If you’re developing an IT product or planning to initiate the process, you should consider testing it. More precisely, explore automation testing service offerings and choose a responsible provider.
The feasibility of automation is supported by the forecast from Verified Market Research, indicating a CAGR of 19.36% by 2030 and an expected market capitalization of $89.81 billion.
These figures underscore the popularity of automation QA services among owners of digital products, developers, and investors in similar projects.
The experts at ZappleTech have prepared a comprehensive guide for you on searching for and hiring responsible expert QA teams. It will help you choose a provider that meets the project’s needs and elevates the IT solution to a high standard.
Table of Contents
In Which Cases Is Web Services Automation Testing Necessary?
If you want to test your digital product comprehensively, you still need to review automation testing service offerings and choose a provider who will competently execute the project.
However, this is not always a necessity. We suggest you review the criteria that indicate when automation QA can truly help your project achieve a high level of quality.
Significant Scale of Work
When developing a large-scale program or multiple iterations of cross-platform apps, automation testing service offerings are definitely needed. This is due to many checks, including routine tasks such as compatibility testing, performance testing, integration testing, and more.
Automation will allow you to parallelize checks and expedite QA processes, regardless of the task volume.
Sometimes projects simply “run out of hand,” and as an owner, you have to allocate resources quickly to cover all relevant tasks, especially during mQA.
Automated testing will cover the majority of QA processes with algorithms, involving only a few engineers.
Need for Continuous Project Support
When developing a digital product, it’s essential to ensure it is serviced by QA experts during and after its completion. This is where automation testing service offerings come in handy, providing round-the-clock support at all project stages.
This is possible through automation, which periodically runs autonomously, generates reports, informs technical support, and more.
However, automation is not a 100% cure-all and, in some cases, may even harm your project.
When Can You Do Without Web Services Automation Testing?
Sometimes, automation can be redundant, especially financially. If your project is relatively minor, doesn’t require cross-platform testing, and the functionality is not critical, you can generally do without mQA.Let’s highlight three key factors indicating that your current development can do without automation testing, allowing you to reduce costs somewhat.
The potential bug volume is relatively small when creating a fairly simple application for calorie tracking, idea notation, self-monitoring, etc.
Such projects are easier and more convenient to control manually since there is no need to constantly check large data volumes, their formats, and variations. Therefore, for small developments, mQA is an optimal option.
Absence of Significant Issues
When reviewing the project’s list of bugs, pay attention to their criticality and the risk of migration between versions. If the tendency for problem seepage is absent, or if issues can be promptly resolved, there is no need to spend money and effort on test automation.
The main thing is for identified bugs to be localized and communicated to the development department for correction promptly.
If the project has no interaction with sensitive information or critical data, and its capabilities are limited to monitoring or simple actions, then, as a rule, there is no need to automate testing such an application.
The fewer functions in the program or platform, the more difficult and expensive it is to automate testing.
Moreover, automation may prove inefficient under certain conditions.
Reasons Why Automation Testing Service Offerings May Prove Ineffective
Approximately 26% of respondents in the MicroFocus survey consider automation ROI and value realization as critical factors shaping their approach to QA automation. This concept is intriguing and viable in the majority of situations.
However, ROI can be minimal or even negative in several cases, which we’ll discuss further.
Minimal Provider Experience
If the contractor’s team lacks experience in your industry or project type, i.e., an insufficient background, their services may not meet your task requirements.
This can lead to at least critical bug oversights and, at most, a shift in focus and a decrease in the overall quality of the digital product.
Weak QA Strategy
This factor is partially related to the previous point. If the team lacks experience, there can be no talk of confident QA strategies and automation testing service offerings.
In the best case, your project may slightly shift in the release schedule; in the worst case, it may face stagnation or low overall quality.
Poor Team Organization
If the team doesn’t have clear communication and coordination processes in place, the performer will have low productivity, and the overall effectiveness of their services will suffer.
In addition to technical skills, soft skills and competent management are crucial. Without them, the team cannot interact effectively with developers/stakeholders and implement proper QA strategies, risk management, etc.
To avoid issues, it’s best to evaluate how well automation testing service offerings work at the beginning and act quickly to address problems or find a new project executor.
Assessing the Success of Automation Testing Service Offerings
Once you are ready to hire test automation engineers, take early steps to monitor their activities. Specifically, measure the effectiveness, productivity, and success of testing and its automation.You can use five methods applied by ZappleTech experts, providing high-level QA services.
Setting Realistic KPIs
First and foremost, avoid trying to cover everything at once in terms of component testing. Break down the project into small parts and establish acceptance rules based on specific goals and requirements.
