Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Testing Activity

Software testing is the science of finding defects in a part of a software. A defect is the mismatch between the requirements of the client and the developed software. Testing is usually done by professional testers after the development team has done its work. Testers use various techniques to find defects and report it back to the developers. Developers debug it and may send the software back to the testers. Fully tested and debugged software is sent to the client.

Now, a Software development organization often faces a tricky decision - whether to outsource testing activity or to set-up an in house testing infrastructure. Today I will discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing software testing service to a third organisation i.e. External v/s In-house testing

Advantages of Outsourcing Software Testing Service

1) Expertise and Efficiency: Usually. the third party to whom we have outsourced testing services, has professionals who specialize in testing activity. Thus, the work done is better and the time taken to do it is far less.
2) Cost of having necessary infrastructure is saved. As a software development company, you don't need to invest money in buying sophisticated hardware and software to run testing. The initial capital investment saved is very high compared to the money charged by the third party.
3) Cost saving in HR. You don't need to invest money to train and develop manpower specifically for software testing.
4) Better Focus: As development is the organization’s core process, it can work towards strengthening it and can leave the side processes for the other organization to do.
5) No Clash of egos. Developers usually treat their software very dearly and don't like to be told about any defects in it. If testing is done within the organization, it may lead to ego issues between a developer and a tester. But if outsourcing is done, these kind issues don't arise.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing Software Testing Service

1) Evaluating the Testing organization: There are a lot of organizations offering testing services are cropping up every day. Evaluating them and contracting the right one is a tough task, especially if the project is of high-value.
2) IP issues: In order to facilitate proper testing, the organization is forced to share some confidential documents (like SRS, source code, design document, etc) with the third party. Making sure that the third party will honor the Intellectual Property rights, is something which is tough to manage.
3) Time Crashing: Earlier I had discussed how a company may have to decide on project crashing or fast-tracking so as to complete it on-time. In such crunch situations it’s tough to negotiate terms with a third party for testing and even tougher is the task to ensure that it will deliver the tested product on time. In this case if testing is done 'in house' we have a better control on activities.
4) Sub-quality work: As I said, before time constraints need to be coordinated with the third party, at the same time, quality issues also need to be monitored in case of outsourcing. Quality of testing done should be ensured as development company's image is at stake directly.
5) Laws and settling disputes: The organization whom we have chosen to test our software may be situated in another country. In such a case settling disputes and laws which are applied may be tough to solve and understand.

Final Word : If your organization is big enough to hire software testers and provide them with necessary infrastructure then don't go for outsourcing. Also, if project is of confidential nature avoid outsourcing.

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