Smart Testing: Creating Business Value from Testing
Regulatory requirements such as Basel 2 have put operational risk on the agenda for the financial services community. The process of changing systems to either improve efficiency or to reduce operational risk does, in itself, introduce another level of risk. Thorough system testing is now seen as one of the key ways of mitigating risks when making changes to the IT and applications infrastructure. Successful projects build in testing as a core activity that is integrated with the whole project. Whilst much of the testing work will be towards the end of a project, bolting it on as an after thought will not add to the projectâs success or reduce the operational risk.
The consequences of not completing an integrated testing program as part of an application implementation or upgrade can be catastrophic from both an internal and external perspective. Systems that interface to the outside world can be very visible to customers, not being able to trade or process a clientâs business due to a systems problem can not only have a negative financial impact but also can also severely damage an organisations reputation. Internally if incorrect systems operation results in incorrect data delivery into, for example, a regulatory report, "C" level executives can face fines and imprisonment under acts such as Sarbanes-Oxley.
The GFT Testing Centre, now available in the UK, can meet your testing challenges and, when coupled with our unique Smart-Testing approach, deliver two key business benefits:
Cost reduction â via GFTâs Smart-Testing approach to onshore, near-shore and offshore resource deployment.
Risk reduction - by deploying GFT highly skilled testing personnel with in-depth industry knowledge, coupled to a methodical and structured approach recognised by its CMM2 accreditation.
The GFT Testing Centre offers Smart-Testing, a unique facility that delivers the benefits of an onsite testing team, but at outsourced prices. Our tiered approach enables the work to be streamed and routed to the lowest-cost centre able to complete the work to our exacting quality standards. We can even use global time differences to ensure that projects can be completed in shorter elapsed timescales. Smart-Testing has two delivery models:
Managed Service - GFT offers a fixed price for all aspects of the testing life cycle covering project management, business analysis, test pack creation and execution, for both functional and non-functional testing. In conjunction with the customer, GFT determines how to best meet their requirements using our onsite, near-shore and offshore teams. The key benefit of the Smart-Testing approach is that GFT assumes the testing risk.
On Demand - GFT can offer all levels of testing resources on an "as needed" time & materials basis to supplement a clients testing strategy through the "peaks and troughs" of testing phases.
GFTâs testing methodology is designed to add value to the application development and deployment process by both reducing risk and reducing the cost of the testing program. Our methodology is built on four pillars:
â¢ Business Knowledge
â¢ Testing Process
â¢ Testing Tools
â¢ Application Access
Combining a number of key skills, programs are tailored to meet the differing testing needs arising from different types of project including bespoke developments or enhancements, product developments, product implementations and product upgrades.
To deliver added value in a testing context, domain knowledge is essential. Our financial services domain knowledge covers all areas of operation from corporate client portals to all aspects of trading, risk, settlements payments and accounting. We understand the systems and processes and the underlying instruments that are being processed. From vanilla equities, cash and bonds through to complex derivative products.
Our proven methodology begins the testing tasks at the start of the project. We work closely with the Business Analysts during the functional specification stage to develop the test success criteria and test plans. We then develop the detailed test cases and packs, ensuring they are available as the development or implementation schedule dictates. If appropriate tests are automated using either our own or our clients preferred tools. We have wide experience of all the major testing suites from companies such as Mercury Interactive (TestDirector, WinRunner, LoadRunner etc.) IBM Rational (TestManager Rational Robot etc.) Compuware (QARun QALOad etc.), Segue (SilkTest) and OpenSTA an open source set of testing tools.
Testing is a skill in its own right and involves a completely different mental approach to that of a developer or a user who typically tests whether a function works. Testing involves extending this to include the variations that would commonly happen (such as inputting incorrect information or performing a task in an incorrect order adding additional data and so on) to extend the boundaries. Our expertise covers all types of testing including:
â¢ Security - testing the vulnerability of an application to malicious users
â¢ Functional â testing that requires in depth business expertise.
â¢ Performance â including response time, stress and load testing.
â¢ Regression â ensuring existing functions still perform correctly.
â¢ Deployment â testing configuration and installation across multiple platforms.