If you are developing some kind of software, whether it's a desktop or mobile application, website or web application, you need to be confident in its quality. For this, it should be tested. In this case, the question arises, who will do this? Should I keep in-house testing team or confide to independent testing company? In fact, it all depends on your business objectives and the right decision is also made based on your requirements and goals. Some say that outsourced testing is a sensible solution, while others say that it's just a waste of money and having your own testing team is much more convenient. Some are right, both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. Below are some of the pros and cons of outsourcing or in-house quality assurance testing:
Outsourced QA testing
It saves your time - If you or your development team were to spend your time on detailed review of your application or software for quality assurance purpose, you could actually spend that extra time instead to focus on some other core activities. By outsourcing, you basically get two things done in parallel at the same time.
It allows you for growth leverage – which means you can launch your product pretty fast and because, you can get things done in parallel therefore, you can grow your business compared to in-house working.
You can have access to expert resources – you can get access to resources that you don't have in-house. A lot of people struggle with spending the technical time and doing other things that are important. So, if they could hire a qualified QA partner that could do that for them, they could really get access to his skills and knowledge (that he has built up over many years) as compared to spending days or even months in learning those skills by themselves.
No need to hire a full-time employee - During the initial phase of your business contracting a quality assurance testing company can be much more cost-effective than hiring your own QA manager outside your field of expertise. Your employees may be experts in certain domains but with the growing demands of the environment you need experts from other fields as well.
It is the fact of life that there are going to be the good and the bad aspects of everything simultaneously. Same is the case with outsourcing. Below are some of the disadvantages of outsourcing your quality assurance function to outside firm or individual:
It does take time in briefing your exact requirements - To give detailed instructions to the outsourced partners, you may have to spend a lot of time in actually writing the procedures or put them together into aa plan. You may actually have to train that person about what your application is all about. You don't expect them to say "okay, I'm going to give you all this work and hopefully you know exactly what to do". With quality assurance projects, you are usually looking for a long-term contract. So, it is really important that the outsourcing partners are pretty much aligned with your business and project's objectives.
Sometimes, it can be very costly – If you don't put effort in hiring the best QA partner, you might spend more time & money and still not get a result. There are many examples of people who have invested thousands of dollars into the projects and ultimately nothing gets done. Their only fault was that they did not follow the right procedures and got the right people in place.
Outsourcing is not for everyone – Another fact is that outsourcing is not needed everywhere by everyone. It does not work for everyone. There are many entrepreneurs and business owners who have launched successful products and applications by testing themselves.
There are chances of breach of confidentiality – While outsourcing your testing and quality assurance function, you'll have to make sure that you hand it over to someone trustworthy. With outsourcing, the risks of disclosing your secret code or program to your competitors or outside world increase to greater folds. It is always advisable to sign a non-disclosure agreement with your QA partner to take regulatory action incase of such breach of confidentially clause.
In-house QA testing
You can train the persons on your own – By training your own employees according to your specific needs will save you a lot of time in briefing an outside firm. You can get the things done just like you wanted them to be.
Risks of breach of confidentiality can be overcome: With your own employees involved in testing and quality assurance process, the risks of confidentiality breach can be minimized.
You can develop your own QA team – Like many other firms, you can also specialize in QA function and develop your own team. This expert team can then be outsourced to other companies and you can earn money from testing projects. This can also save you a lot of cost and time involved in hiring an outside firm.
It involves time and cost to train & develop QA team – This is particularly true when all the team members are on the verge of their capabilities and therefore cannot accurately and efficiently perform the testing, resulting in slow implementation of application/project.
You do not have efficient team in house – Again, quality assurance testing cannot be done in-house if you do not have efficient team or the team members lack in certain skills and expertise.
You cannot enjoy economies of scale - Economies of scales happen when a large number of projects are done by an expert team resulting in absorption of fixed cost among various projects. A company having its own QA department cannot grab economies of scales to the extent a professional and specialized QA firm can.
As you can see, both outsourcing and in-house testing have their own pros and cons but the dynamics are now tremendously shifting towards outsourcing, which is now considered as a viable business solution for many operational issues. It allows you to focus on your core services areas and the ancillary services such as testing and quality assurance can be outsourced to the outside partner. The software development company can also reap the benefits of focused use of financial and human resources in a more effective and efficient way. With outsourcing, you can also expect improved quality of service, which is a must to do thing to keep pace with this competitive business world.