Comparing actual results with expected results will show the real level of productivity and effectiveness of your provider of automation testing service offerings.
Implement a risk management system from the initial stages. Divide responsibilities, model situations, and outline actions in case of problems. This will prepare you for challenges and allow you to react adequately.
This program includes metrics that allow comparing performance with expectations. You will be ready in case your team struggles with tasks.
Setting Project Goals and Focusing on Them
It’s essential that project executors clearly understand the value and goals of the future digital product. Your task as the owner of the IT solution is to formulate tasks aligned with goals and keep the team focused on achieving them.
After each development cycle, compare results with expectations and the priority list. This way, you will understand the picture and the current state of the digital product.
Continuous Monitoring of Processes
Monitor the work of partners of automation testing service offerings, participate in meetings, and inquire about progress. This provides comprehensive information about the project’s status and boosts the performers’ motivation.
Show initiative, suggest ideas, accept provider recommendations, and communicate with team representatives.
Comparing Results with QA Project Goals
Review team performance by comparing actual results with expected outcomes and tracking current priorities and contractor tasks based on established goals. Organize regular meetings and communicate project issues.
This will help you assess your partner’s performance and the current state of the product at a specific stage.
To improve performance, pay attention to the tools used by your partner. Some technical means may not be as effective.
Most automation testing service offerings already include a toolkit for conducting QA. However, typically, this is solely the contractor’s choice and may not meet the specific needs of your project.
We won’t delve into the details of the technical side of QA, but we’ll briefly explain how to understand whether your potential provider has chosen the right tools. We’ll use just three criteria.
Defining Project Tasks
You should create your checklist of what needs to be tested and, if necessary, automated. This is usually formulated through an assessment of components and prioritizing project tasks. For example, depending on needs, you can focus the team on types of QA such as:
- End to End
By referring to such a list, you can clearly define needs and ensure that contractors correctly apply the chosen toolkit.
Choosing Relevant Tools
You probably don’t need to delve into the technical details of each specific tool. Typically, service providers offer you optimal options. It might look something like this:
- Selenium – regression, functionality, modules, system.
- Postman – API.
- TestCafe – UI.
- JMeter – load, stability, performance.
- Cypress – End to End.
- TestComplete – cross-platform, web.
Of course, you can delve into the specifications of each tool, their use areas, and so on. However, this will be unnecessary if you find excellent automation testing service offerings.
Setting up the Testing Environment and Synchronization with CI/CD Tools
All project teams should work in harmony. There are CI/CD platforms that allow synchronizing processes, controlling them, and maximizing the efficiency of cooperation.
We note GitLab, Jenkins, and Basecamp among the most common systems. With their help, you can quickly create checklists, cases, and bug-fixing tickets, i.e., communicate and distribute tasks simultaneously.
The technical aspect of QA is undoubtedly important, but it still depends on the actual executors, i.e., the team working on the project. Next, the experts at ZappleTech, the automation testing company, will reveal the secrets of its formation. These tips will be relevant both when forming an in-house team and when hiring a dedicated QA team.
Criteria for Forming a Team for Web Services Automation Testing
Once you’ve set a goal to assemble a project team for QA, you should pay attention to several points. Firstly, the knowledge of these processes, the ability to automate testing, and understanding effective concepts. Secondly, the motivation of experts, who should be driven not only by the desire to earn but also to develop in this direction and bring the project to perfection.
Therefore, we recommend focusing on three factors indicating responsible providers of automation testing service offerings.
Knowledge across a broad spectrum of industries by your partners ensures that your project will be executed on time and without significant issues. This is primarily achieved through the experience gained by contractors working with representatives of different types of businesses.
Successful concepts, results-oriented, understanding of project goals and focal points—all of this is guaranteed only by an experienced contractor with a large portfolio and years of experience in the segment.
In this regard, both hard and soft skills are equally important. The former are responsible for how well the provider performs the job, how they apply tools, and so on. The latter focuses on the social aspect, i.e., communication between teams and coordination of activities.
If the company providing automation testing service offerings has a well-established corporate culture, ongoing training, and proper management, you will reap all the benefits of working with them.
When you hire QA engineers, you might mistakenly think that their only interest is the financial gain from working with you. However, in practice, this is not always the case.
A truly motivated provider of automation testing service offerings often seeks new opportunities, primarily for development, implementing innovative technologies, such as AI, building a client base, and improving the quality of your digital product.
And by the way, this applies not only to external contractors but also to internal teams, whose strengths and weaknesses we will discuss further.
