The traditional focus in the application quality management market has been for specific testing activities (for example, load/stress and functional/regression). Economic conditions and pressure to improve time to market are placing increased emphasis on productivity. Agile development continues to make inroads into quality assurance (QA) and testing teams, and this is reflected by growing support of test planning tools for agile processes, such as scrum. Rich-client technologies, Web-connected devices and private cloud architectures are placing stress on the testing organization to adequately test software. The shift toward packages, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management (BPM) also drives greater business analyst involvement in overall quality efforts, along with a shift in focus from finding defects in validation to ensuring that business objectives are met. Testing software can be an expensive process, but poor software quality leads to user dissatisfaction, as well as increased development and maintenance. Therefore, having a well-defined set of tools and practices to drive software quality will positively affect the overall business bottom line.
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