. Moreover, costs can be saved by outsourcing the services to a specialized company, instead of setting up the quality assurance department. These specialized companies have achieved the economies of scale that helps in cutting costs.

Total Quality Management:
Quality is often measured by the end user experience about a particular product or service. Most of the software testing companies have different international certifications to fulfill the expected quality standards of the end user. Therefore, it’s a win-win situation for both the outsourced company (software testing) and the development company, as the user is enjoying the expected level of quality.

Focus on Core Competencies:
This is one good point. Outsourcing enables you to become the master of your own trade and focus on your core competencies. You pay more attention on the app development side and leave the rest on your outsourced testing team. In this way, it becomes easy to manage things and get the best out of them.

Tester vs. Developer Conflict
Tester and developer conflicts are more common, especially when they both work for the same company. The battle between the two of proving themselves more competent and capable to the top level management and blaming things on each other can persuade a conflict. These kinds of conflicts are certainly not good for the company. Therefore, it seems like an apt solution to hire the services of the testing company and save your company from any possible conflicts.

Cons of outsourcing:

On the other hand, outsourcing has some disadvantages. Outsourcing can lead to following issues.

Loss of control:
Outsourcing QA to an external software testing company can result in a limited or no control over the process. Are Testers working on your projects or other client’s projects? How the company will meet deadlines? How outsourced company is managing thing? The major problem lies because of the lack of interaction and communication.

Performance vs. Expectations:
This is another serious problem. Sometimes the performance of the outsourced company doesn’t meet up to the level of expectations. The client was expecting much from the outsourced company in a particular budget and this lead to the mistrust between the two parties.

Time related problems:
Time related problems can create serious chaos. Not matching the turnaround time, deadlines and delivery dates can lead to series of issues.

Different cultures and Confidentiality:
Different ways of doing business in different regions of the world can also create issues. Different business practices are followed in the different parts of the world, therefore disparities between the cultures may result in a problem. Confidentiality and the privacy is another important aspect before outsourcing a business process. Any big idea shared by the company can be leaked by the outsourced company as it has control over a business process.

Wrapping up:

Outsourcing is a surefire way of doing business smartly. However, there is a need to create and maintain the level of comfort and trustworthiness on both sides and follow the best business practices to conduct business in a professional manner.

About the author: Abdul is a business graduate, with majors in marketing. He works in a software testing company. He is an avid blogger and passionate SEO Strategist. You can also follow him on twitter @abdul269.

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