Cloud solutions have revolutionized the way businesses operate - and for the better. These platforms provide companies with a convenient and effective way of managing different business processes and go hand in hand with their goal of delivering innovative products to their customers fast. As a result, it’s no surprise that public cloud spending will reach almost $600 million by the end of 2023, according to Gartner.
The impact of cloud computing hasn’t skipped the software testing industry, where cloud-based solutions and test management platforms have become indispensable tools for modern organizations. In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways cloud solutions impact businesses compared to more traditional tools, as well as their advantages, impact on software testing, and more.
Navigating Legacy Systems and On-Premise Tools
Before SaaS solutions became popular and widely available, the prevailing choice was on-premise software solutions. Companies paid for a license to use a certain tool, install it locally on the organization’s computers, and access the tool directly from a specific computer. Putting aside the initial costs, on-prem software caused additional maintenance and operational costs as the software was run on the organization’s infrastructure and needed to be managed by IT personnel. All backup and data storage was part of the organization’s work, leaving companies with the full responsibility of their software management.
A 2019 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office revealed that roughly $337 million was spent on maintaining 10 legacy Federal IT systems each year. These tools were once cutting-edge technologies that were used to meet business needs. Today, as organizations face dynamic and ever-growing challenges, these legacy systems simply don’t cut it anymore. The lack of flexibility and agility are a huge drawback, and companies who want to stay at the top are turning to innovative, cloud computing solutions.
Moving to Cloud-Based Solutions
Although cloud computing has existed for years, the widespread adoption of SaaS tools is still an ongoing process as many companies migrate to the cloud. In fact, according to a McKinsey survey, 54% of financial services respondents will shift at least half of their workloads to the cloud over the next few years. This indicates that an increasing number of companies are acknowledging the significant benefits of cloud solutions.
Scalability and Flexibility
In contrast to the demands of resource planning in traditional on-premise setups, cloud solutions empower businesses with the ability to quickly adapt their resources to dynamic requirements. They can effortlessly scale their computing resources up or down at any given moment, without the necessity of substantial upfront investments in infrastructure and hardware. Organizations can continue growing without worrying about future infrastructure or IT changes, as cloud-based solutions can grow together with your company.
SaaS tools typically offer subscription-based or pay-as-you-go models, saving significant resources. By saving upfront costs of on-prem solutions, organizations avoid excess licensing fees by paying only for the actual number of users. As the company’s needs change, they can add more users later on. Additionally, cloud services relieve businesses of the financial burden of software maintenance, as these responsibilities rest with the cloud vendor. Without the responsibilities of system updates, storage, and backups, it frees up a portion of their budget that would have otherwise been directed towards hardware upgrades and system management.
Highly Integrated and Agile
Cloud-native software solutions provide a unique edge through smooth integration and agility. With vendors consistently introducing new integrations, these solutions seamlessly connect with a wide array of platforms, fostering a unified ecosystem that enhances workflow efficiency. Rapid deployment enables businesses to swiftly get up and running and promptly respond to evolving market requirements and consumer demand.
Accessibility and Collaboration
In an era of remote work with technical teams being distributed across the globe, organizations can’t be subjected to geographical constraints. SaaS solutions provide an easy and convenient way to access data using solely an internet connection. This allows team members to collaborate in real time under virtual environments that transcend time zones and physical boundaries.
Managing Software Testing With Cloud Solutions
Just as cloud-based solutions impact organizations who consistently introduce new products, it also affects software testing and QA work. As companies strive to release reliable and high-quality products for their customers, the importance of software testing becomes imperative. Effectively managing and controlling this complex, ongoing process can’t be done using outdated legacy software.
That’s why business leaders are turning to dedicated, cloud-based modern test management platforms. These platforms capitalize on the widespread advantages of cloud solutions, tailoring them to the unique needs of testing.
Today, QA efforts are joined by non-dedicated testers including developers and business users. Test management platforms allow them to better collaborate under one centralized platform where all testing data is stored. Assigning tasks, sharing information, and reporting results can be done faster while mitigating the risk of poor testing coverage.
Cloud-based test management platforms also excel in their integration capabilities, allowing you to connect with other tools your organization is using, both testing and non-testing related. Automation tools, bug trackers, project management, and CI/CD are just a few examples. This empowers organizations with a seamless flow of data, streamlined processes, and increased transparency, amplifying the overall effectiveness of testing.
3 Essential Tips When Moving to a Cloud-Based Solution
Before choosing a cloud-based solution or migrating from a legacy system, it’s crucial to carefully plan and choose the most suitable tool for your needs. Here are three essential tips to keep in mind:
Migrating to the cloud demands a well-defined strategy tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Consider the following factors when planning:
Data migration: The first step is to determine which data are you taking with you to the new system. Some organizations choose a complete migration plan in which all data is transferred to the new system. Others prefer a partial migration where only recent and relevant data are transferred. The third option is to go with a phased migration, beginning with small amounts of data to see that everything works as expected, adding more data later on.
Start small and gradually expand: If you work at a large enterprise with different products and many QA teams, start implementing the selected tool within one team. As they become confident in using the tool regularly, expand the implementation into more business areas and users.
Evaluate in-use tools: Understand which tools your team and other relevant teams are using and determine their integration capabilities. If for instance, your developers are working with a certain bug-tracking system, look for a test management tool that offers a proper integration with it. This will ensure that the work of your developers, testers, and other stakeholders will be aligned.
More Than Just a Vendor
Choosing the right vendor is critical. Look for a reliable partner who can provide support throughout the migration process, during onboarding, and long after the implementation is complete. Understanding scalability is important, so opt for a partner who can provide you with what you currently need and what you might need in the future according to your goals.
Our tip? Try free trials to better grasp compatibility, assess user experience, and validate features and their capabilities.
Security is a pivotal concern in general, but an even bigger one when transitioning from on-premise to cloud solutions. However, modern cloud offerings are equipped with robust security measures. Seek a vendor that prioritizes security and compliance with standards such as ISO 27001, SOC 2 Type 2, and GDPR. This will ensure stringent data protection, giving you and your customers confidence and peace of mind.
To Sum Up…
Transitioning from on-premise tools to cloud-based solutions signifies more than a technological shift — it’s a strategic leap towards agility, collaboration, and efficiency. Cloud solutions offer advantages that optimize operations, from scalability to accessibility and flexibility. Migrating demands careful planning, choosing the right vendor, and strong security. By embracing the cloud, businesses transcend boundaries, streamline workflows with powerful integration capabilities, and ignite innovation.
That’s why test management platforms are powerful tools trusted by global organizations. The advantages of cloud solutions are tailored to the needs of QA teams, allowing them to embrace agility, growth, and optimized testing processes. Migrating to a modern test management tool such as PractiTest will help you thrive and release better quality faster, using one centralized testing hub.