Thanks to relentless global competition and an unforgiving economy, organizations have been under non stop pressure to deliver products and services. For many the lifeblood of finding new opportunities has been to mine the data assets being gathered from all corners of their enterprise and beyond—transactions, customer data, employee input, and information about market conditions.
However, in the rush to deliver results, many IT and development departments take shortcuts within the testing process, taking live data right out of production environments to run through testing, development and quality assurance (QA) processes. Employing production data is considered the most expedient way to test new and updated applications. But creating copies of this data exposes organizations to new— and avoidable—security risks. In addition, resources are being stretched, in the interest of doing things better faster and cheaper. Add exploding volumes of enterprise data, and this scenario creates gaps in terms of exposure and money to organizations.
Key highlights and findings from the survey, which explores testing, development and QA opportunities and issues, include the following:
- The size and sophistication of applications are increasing, but testing windows are tightening. About a third of respondents report they are unable to keep pace with heightened demands, and a majority of respondents are not seeing appreciable growth in staff to help address burgeoning testing, development and QA requirements. To meet these requirements, two-thirds use outside services at least some of the time to augment their testing efforts. However, very little testing has been moved to the cloud as of yet.
- The explosion in data volumes is becoming the rule rather than the exception at many companies, and close to one out of six respondents’ companies now have more than a petabyte of data. This means there is more data that must be managed and processed for testing, development and QA purposes. In addition, many applications need to be optimized to access databases more effectively. As a result, there are multiple copies of data—three or more—seen across organizations. Yet few organizations plan adequately to protect data once it leaves the production environment, creating increased and avoidable risk.
- Quality assurance is the main driver for application testing, but a majority of respondents also employ testing to pave the way for upgrades and migrations. However, only financial applications receive rigorous testing by a majority of companies. Testing, development and QA tends to occur across multiple databases across the enterprise, suggesting an additional security risk.
Testing the Bounds of Data Governance: 2012 IOUG Test Development & Quality Assurance (QA) Survey was produced by Unisphere Research in partnership with the Independent Oracle Users Group, and sponsored by IBM.