An essential part of the software development process, testing allows you to catch software computer bugs and other issues before the product is released.
While this process can be time-consuming and expensive, software testing outsourcing can help you cut costs without compromising testing quality.
In this article, we’ll explain what software testing outsourcing is and highlight 20 commonly outsourced testing services. We’ll also discuss the five benefits and three risks of this practice and give you five helpful tips for effortless software testing outsourcing.
Finally, we’ll list five popular software testing companies across the globe.
This article contains:
(Click on the links to jump to a specific section)
- What is Software Testing Outsourcing?
- 20 Commonly Outsourced Software Testing Services
- 5 Key Benefits of Software Testing Outsourcing
- 3 Risks of Outsourcing Software Testing (With Solutions)
- 5 Simple Tips for Effortless Software Testing Outsourcing
- Top 5 Software Testing Companies
Let’s dive in.
What is software testing outsourcing?
Software testing outsourcing involves handing over software testing to a third party, usually uninvolved with the rest of the development process.
The third party could be a specialized company or an individual expert. They put your developed software through appropriate tests to check whether it works as it should.
They also ensure the end product is free from bugs or code anomalies using Quality Assurance (QA).
Why is this important?
Poor software quality cost businesses an estimated $2.08 trillion just in 2020.
Additionally, the market today is primarily customer-driven. If the customer isn’t satisfied with your product, you’ll incur losses.
To avoid this situation and prioritize customer satisfaction, you can outsource software testing to specialized teams focused on user experience.
Outsourcing also allows you to focus on your core business while the QA expert handles the testing process.
20 commonly outsourced software testing services
Let’s explore 20 types of testing services your outsourced team can handle.
1. Ad hoc testing
The testing team aims to find errors and test software functionality through random, unplanned, and informal testing.
2. Agile testing
Performed by a QA team, it follows the Agile testing methodology and looks at the software from the customer’s perspective.
3. API testing
As part of Integration Testing, this test aims to check if the software’s APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) meet the necessary reliability, functionality, performance, and security requirements.
4. Automation testing
Here, the computer uses the relevant automation testing tool to set up the environment, execute the test, and produce quick results.
5. Black-box testing
A QA team focuses on software functionality without prior knowledge of said software’s internal workings. The tester simply provides the input and observes the output.
6. Compatibility testing
This test shows how well the software performs under different environments, e.g., other network systems.
7. Functional testing
Functional testing is a form of black-box testing. Here, your software goes through numerous test cases to establish whether it works as expected.
8. End-to-end testing
The test aims to mimic real-world software usage by focusing on user experience. It tests the complete application by interacting with different hardware, databases, applications, and systems.
9. Integration testing
The testing team combines individual software modules to test them as a group.
Since different programmers and coders may have developed separate modules, this test checks the communication level among all these units.
10. Localization testing
The team checks whether a globalized application or software is appropriately localized for a given region, e.g., if your English mobile application supports Mandarin language characters.
11. Manual testing
A testing team member acts as a user to manually check the software/application for bugs. No automation testing tool is used.
12. Non-functional testing
This test checks all aspects of the software that functional tests don’t, e.g., reliability, scalability, performance, and usability.
13. Penetration testing
Usually conducted by specialized penetration testing companies, this method evaluates your network or system security by simulating a malicious attack.
14. Performance testing
The QA engineer evaluates whether the system complies with its specific performance requirements as a form of functional testing.
15. Regression testing
The test confirms whether a software code change has affected existing features and functionalities. Ideally, it shouldn’t.
16. Recovery testing
The team tests how well your software can recover from crashes and hardware/software failures.
17. Security testing
This test aims to identify any loopholes, vulnerabilities, threats, or weaknesses in the software system that could lead to information loss.
18. Usability testing
Typically done by end-users, the test checks how easy it is for users to navigate and operate the software.
19. Vulnerability testing
The main objective is to assess vulnerabilities that can impact performance, reliability, and integrity and prevent such issues.
20. White-box testing
Unlike black-box testing, here, the software developer is aware and knowledgeable about the software. So, the focus is to test the internal structures of the software rather than pure functionality.
As you can see, there are many different types of software testing services available.
If you’re still unsure about outsourcing testing, let’s look at some of its benefits.
5 key benefits of software testing outsourcing
QA outsourcing can be a strategic business decision benefitting you in the following ways.
Training existing employees or testers to stay updated and at par with software testing experts can be expensive.
According to one estimate, it can be anywhere between 15% to 25% of your total project cost.
By outsourcing, you can experience cost savings in multiple ways:
- Human resources: No need to hire or train testers.
- Data and hardware: The team will already have the latest tools of the trade.
- Time: An experienced team will deliver a high-quality product in a short time frame.
Since the vendor is responsible for all the above, you can pick available talent at the price point that works best for your bottom line.
2. Efficient and systematic testing
A QA service provider will have experts trained in manual and automation testing. They can use these different methodologies to test your software and ensure it’s working to its maximum potential.
Similarly, in any given QA company, you’ll probably find experts in various domains.
For example, let’s say you have an e-commerce website and a corresponding mobile app. You can probably outsource both web and mobile testing to the same company.
These engineers will know how to create effective test plans, which QA process to follow, and implement specific testing procedures.
You can employ the same mobile testing team to run regression tests on your app after each update, allowing you to maintain a consistent user experience and software quality.
Another advantage of outsourced QA testing is that you gain a fresh perspective.
It can be easy for your internal team to lose objectivity during the development process. Outsourcing to a third-party team can give you unbiased test results, helping you stay aware of areas of improvement.
3. Increased access to talent
When you have a single focus, you can invest all your resources in that area. The same goes for the QA service provider.
Since this is their expertise, they’ll stay updated on new technologies, test automation tools, and changing market trends. Their team will also consist of experts with varied skillsets and hands-on experience to accommodate different client testing needs.
If your existing software product requires updates to keep up with trends, the team will know what to do and how to do it.
Some companies also offer consultancy services and can guide you regarding new software launches.
4. Faster time to market
Most software testing outsourcing companies have a predefined workflow, process, and methodology.
So, they already know how to provide a high-quality service in a short period, cutting down your launch time. You can also double your company’s productivity by outsourcing your testing activity to a company in an opposite time zone.
For instance, if you’re in the US and outsource to India, the significant time difference will mean that someone is always working on your project. This will allow you to launch your product faster.
You can also leverage this international team to easily enter new markets and localize your products for these audiences.
5. Focus on your core business
Software QA testing can be a strain on your in-house IT team.
However, an outsourced team can help reduce this burden by taking over your testing project. They’ll do so while adhering to deadlines and reducing your overall project cost.
Increased availability of valuable in-house resources can help you focus on scaling up your organization and creating more products.
3 risks of outsourcing software testing (with solutions)
Let’s explore three potential risks of outsourced software testing and its solutions.
1. Security concerns
There are obvious concerns when sharing source codes, customer data, reference models, and workflows with another company. Without proper documentation, the third party can plagiarise or even leak proprietary trade secrets to your competitors.
Solution: You should sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) with the development team.
The document should detail project goals, testing strategies, and ownership of data. It can also specify if the team can use an open-source, third-party code or not.
Any credible QA testing service provider will agree to sign an NDA and would’ve probably done so with other clients.
2. Cultural barriers and miscommunication
Your outsourced QA testing team may be located in another country, across different time zones.
An obvious challenge here is a potential difference in work ethics, communication styles, and even a lack of English proficiency. All these can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings that can derail the progress of your project.
Solution: A simple way to overcome this challenge is by choosing a vendor who works with clients from your country.
If they have already worked with someone from a similar background, they’ll be aware of the differences and know how to minimize them.
Another way is to over-communicate and repeat each detail multiple times. You can also ensure that every interaction has a written record for you and your offshore team to reference later.
3. No clear timeline
A common concern with outsourcing is the lack of a precise schedule.
Often, offshore testing companies work at different times, leading to confusion regarding timelines. The QA team assigned to your project may also have other projects in the pipeline, so a lack of structure can lead to a delay in your project.
Solution: You should always ask your service provider for an estimated timeline for the project’s completion. You can help the team by stressing urgent requirements they should prioritize first.
You can also mention specific deadlines in your contract, especially a tentative end date. Doing so will help everyone stay on top of things.
5 simple tips for effortless software testing outsourcing
Here are five tips to help you work with a good software testing outsourcing company:
1. Clarify your needs
You need to be clear about your project needs, such as whether you require manual or automated testing. Details like the project length and how many testers you need can also help you find the right testing partner.
2. Check the vendor’s credibility
Ensure you look at the service provider’s website to see what kind of work they do.
These websites will also often hold references, case studies, and test documents to help you make an informed decision.
3. Consider niche teams
If you have a specific requirement, for instance, testing a mobile gaming app, you need a company experienced in the same.
In this case, taking your time to find a suitable QA outsourcing service will save time and money in the long run.
4. Create achievable goals
Every testing team requires measurable goals, so they know what to work towards.
For QA testing, you can set some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), like tracking active defects, that can help both you and your team measure your progress.
These metrics will vary from a case-to-case basis.
5. Check into outsourced team’s productivity
It can be easy to feel out of touch with your software testing partner.
You may not have a clear view of how things are progressing or even if they are!
Thankfully, productivity management software such as Time Doctor can help you out here.
It will help you stay aware of how the outsourced team is working. The software can also help you manage your outsourced team’s payroll with ease.
Now that you know how to work with your testing partner to achieve all your testing goals, let’s explore some of the best software testing companies across the globe.
Top 5 software testing companies
Providing a wide array of testing services, here are the top five software testing companies.
DeviQA is a quality assurance service provider based in Ukraine. A leader in the QA outsourcing industry, it specializes in automated testing. However, they provide many other end-to-end outsourcing services for both web and mobile applications.
They’ve also worked across different domains such as healthcare, cybersecurity, and travel software, to name a few.
A software testing company based in Uruguay, QAlified is best known for its application testing services. Here, they analyze the software to identify problems, reduce implementation risks, and increase user satisfaction.
One of its many esteemed clients is the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries in Uruguay.
TestFort is a Ukraine-based QA and testing company that has won multiple awards for its manual and automated testing expertise.
It has an impressive portfolio of corporations such as Skype, Huffington Post, and Symantec.
Their QA engineers deliver a consistently positive experience through established workflows and transparent communication with the client.
An independent software testing company, BugRapators is headquartered in India with a corporate office in the US.
It’s also one of the best gaming testing companies in the world.
Dedicated to providing high-quality testing services at affordable prices, their team is well-versed in DevOps testing, regression testing, and cloud testing, among many others.
Based in Poland, TestArmy is a testing and software consultancy company with over 5000 global QA engineers in the team.
They specialize in testing for web, mobile, IoT (Internet of Things), and VR (Virtual Reality).
One of their biggest clients is Samsung Electronics.
Software testing is a systematic and repetitive process in software development.
Yet conducting it in-house can cost a disproportionate amount of time and money.
Instead, outsourcing can help you provide customers a high-quality software product at a fraction of the cost.
Use the information and tips we covered here to understand everything you need to know about software testing outsourcing and determine if it’s the right for your needs.
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.