Labor Shortages Afflict Testing Departments

Test automation’s failure created a strange situation.


The dirty secret in software testing departments is their shortage of labor. While often self-imposed, many testing departments are nonetheless under-staffed and over-committed.

The problem isn’t unique to the United States and Canada, as enterprises in England, Australia and throughout the developed world have long been reluctant to fund fully-staffed testing departments. And who can blame the executives who create and approve testing budgets? Every other department under their purview has used automation to become much more efficient in recent years, with testing a notable and unfortunate outlier.

The fault lies with the sorry state of test automation software, which has failed to make a dent in the crippling labor intensity of software testing. Many CTOs and CFOs have responded by outsourcing their testing to offshore testing services companies, notwithstanding the inevitable hit to agility that such long-distance outsourcing brings.

Follow The Money

A quick glance at the relative spend for Test Automation Software and outsourced Software Testing Services shows where the trust lies. According to IDC, enterprises spend over ten times as much on Software Testing Services as on Test Automation Software.

While the spend on commercial software for test automation is held down by open source, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that executives have largely swept their testing problems under the rug of outsourcing, with understaffed internal testing departments merely collateral damage.

Why So Hard?

Software testing remains labor intensive because automation has failed to make scripting less labor intensive. That’s a crippling problem given that test creation and maintenance is the font from which all test automation springs. Since scripting and therefore automation is so hard, most shops fall back on manual testing, which is nothing but labor. And if labor-intensity is going to be the circumstance, executives figure they may as well outsource it at a lower rate.


Enterprises spend $10 on outsourced testing for every $1 on test automation software, per IDC.

AI is the Answer

The solution is to attack the fundamental problem of scripting. Reduce its labor intensity by an order of magnitude, or two orders of magnitude, or even three orders of magnitude, and everything changes for the better. That’s what has done with our new Appvance IQ test automation system. It uses AI scripting to achieve a thousand-fold productivity improvement, especially when used for regression testing.

It turns out that when scripting is 1,000 times more productive, even previously short-staffed testing departments can handle the flow and keep up with ever-growing commitments.

If your team is ready for an order of magnitude change, now is a great time to get a live demo of the AI driven Appvance IQ test automation system. Request yours today.