Healthcare and Life Sciences organisations rely on QA and Testing to ensure Quality at Speed – on a Budget
80% of healthcare and life sciences organisations rank enhancing security as a high priority in their IT strategies, according to the latest World Quality Report from Capgemini and Sogeti, in partnership with Micro Focus, published in November 2020.
The healthcare and life sciences (HLS) sector has been at the center of the global response to COVID-19. And with research for this year’s World Quality Report (WQR) conducted in June and July 2020, the impact of the pandemic on quality assurance (QA) and testing practices can be seen in several trends.
The pressures on cost and delivery, along with the pursuit of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to relieve those pressures, were among the trends identified in the 2019-2020 WQR. Fast forward 12 months and, although these pressures remained a constant in the 2020-2021 survey, there was a marked difference in intensity. As we point out in the latest report, it seems everything is happening harder and faster. HLS organisations are looking for quality at speed and on a budget – and they are turning to automation and AI to help them get there.
Automation and AI set to accelerate QA
This is reflected in the high proportion of respondents in this sector (86%) emphatically agreeing that AI was the strongest growth area in their test activities. Having said that, the area in which they felt they were making the most progress was test automation, with (68%) saying they had the required automation tools. The perceived benefits of automation included: better control and transparency of test activities (rated highly by 68% of respondents); reduction of test cycle time (64%); and reduction of test costs (63%). Further investment in automation in the coming year is expected to include the use of model-based testing tools and robotics automation.
Investment in both automation and AI should help to meet the most cited objectives of QA and testing in this sector: detecting software defects before go-live (79%); contributing to business growth (76%); and ensuring end-user satisfaction and a good customer experience (76%). There was a higher than average (when compared with the all-sector average) of respondents who saw the importance of increasing the level of test automation.
Agile and DevOps use on the increase
The continuing rise of agile and DevOps development approaches across multiple sectors is echoed in HLS organisations and we observed a gradual increase in the use of both. QA in agile and DevOps in this sector is being optimised by practices such as shift-left testing (used a great deal by 49%) and integrating tests as automatic quality gates in the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/ CD) pipeline (42%).
Coming full circle to the impact of COVID-19 with which we began this article, 55% of HLS respondents to our survey said they needed more and better collaboration tools for their teams, versus the all-sector average of just 43%. There was also a significantly higher than average number who felt that, in the post-COVID landscape, they would need more remote access to test systems and test environments.
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If you’d like to hear more about our findings relating to QA and testing in the healthcare and life sciences sector, please get in touch with: