85% of U.S. CEOs could be leaving their businesses open to reputational and financial risks by releasing insufficiently tested software

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Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) of software testers say up to 40% of software goes to market without sufficient testing in new report

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According to new research by no-code software test automation platform company, Leapwork, 85% of U.S. CEOs think it’s acceptable to release software that hasn’t been properly tested, so long as it's patch tested later. And 79% of testers say that up to 40% of software goes to market without sufficient testing. As a result, 52% of testers claim their teams spend five to 10 days per year patching software.

Overall, there is a huge disconnect between CEOs and testers regarding the adequacy of software testing. Despite the majority of testers expressing concern that insufficiently tested software is going to market, the overwhelming majority of CEOs (94%) say they’re confident their software is tested regularly.

CEOs are aware of the risks of insufficient testing, with 95% of CEOs saying they are concerned about losing their jobs in the wake of a software failure. About three-quarters (76%) of testers have the same fear. In addition, both CEOs and testers see risks to their companies due to insufficiently tested software. More than three-quarters of CEOs (77%) say software failures have harmed their company’s reputation in the last five years.

Leapwork, in collaboration with market-research firm Censuswide, released ‘The Leapwork Risk Radar,’ a new global research study that surveyed just under 500 U.S. and U.K. CEOs and software testers at companies larger than 500 employees across multiple industries. The survey outlines attitudes towards, and perceptions of, software testing within large organizations.

Christian Brink Frederiksen, co-founder and CEO at Leapwork, said: “Our research shows the widespread issues that exist in software testing today. While CEOs and testers understand the consequences of releasing software that hasn’t been tested properly, an alarming number still think it’s acceptable to issue it and prefer to rely on patch testing afterwards to fix any problems. This often comes down to not thinking there is a viable option and choosing speed over stability – a devil’s dilemma. But what’s more concerning is the disconnect between CEOs and their developer teams, indicating that testing issues are falling under the radar and not being escalated until it’s too late.”

Why software isn’t tested properly
When asked why their software wasn’t tested properly before being released, CEOs and testers cited faster development cycles, a lack of skilled developers and a lack of professional development, as well as the reliance on manual testing as primary reasons why. Detailed data points include:

  • Manual testing: Just under four in 10 CEOs (39%) cite ‘reliance on manual testing’ as the main reason.
  • Underinvestment in automation and insufficient time: 40% of testers whose company uses or develops in-house software that goes to market without being insufficiently tested; say ‘underinvestment in test automation’ is one reason, with only 43% claiming they are using some element of automation (i.e., an automation tool or a combination of manual and automation). Just over a third (34%) of testers cite ‘lack of time.’ 29% say ‘unable to test all software due to increased frequency of development.’
  • Lack of skilled developers: Just over a third of CEOs (34%) and about four in 10 testers (42%) whose company uses or develops in-house software that goes to market without being insufficiently tested cite ‘lack of available skilled developers.’ This gap indicates that the digital skills gap is still a big issue in the U.S. with companies struggling to find the right skillsets to manage test automation.
  • There isn’t enough professional development: More than a third of CEOs (34%) say ‘underinvestment in testing personnel including continuous professional development’ is the reason why software isn’t tested properly, implying that teams aren’t focusing enough of their efforts on upskilling testers.

Frederiksen added: “As more companies transition from manual testing to automation to meet the testing requirements of increasingly complex software, they’re struggling to find testers with the right digital skills to manage the process. Combine that with the pressure of meeting digital transformation goals and companies are cutting corners and taking unnecessary risks.

“We’ve seen the implications of huge software failures in the news, so on the current trajectory, more and more companies will struggle with failures and outages which could cost them a significant amount in financial and reputational damage. Businesses need to urgently consider a different approach and embrace no code test automation systems that don't require coding skills and free up their skilled teams to focus on the most high-value tasks.”



Research Methodology
The research was conducted by Censuswide and surveyed 240 U.K. and U.S. CEOs and 240 U.K. and U.S. Heads of QA, Manual Testers, Release Managers/Delivery Managers and Site Reliability Engineers/Executive; company size 500+, aged 18+ across banking and financial services, healthcare and life sciences, manufacturing, retail and eCommerce, telecoms and logistics and transportation.

About Leapwork
Leapwork empowers the world’s largest enterprises to adopt digital transformation securely and successfully with its unique, no-code automation platform. Unlike traditional automation approaches, Leapwork breaks down the barriers between humans and computers with an entirely visual no-code system that everyone can understand. Leapwork is used by global enterprises across all industries, from banks and insurance companies to life science, government and aerospace. Clients include Mercedes Benz, PayPal, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences and BNP Paribas. The company is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has local offices across Europe, US and Asia.

To learn more about Leapwork, visit: https://www.leapwork.com/

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