Advantages and Disadvantages of In-House Web Services Automation Testing
Almost every medium to large-scale company has its own IT staff consisting of developers and QA specialists. If you choose this path, you will need your own experts to work on internal projects.But remember that this development and testing model has both strong and weak points. Therefore, carefully familiarize yourself with them before deciding to hire in-house specialists.
Key advantages include dedication to the company, specialization of skills, and conditional stability of processes. Also, there is constant online availability and the ability to involve experts in projects anytime.
Therefore, investing in an in-house team is entirely justified if your company has a sufficiently powerful budget to afford such expenses.
Years of working in one segment turn specialists into gurus of a specific profile. Such experts quickly and qualitatively handle tasks of any scale and complexity and easily overcome challenges.
While they may show somewhat inferior results in unrelated industries, they can quickly adapt to changes and cope with new tasks.
Interest in Results
If team members have been working in the company for several months, their loyalty to the brand increases multiple times. Of course, only if they receive a decent reward, praise from managers, and decent working conditions.
Such specialists will work for the results because their income and the business’s reputation on the local or global stage depend on it.
Staff turnover in companies that create good working conditions is usually lower than in less profitable organizations. Therefore, if you plan to hire your own staff and provide them with everything necessary for work, stability in personnel is guaranteed.
And although this model seems optimal at first glance, it also has several drawbacks.
The key issue with in-house hiring lies in a few aspects: stagnation of IT professionals’ development, high financial costs, limited solutions, and risks.
Not that these disadvantages are critical, but they should also be taken into account if you plan to build your own QA team.
Working in a single segment and type of project, an expert develops in one direction, making it difficult for them to work in other areas. Although training, courses, and additional education can help, without practical experience, this knowledge may hinder the expert in the long run.
Costs for recruiting, onboarding, purchasing equipment, renting office space, licensing, training, taxes, and legal nuances—these are all cost items that arise in a company when it hires new staff. The amounts can reach tens of thousands of dollars annually, depending on the specialist’s rate and level, among other factors.
This drawback is probably the most significant, as it is not always reasonable to spend a large amount where minimal investments in outsourcing would suffice.
Advantages and Disadvantages of External Web Services Automation Testing
You might perceive potential contractors as an additional expense when considering automation testing service offerings. However, let’s look at it from another perspective. Specifically, let’s evaluate these investments in the context of ROI, achieved through the high efficiency of external providers.The outsourcing model has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s worth assessing both sides. A brief overview of this type of collaboration by Zapple Tech experts can help you.
Among the strengths of outsourcing, one can attribute its conditional cost-effectiveness and high service quality. Additionally, there’s the potential for scalability and access to diverse experts, with the speed at which they can be integrated into the project.
The model is advantageous in both short-term and long-term perspectives since it minimizes company expenses and accelerates the release of IT solutions, leading to a fairly high ROI.
Adaptive Service Costs
Each external team offering automation testing services provides convenient billing models. You are free to choose between:
- Project-based payment.
- Milestone-based payment.
- Time/material calculation.
- nlimited budget.
- Fixed cost.
Therefore, your overall expenses will depend only on how much you are willing to invest in the quality of your IT solution.
Access to Various Talents
Finding the right experts for jobs requiring specific technical skills and specialties is often time-consuming due to their relative rarity in the job market. The reason is simple: such talents usually quickly join companies like Zapple Tech, which provides automation testing service offerings.
Imagine this scenario: you have an in-house QA department working on a specific project. Over time, you notice that it is insufficient to meet testing needs, has low productivity, or mediocre performance.
You can hire additional experts and add them to your staff. However, considering the time investment, you may delay the release.
With the outsourcing model, such issues are mitigated because almost any provider of automation testing service offerings enables instant team expansion. You can literally add any number of experts within a few days and promptly close the project without compromising the quality of the IT solution.
In addition to advantages, outsourcing has drawbacks, which, while relatively easily compensated, are definitely worth your attention.
The weak points of the outsourcing model can be summarized into two aspects: problematic management of the contractor’s team and confidentiality risks. Just five or ten years ago, the list would have been much broader, including challenges like different regions, language differences, and more.
As of the end of 2023, the challenges of outsourcing are nearly exhausted, so let’s briefly consider the key positions.
Team Management Difficulties
Because your contractor works remotely and is managed by their own project manager, it may be challenging for you to control all their processes, progress, etc. However, you can almost entirely neutralize this issue if you integrate the team into the company’s operational environment through CI/CD tools wisely.
The only remaining nuance is the difference in time zones, but even that can be compensated by adapting the uptime of all project participants to mutually acceptable time ranges.
Sensitive information or confidential and corporate data is, to some extent, transferred to the team of an external service provider. There is no guarantee that these elements will not be passed on to third parties.
Despite this, you can reduce the risk by placing responsibility for unlawful actions on the contractor’s side by signing an NDA with them. If the team values its reputation and does not want to compensate for the company’s losses, it will comply with the terms of the agreement.Mikhail BodnarchukCDO, ZappleTech Inc.
In short, outsourcing overcomes all the downsides it presents. This makes it an ideal choice for assigning QA and automating tasks.
Reasons Why Outsourcing is More Advantageous than an Internal Test Automation Service Provider
In addition to the mentioned advantages of the outsourcing model, providers of automation testing service offerings are an economically advantageous and balanced solution for companies. External experts have significantly more experience than in-house teams, adapt better to changes, and possess skills to work with almost all types of projects. And that’s not all.
Full Understanding of Goals
Outsourcing providers intuitively understand what results they need to achieve in a given project. The main focus lies in three areas:
- Alignment of the digital solution with the company’s business needs.
- Stable and predictable program operation.
- Satisfaction of the UI/UX audience of the IT product.
Consequently, they make maximum efforts to ensure these results during comprehensive project testing.
With an outsourcing team, you can scale its size within a few days, depending on the project’s requirements. Need additional engineers? Submit a request. Want to reduce the team due to a minimal workload? Simply inform the manager.
In the end, you’ll reduce expenses on QA services or close the project more quickly, depending on the chosen team size.
No Additional Expenses
By outsourcing QA services, you can minimize budget expenditures. You don’t need additional equipment, office spaces, or licensing. The provider takes care of all these for its employees.
You only pay for the actual volume of services provided and the number of experts involved in the project.
In specialized tasks, outsourcing performers outshine in-house teams as they have broader experience working with various project types. Therefore, you get maximum benefits from automation testing service offerings and high-quality final iterations of IT solutions (even at the MVP stage).
Skills in Working with External Teams
When hiring in-house staff, you need to conduct comprehensive onboarding and integration into the team. You also have to establish communication with new employees, requiring additional time and effort.
Outsourcing offers faster adaptation of individual performers or teams. Since they have experience working with different companies, they integrate into the project almost instantly, similar to CI/CD tooling, working environments, etc.
It’s important to hire an experienced QA service provider to benefit from the mentioned advantages. Follow ZappleTech’s recommendations to find a contractor that can advance your project.
Criteria for Choosing Automation Testing Service Offerings
«The challenge with test automation is finding the right people. It’s hard to keep up with demand, and there’s a lot of competition with other industries to attract talent.» – Harish Rajani, Head of Change Delivery, Whitbread.When choosing a service provider, pay attention to their hard skills and portfolio and their communication skills, experience, and feedback from previous clients. The latter will provide a comprehensive understanding of the contractor’s level, adaptability, willingness to compromise, and the overall positioning of the company.
Experience in the Segment
Service providers usually publish information on the industries they work with on their own resources. There, you will find a comprehensive list.
If the segment is mentioned, there are cases of previous projects; you can trust such providers with your work. If not, it’s better to clarify the details with the manager and act based on the received information.
Knowledge of Technologies and Tools
It is essential for the provider to use the widest possible arsenal of technological tools and methodologies for aQA. This is vital to meet all project requirements and perform thorough testing of crucial elements of the digital product.
Usually, information about the toolkit is directly published on the provider’s website. In its absence, you can always contact the manager to specify the list of technologies and frameworks used by the team.
Feedback from Previous Clients
Clutch, Techreviewer, DesignRush—these are the platforms where you can evaluate the provider’s expertise based on its clients’ reviews. The platforms display the executor’s profile, the list of services they offer, information about the current staff, and descriptions of past cases.
You can find contacts of the company’s clients and reach out to their representatives to confirm the provided reviews, clarify details, etc.
Skills in Conducting Continuous Testing of Critical Elements
Every provider should not only conduct testing of digital products during development but also provide comprehensive support, regardless of the stage of the IT solution. Therefore, you need a company that will work on the project until its market release.
For example, ZappleTech’s contracts include post-service maintenance and quality control within the framework established by the hiring and service provision agreement.
Why do we emphasize the importance of potential providers’ experience throughout the material? Because this factor affects how the team adapts to your development department and collaborates on the project.
When contacting a contractor, ask them for examples of previous inter-team communications (under NDA, of course). This will allow you to understand whether the provider can coordinate work and whether there are any problematic situations.Sergey AlmyashevCOO, ZappleTech Inc.
Also, properly arrange contracts, including NDA, which will save you time, nerves, and finances and protect you from various risks.
