The test and measurement (T&M) industry has traditionally relied on hardware-centric benchtop instruments. However, new age technologies seem to be redefining this trend with increasing focus on digitalisation. Applications and software are being deployed for carrying out all business functions ranging from the most basic to the most complex. The proliferation of software and applications has in turn created a huge demand for new and more relevant testing methods.
With the world getting increasingly digital, companies are now more inclined towards adopting a software-defined approach to create flexible and efficient test sets. In this scenario, cloud has emerged as the preferred solution for companies for testing different applications. According to an industry report, the global cloud testing market was valued at $6.02 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $15.8 billion by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8 per cent. This growth in the cloud testing market is primarily driven by the uptake of technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, adoption of cloud across enterprises in various sectors, and the benefits of cloud testing such as improved agility and scalability in comparison to traditional testing methods.
A look at how the cloud testing market is growing, key growth drivers and benefits of cloud testing…
Cloud testing and its benefits
Performance testing, load testing and stress testing are some of the common test scenarios covered by the cloud. Under the cloud infrastructure testing framework, the components of the device or application to be tested are connected with the virtualised layer of the cloud. Cloud-based testing solutions focus on troubleshooting and monitoring cloud-based applications. This process helps ensure that data residing on these applications remains secure and improves quality of experience on the platform. Cloud testing entails the identification of bugs in the software code followed by debugging to enhance the functionalities of the application.
The increasing popularity of cloud-based testing solutions can be primarily attributed to their ability to easily simulate the characteristics of user traffic. They also eliminate the need for hardware requirements to run the tests. This helps companies significantly lower their testing expenditure, as compared to traditional testing systems. Further, cloud testing solutions help companies avoid technical glitches that not only affect the performance of IT infrastructure, but also deteriorate the operational efficiency, resulting in increased cost to firms. Moreover, cloud-based testing platforms increase the agility and scalability of applications by enabling continuous high quality testing.
The functional testing tool is one of the most popular cloud testing tools for quality assurance management. This cloud testing tool ensures that the application under test meets the business requirements. It also offers several advantages such as quick set-up and tool deployment, high productivity and shorter test cycles. It enables the testing teams to validate applications from anywhere in the world, thereby improving coordination among team members in different locations.
Growth in the cloud testing market
As per industry estimates, the cloud testing market is expected to grow from $5.55 billion in 2017 to $10.24 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 13.01 per cent during the forecast period. Further, analysts predict that functional testing tools will hold the largest share in the cloud testing market.
As far as India is concerned, a NASSCOM report suggests that the cloud market in the country will touch $7.1 billion by 2022. India’s software-as-a-service market is expected to reach $3.3 billion-$ 3.4 billion by 2022, recording a strong year-on-year growth of 36 per cent.
Key drivers for cloud testing
In recent years, there has been an upsurge in the adoption of cloud technology across enterprises. Cloud-based services are being increasingly deployed across the globe, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. The various benefits offered by cloud-based testing solutions, including increased flexibility and scalability, have spurred growth in the cloud testing market.
Cloud infrastructure testing finds its applications in banking and financial institutions, private and government enterprises, as well as in the healthcare industry. The demand for improved quality of experience and the growing need for well-defined service-level agreements have increased the uptake of cloud infrastructure testing services, which help resolve data security, reliability and performance issues.
Among the various sectors, the retail and e-commerce vertical is expected to be the key contributor to the growth of the cloud testing market. The retail and e-commerce vertical includes online retailers that leverage cloud technology to provide their offerings to customers. The intense competition between e-commerce giants and retail outlets has created a pressure on both the parties to improve their offerings and focus on customer satisfaction. In a bid to outdo the other, both e-commerce companies and retail outlets are focusing on providing ease of access to their customers by launching superior quality mobile applications. The end goal is to make sure that these mobile applications function smoothly and are able to provide a continuous, uninterrupted shopping experience. Cloud-based testing allows retailers to load-test their applications, which are accessed by multiple users per second. It also helps scale up the tests whenever required, thereby ensuring continuous delivery.
While cloud testing solutions offer numerous benefits to companies in the form of reduced capex and opex, increased efficiency, improved agility and scalability of systems, they also come with a set of limitations.
- Lack of universal standard solutions: Currently, there is no universal solution that can integrate public cloud resources with users’ internal data centres. Each cloud testing solution provider offers different architectures, operating models and pricing mechanisms, resulting in limited interoperability. This becomes a challenge when companies wish to switch to a different service provider.
- Security: This is another major concern for companies using the cloud testing solution. Since cloud enables remote testing of applications and software, the data and code are often stored and processed in a different location, which might have different legal and regulatory compliance protocols as far as company data is concerned.
Apart from the above-mentioned challenges, there are many factors that need to be considered while running cloud testing services. These include bandwidth, storage, response time and throughput, volume and utilisation. Furthermore, cloud testing needs a new testing environment, which requires high investment.
The way forward
Net, net, cloud testing is the future of the T&M industry. The benefits offered by cloud testing services by far exceed the ones provided by traditional testing methods. Going forward, the above-mentioned challenges need to be addressed to drive the widespread uptake of cloud testing methods. The vendor community in the cloud testing space can leverage this opportunity to improve their offerings and generate revenues.