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Quality Assurance Outsourcing: How-to Mitigating Risks for Optimal Results QA / Software Testing

Sep 19, 2023 JIN

Quality Assurance Outsourcing: How-to Mitigating Risks for Optimal Results

According to the statistics from IMARC Group, the global IT outsourcing market size shall witness a significant jump to reach at least $720.2 billion by 2028. Quality assurance outsourcing, which is responsible for maintaining and enhancing software quality, is also forecasted to accumulate to $3,989.57 million in the same year, according to statistics provided by Market Watch.

Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the demand for quality assurance outsourcing, although there’s still the big debate of whether it’s permanent with the benefits it holds:

  • Quality Assurance cost optimization at its finest
  • Filling in the absence of in-house quality assurance specialists
  • Bridging the gaps in technologies, tools, and skills
  • Closing deadlines for tight project timelines

Others argue the existing potential risks also lie within the outsourcing services, which can often go out of hand, whirlwind into hectic chaos. What are the possible threats that could accumulate in such a scenario? Are there any prevention methods to avoid these dead-ends? Let’s jump right into today’s blog, where you’ll find the answers to these questions above and, hopefully, stay away from them altogether!

In-house or Outsourcing
Any organization has to sort out the control “power” spectrum before proceeding to any IT outsourcing services to avoid conflicts and control let-down while outsourcing.

4 Potential Risks of Quality Assurance Outsourcing

Despite the essential role of quality assurance in developing digital products, the following four significant risks associated with outsourcing software testing are found to stand out prominently:

Loss of Control

Sounds rare, but happens quite regularly. The further you engage in the project, the more likely you’ll be losing the lead control over it. How can that even possibly be possible?

It does when your initial goals, objectives, expectations, and management processes have yet to be predefined, cleared, and mutually agreed upon, as well as written on the contract itself. Therefore, role clarifications (who is in charge of the decision-making, who’ll be the final decision maker?), procedure protocols, testing standards, and qualifications have to be discussed and understood. It’s always better to be safe now than sorry later.

Pinpoint the Busting Budget Expenses Factors

Different cost-related factors occur while hiring a 3rd party quality assurance vendor, such as the vendor’s location, project timeline, scope, complexity, and the experience of their quality assurance engineers. As the projects roll out, additional costs, such as after-hours support, troubleshooting, staff training, and more, make their grand entrance. Therefore, while planning the financial budget for outsourcing, keep these factors in mind to avoid any unexpected expenses that would gradually burden your project. Once you’re going through with outsourcing, ending it halfway shows how incompetent you have been in budget forecasting, and you can’t dodge that bullet and blame that on anyone but yourself.

Communication Challenges

Even if your Quality Assurance vendor is onsite, communication issues somehow always end up being “bad news.” It’s the result of either one’s assumptions, lack of clarifications, and attempts to establish common grounds among parties regarding the projects.

Having an offsite/offshore team might escalate this issue even deeper and faster than scratching the surface. The language barriers, time differences, and limited direct interaction will complicate matters and possibly worsen it. Misunderstandings among team members and adversely impacting the overall quality of the project are most likely unavoidable.

Security Concerns

Involving third parties of any sort would create opportunities and open doors to external cyber threats and hackers, whether you want it or not. Engaging external specialists allows them access to internal projects, including systems that store critical business data for your organization, such as confidential business data on employees, vendors, management boards, customers, and financial situations. Without implementing strict security measures, you are putting yourself out there unprotected and prone to data breaches, insider threats, and other security risks.

03 key steps to minimize risks in Quality Assurance Outsourcing

Thankfully, the risks associated with outsourcing software testing can be effectively blocked out with the following 03 easy steps:

Adopting Effective Communication Tools and Strategies

To overcome the lack of visibility and control that comes with outsourcing Quality Assurance, fostering cooperation and maintaining clear communication between your company and the outsourced Quality Assurance team are the way to go. This makes sure the optimal product visions and missions are transparent and conveyed correctly, streamlining from your internal product owners to the outsourced team.

It is recommended to discuss all aspects of collaboration beforehand, including the technology stack, approaches, and plans; regular meetings should also be scheduled with team members to stay connected and build the ideal in-sync working relationships.

Keep in mind that offshore outsourcing vendors are often located in different countries and time zones. Putting in efforts to stay aligned with project timelines by establishing regular video meeting agendas to cross-check whether or not you all are on the same page. This helps facilitate and monitor their progress proactively, addressing any obstacles they may encounter in time and offering viable solutions when needed.

Language compatibility can become tricky when selecting an outsourcing vendor. Conduct thorough research to find a company with adequate language proficiency to bridge the language gaps and reduce potential stress.

Utilizing project management tools can come in handy to maintain a comprehensive overview of tasks, priorities, responsibilities, resources, and deadlines. Setting up a regular reporting calendar or status-update activities to stay on top of your project progress, informed on emerging conflicts, and stay ahead with proper future as well as backup plans.

Prioritize Quality above Cost

In reality, prioritizing low-price software-testing services doesn’t prove beneficial in the long run; instead, the option exposes you to potential risks in terms of security, quality, or even both. To find your kind of ideal software quality assurance services outsourcing vendor, here are a few things you have to take into consideration before proceeding:

  • Create a compilation of Quality Assurance suppliers who possess relevant experience
  • Evaluate their portfolios
  • Engage in discussions with the provider about projects similar to yours, clarifying their approach to quality and establishing Quality Assurance practices
  • Assess candidates’ security practices and compare them to your security practices and priorities
  • Regularly gather feedback from clients to identify any Quality Assurance issues

Establish Robust Security Protocols

Facilitating secure collaboration with a Quality Assurance vendor necessitates implementing three precautionary measures:

  1. Signing a nondisclosure agreement (NDA): The document delineates the sensitive information shared between the two parties and prohibits its disclosure to any third party.
  2. Examining the security prowess of vendors: Before choosing an outsourcing vendor, ascertain their track record in handling sensitive client data and ask about their approach to data protection. Additionally, request their adherence to your company’s security standards, such as those aligned with ISO 27001.
  3. Regularly performing cybersecurity testing: Collaborating with your cybersecurity teams and providers to evaluate the security of your outsourced environment is necessary. Employ techniques such as vulnerability scanning to uncover network vulnerabilities that hackers may target while penetration testers and ethical hackers execute simulated attacks on the system. After testing, Quality Assurance specialists will identify and resolve security vulnerabilities, preventing cybercriminals from exploiting them in future attacks. The Quality Assurance experts will also analyze the underlying factors behind security deficiencies and provide practical strategies to mitigate them.

Final thoughts

In general, it is undeniable that drawbacks exist in every field, and the same applies to outsourced testing and quality assurance services. However, we need to acknowledge and focus on the primary objective, minimizing current and future risks, by understanding and trying to implement the mentioned above in practice.
Also, don’t forget these factors:

  • Assessing your requirements.
  • Preparing a project evaluation.
  • Weighing the advantages of achieving a positive outcome and, of course.
  • Selecting a dependable Quality Assurance-testing provider who combines IT proficiency with exceptional work quality and adheres to the highest security standards.

We, SHIFT ASIA – a leading software testing company, have constantly expanded our outsourcing services to meet all the rising demands in the software industry. Thanks to the advanced technology and the persistent efforts of the SHIFT ASIA’s ISTQB-certified tester teams, we have helped deliver top-notch quality products to exceed even the most strict and demanding customers’ expectations across the globe. If you’re in doubt and still trying to find your match for the software quality assurance outsourcing partners, reach out to SHIFT ASIA today. We’ll make sure you are well taken care of.


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