Legal Nuances of Automation Testing Service Offerings
When collaborating with an outsourcing model, you need to create documentation outlining the terms of the cooperation agreement, its deadlines, scopes, areas of responsibility, etc. Such documents play several roles at once:
- Define the collaboration period.
- Describe the services to be provided.
- Specify responsibility for non-compliance with the agreement’s terms.
- Establish a model for forming costs and its threshold.
- Partially mitigate risks for both parties.
Thus, you get a guarantee that the work will be done on time and with quality, and your sensitive information will not be used for third-party purposes. You protect yourself from unlawful actions, such as budget overestimation, project sabotage, etc.
Contracting Cooperation Agreements
In the case of aQA, the employment agreement is quite typical but focuses on the range of services provided to you as a customer.
It defines the time frame of cooperation, the scope of services, and responsibility for non-compliance with the agreement terms (i.e., penalties, compensations, etc.). Such an agreement is concluded if you do not intend to merge the budget on low-quality services.
NDA protects your intellectual property, sensitive information, confidential and corporate data. It imposes responsibility on the parties to the agreement for the distribution or leaks of these elements. This is particularly essential if they are used against your company.
This minimizes reputation, financial, and administrative risks for the brand in case of a leak. It also serves as a significant argument for resolving conflicts.
Defining Project Responsibilities and Goals
The provider undertakes to deliver you with a range of services that match the qualification, order, and budget. To hedge against violating this agreement, you need to clearly state the results to be achieved in the collaboration.
These could be certain technical indicators, such as productivity or security, UI/UX satisfaction, and the number and severity of identified and corrected issues.
By the way, there can be quite a few of the latter in projects related to aQA carried out by outsourcing providers.
Potential Challenges in Automation Testing Service Offerings and Ways to Mitigate Them
Any work involves risks, and collaborating with remote experts is no exception. Therefore, it is critically important for you to implement a risk management system and include both typical and atypical situations.
To create a list of potential challenges, responses to them, and mitigation algorithms, you will need the assistance of experienced BAs and PMs, both internal and from the service provider’s side.
Let’s examine a few typical examples of such challenges based on the experience of ZappleTech experts.
The provider needs to not only set goals at the beginning of the project but also maintain focus on them throughout the collaboration. Otherwise, you may encounter issues such as neglecting minor bugs and overlooking critical ones.
Periodically review processes, remind about important testing areas, and demand reporting on the successes and failures of aQA.
If you notice that issues migrate between iterations or versions seem suspiciously flawless, investigate the root cause. It could be a lack of communication between aQA and development teams or negligence and inexperience on the part of the execution team.
Control the processes of subcontractors, review their reports, and participate in team meetings to gain a realistic understanding of the product’s status.
Shifting focus within the aQA team can be identified when the product functions somewhat incorrectly but looks perfect. This is a figurative description of the problem. In practice, priority shifts may involve testing everything except critical components or incorrectly assigning the importance index to bugs.
Regular meetings are crucial, discussing results over a hypothetical week. This helps teams be aware of problems and address them more effectively.
Typically, the provider assigns team leads or QA PMs, limiting your control over testing processes. To address this, appoint responsible individuals from your side who will communicate with the contractor and adjust their activities according to the business and project needs.
Quality of Service Control
How do you measure the performance of a QA service provider? Is it by the number of identified and fixed bugs or by the reports? While these metrics can be included in the evaluation, you need to monitor quality during testing, not just at the end.
Have a dedicated person communicating with the team, comparing actual results with expectations, and adjusting the focus of the performers.Mykhailo PoliarushCEO, ZappleTech Inc.
If you think that everything described in the material will devour your budget, you might be wrong.
Cost of Web Services Automation Testing
The quality of your digital product is the best investment in its competitiveness and viability. Cutting costs on aQA (and testing in general) leads to a range of problems, among which the most critical are:
- Disruption of IT solution monetization.
- Low project quality.
- Negative feedback from end-users.
- Reputation losses.
- Budget overruns.
That’s why we recommend treating QA similarly to development as a key component of success. Regarding the cost of services, they depend on several factors, such as:
- The provider’s working region.
- Skill level of team members.
- Project scale and technical features.
- Collaboration timelines and deadlines.
- Complexity of services.
It’s worth noting that you won’t be able to estimate an approximate budget on your own. The information available on the Internet is sufficient to calculate very rough figures that do not reflect reality.
If you’re interested in finding out the potential cost of aQA services specifically for your company, it’s better to ask the manager directly.
If you want to find out what kind of testing your project needs or even order it, take advantage of the free consultation with ZappleTech experts!