How to Strengthen Your Supply Chain with a Highly Automated Testing-as-a-Service

Written by delaPlex
April 28,2021

How to Strengthen Your Supply Chain with Automated Testing-as-a-Service-Header_TEMPLATE-2020

In the complex world of software development and deployment, the goal of end-to-end supply chain optimization needs constant improvements, which is easier said than done.

The reality is, internal teams likely don't have the capacity to tackle new initiatives or reimagine internal processes on top of their existing workflows. Beyond that, leadership may not know which supply chain improvements to prioritize first.

As technology advances and user demands evolve, your internal teams face constant pressure to deliver better products, faster – which requires a highly efficient supply chain strategy.

Teams navigating this conundrum have found a simple but powerful solution: outsourcing services that provide end-to-end value across the entire supply chain.

Outsourced testing, otherwise known as Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS), offers the best of both worlds for users and executives alike. Automated testing-as-a-service:

  • Reduces technical debt or

  • Accelerates adoption of new innovation

  • Improves release quality

  • Promotes long-term scalability or

  • Promotes sustainable continuous delivery

All without a heavy investment in new team members or hours of frustrating rework.

This post will walk you through how to outsource testing and implement proactive strategies that increase supply chain efficiency.

#1 Assess Your Current Processes

Before you can outsource testing initiatives, you need to level-set your goals and KPIs. The best way to identify exactly where you want to go is to gain an in-depth understanding of where your business is today.

Rather than approach a TaaS project with one or two high-level goals – like "speed up development" or "improve testing" – conduct an in-depth analysis to identify strengths, gaps, and innovation opportunities. Use your findings to guide your next steps.

As you evaluate, consider how testing improvements can drive value in other areas of your supply chain. For example, if your backlog in testing delays routine upgrades, you likely need to implement more robust regression tests. If your software products function effectively but don't go over well with your end-users, UI improvements with associated heavy testing are likely in order.

Finally, use these new insights to create a business case for outsourced testing that includes measurable value propositions for both your stakeholders and your technical teams. You'll need a proposal that reflects overarching business outcomes and provides value to the engineers who carry out your current development and testing processes.

#2 Plan for the Short and Long-Term

With an approved proposal in hand, it's time to identify your primary KPIs and success metrics with current and ongoing initiatives in mind. You should consider technical and executive teams as you align and prioritize each goal, but ultimately, your strategy should:

  • Solve for critical, time-sensitive concerns

  • Ensure the most mission-critical activities and processes are prioritized

  • Tie each proposed testing initiatives back to a specific KPI

  • Support your technical teams with a non-disruptive adoption plan

  • Consider future business needs

A diverse TaaS strategy includes a healthy mix of short and long-term goals, with a focus on where each initiative falls on your long-term roadmap. Consider which tests you'll outsource first, how TaaS will affect your internal teams, and how your initial investment and the subsequent adjustment period will set you up for success moving forward.

Once you finish outlining your goals, don't hesitate to dive deep into the "how" behind them. For instance, identify where you'll need the most vendor support and where your internal teams will adjust to accommodate new initiatives. Your testing strategy will eventually inform your vendor's testing plan. Strategic decision-making now will help ensure your teams and your vendor teams deliver the best possible outcomes during your engagement.

#2 Plan for the Short and Long-Term

An agile project framework helps developers deliver high-performing software across releases. It emphasizes quality over quantity and gives teams the flexibility to pivot on a dime when new business needs emerge. In short, it saves organizations time and bandwidth across the supply chain through:

  • Improved software quality

  • Shorter product lifecycles

  • Built-in affordance for testing and QA

While an agile development approach can significantly benefit your internal teams, it's even more essential as you begin to outsource and integrate vendors into your product development lifecycle. Before you implement TaaS, get your teams on board with agile. Agility makes collaboration easier on both sides and allows you to adapt alongside your vendors instead of working in silos.

As the name suggests, this approach truly allows your teams to stay agile and ensure vendors do the same. Instead of sticking to your legacy processes through thick and thin, you can quickly adapt your resources and technology as your needs change. This ensures you deliver consistent, high-performing software without the heavy investment in hours of rework, a dedicated internal testing team, or outdated processes that bottleneck development.

#4 Find the Right Vendor

Accurate, data-driven testing can drive transformation across your supply chain. However, even with a clear understanding of testing, outsourcing, and data strategy, your ultimate success is in the hands of your partner. The right vendor for automated testing-as-a-service shouldn't simply be the first one that pops up on your search results; it should be a vendor that can effectively solve your unique use cases.

Look for a TaaS vendor that's willing to dive deep into your business and intertwine your success with theirs. Effective testing takes the right mix of industry expertise, diverse talent, and open collaboration, so you need a vendor that offers ongoing, relationship-driven engagements, not just plug-and-play staff augmentation.

At delaPlex, we strive to become your trusted supply chain partner. We understand the complexities of supply chain management and software development and continually adapt our solutions to meet ever-changing demands and new business priorities. Our team of diverse talent will grow with you and continuously offer valuable innovation strategies with your best interests in mind.

Ready to streamline your supply chain strategy with automated Testing-as-a-Service? Download our whitepaper, Testing-as-a-Service: A Key Component of Your Digital Supply Chain Transformation, to learn the ins and outs of how testing is a key to digital transformation.

delaPlex offers three different levels of TaaS called Essentials, Platform, and Enterprise levels, customers and partners can choose the right capabilities and expertise at the right time.