Cruises have a long tradition, and the industry is enjoying a resurgence. Over the last ten years, customer demand has increased by 62 percent in the ocean and river cruise industry. With the growing interest, the travel industry has been working overtime to affirm its position at the sales end of the cruise experience. The travel industry has turned increasingly to tech solutions to accomplish this, and demands for quality assurance and testing have increased accordingly.
Take the case of Expedia, one of the world’s leading online travel companies, which planned to strengthen its solution by moving cruise search and booking processes to a partner system. While the organization was prepared to work with the partner code for much of the switch, it didn’t have testing lab availability to work with the external system. To meet the new requirements, they needed to bring in outside experts to run quality assurance and test according to search rates, customer behavior and other analytics. With these contributions, they were able to prepare for a successful launch.
With a team of skilled IT and development professionals, the company’s need for expert support for quality and testing management was not a reflection of an internal weakness; rather, it was an indication of the increasing complexity of testing and quality management in today’s technology landscape. While testing was once siloed, underfunded and put off until the last moment, brands are now realizing that it is an essential part of the development process. Its success is dependent on a QA or QC team’s ability to meet three key demands: speed, security and automation.
Expectations for speed to market have escalated, and for many companies, testing represents a bottleneck. Testing in the past may have been left for last, but with agile development there is no end, only short cycles of continuous development. This now translates into a testing process that is more integrated into general DevOps. That is, QA is beginning to be integrated further into general DevOps teams and processes, more so than ever before. By making teams cross-functional, organizations can shorten cycle times and cut development time.
Testing for system security has always been important, but it is becoming even more complex. As the Internet of Things becomes a larger part of our global IT infrastructure, the challenges of using cloud computing and unstandardized systems are more evident. In this environment, testing during application development and managing quality after deployment is the only way to protect against disruption and damage of enterprise IT systems, mobile technologies and apps.
Automated quality management and tests are too often mishandled. Today’s IT solutions should be able to keep pace with industry demands, and only short, repeated development cycles can match them. The right automation strategies also deliver highly accurate simulations. QA cannot be run by standard IT services; it requires specialists in IT services to make sure organizations are getting reliable and precise statistics on defects, weak points and capacity.
With user expectations always on the rise, IT updates are always a challenge. Today, ensuring a system’s ability to function under stress and real life usage conditions is increasingly challenging because stress and real live usage are increasingly challenging. A new rapid, quick, integrated and secure quality and testing strategy can be the deciding factor.