With increasing digital adoption, there has been a growing demand for quality assurance practices, especially among companies which require a high level of security. Realizing this need, enterprises across all sectors have allocated a greater fraction of their total IT spend to quality assurance and testing practices – from 18 per cent in 2012, to 40 per cent in 2016.
Durairaj Dhanasekaran, Chief Executive Officer, QAssure in an exclusive interview with Techseen discusses the advantages of crowd testing platforms and how they can meet the needs of fintech institutions.
Techseen: What is the market potential and advantages of crowd testing platforms?
Dhanasekaran: The market potential of crowd testing lies in the increasingly digital nature that enterprises operate in today. Gartner predicts that 20 per cent of all enterprise application development will be conducted through crowdsourcing by 2018 . With high levels of internet penetration and digital reliance globally, businesses have to ensure that the software and applications they develop are bug-free, function well and are secure. The most effective way to do so would be through crowd testing due to the various benefits it presents.
One of the greatest benefit is the shorter turnaround period. By leveraging a community of crowd testers from around the globe and across different time zones, the testing process goes on 24/7, shortening the time investment required to complete the entire testing process and allowing enterprises to go-to-market faster. This also allows businesses to reduce their headcount costs on hiring in-house testers, driving overall cost efficiency to stay competitive.
Techseen: You recently launched QA TestBox, a crowd testing platform for enterprises which operates on a cloud-based platform. How is the success rate so far?
Dhanasekaran: We have seen high interest from the global tester community and have successfully registered more than 250 certified testers within the first month of our launch. Moreover, we have also been working with multiple clients to complete the testing process for applications that need to go-to-market quickly and in a secure manner. We anticipate that more clients will have such requirements as we go along.
Techseen: One of the specialized services QAssure provides is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). What are the key applications of RPA and how can they benefit fintech organizations? Can you name some of your major clients who you have helped with the technology?
Dhanasekaran: We are one of the front runners in implementation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for our clients. RPA allows multiple applications to be operated simultaneously, boosting efficiency by assisting (or removing) the manpower required for certain activities such as data collection, invoice generation and payroll. It is an effective way for enterprises to cut costs, eliminate keying errors, speed up processes and link applications together. Specifically in the fintech sector, some key RPA applications include data entry and IT support, as well as payment posting.
Fintech firms provide solutions to their customers which require seamless integration with their systems. Through automating back-end tasks that are repetitive and rule-based, fintech firms can streamline data entry time while simplifying workflow and integration of enterprise applications.
We have worked closely with a leading Australian Bank to develop software robots which act as an extension of their workforce.
Techseen: According to Gartner, by 2020, automation and artificial intelligence will reduce employee requirements in business shared service centers by 65%. Do you think this will create a job crunch in the industry?
Dhanasekaran: With the automation of certain tasks, employees can be redeployed from repetitive tasks to focus on higher level work. Contrary to popular belief that many jobs will be lost through automation, an entirely new set of roles will be created. These roles will require people with the relevant technical skills to upkeep and update the automation systems. As businesses grow and expand, additional skilled manpower will be needed to meet the increased market demand.
Techseen: With the rise of fintech in Singapore, what are the key challenges faced by enterprises and how can they be addressed?
Dhanasekaran: From government initiatives to funding support from financial institutions, Singapore has successfully developed a thriving ecosystem for fintech firms. In contrast, this has also brought about greater competition and fragmentation, making it increasingly important for firms in the space to continuously innovate and develop solutions that address gaps in the market.
Techseen: Affordability and cost management stand to be the top priorities for startups and SMBs. Do you offer any special provisions for startups?
Dhanasekaran: We offer our customers the choice of a self-service model, available in monthly, bimonthly and quarterly packages. Our self-service model allows for a well-defined testing duration with a predetermined number of testers, ensuring maximum cost-effectiveness. Priced at a competitive rate, our self-service package is startup-friendly.
Techseen: QAssure’s Cyber Forensics claims to cover all digital devices and investigate the data collected for fraud or malwares. Now with the massive outburst of IoT and connected devices, what security threats can they pose? How do you plan to tackle them?
Dhanasekaran: Due to the interconnected nature of IoT, heavy volumes of data will exist and if not managed properly this could lead to security breaches and compromised data privacy. As a result, there is increased pressure on business owners to enhance and ensure the security of their products and services.
As pioneers in cyber forensic investigations, QAssure’s Cyber Forensics Practice covers all digital devices and includes acquiring or retrieving data from a wide variety of devices via comprehensive disk-level or cloud and network investigation.
In the near future, we intend to set up our own Security Operations Centre (SOC) by developing an internal cybersecurity platform and through strategic partnerships.
Techseen: You have an office in Indonesia too. What key technology trends do you see emerging in the country?
Dhanasekaran: Indonesia is evolving digitally at a phenomenal pace and a key technological trend emerging is the rise of crowdsourcing platforms in the gig economy. With the likes of Go-Jek, Indonesians have been quick to embrace and adopt the crowdsourcing culture. Such platforms integrate and simplify various services for its clients, and are also cost-efficient. Home to a large talent pool, Indonesians are increasingly taking to such crowdsourcing platforms to achieve efficiency and effectiveness.
Digital services such as fintech and e-commerce are also growing rapidly in Indonesia, with e-commerce slated to contribute significantly to the country’s GDP. This will result in high demand for quality assurance services.
Techseen: What do you think about India’s CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) plan for the finance sector announced during the Union Budget 2017?
Dhanasekaran: We view India’s CERT-Fin plan as the right step towards tightening cybersecurity. This will enable better visibility, control, coordination and response to any incidents linked to cybercrime that could impact India’s finance sector.
Secure digital infrastructure and network is also imperative to accelerate the Digital India movement. This will pave the way for innovations in the finance sector and encourage the adoption of e-banking and e-payments.
Techseen: Can you provide a comparative analysis of the security infrastructure in tech companies based out of Singapore vs. India?
Dhanasekaran: Singapore has a planned blueprint for security infrastructure comprising of stable policies and procedures, giving clear guidance to IT firms in their operations. In terms of intellectual property (IP) protection, Singapore ranks number one in Asia and fourth globally .
India, on the other hand, still has growing levels of awareness and maturity in regards to the implementation of such laws. We have seen progress in the approaches taken to encourage digitization, which has resulted in an e-commerce boom and increased investment by MNCs.
Techseen: How do you plan to strengthen your presence in India? Do you plan to set up any more offices in the country?
Dhanasekaran: We have an office in Chennai and are planning to expand to other cities including Bangalore, Pune, Noida and Hyderabad. These offices would serve as delivery centers for our global clients. With the advancement of smart cities in India, technology is becoming the backbone of India’s economic development. This has been exemplified by the growth of the telecommunications industry and cashless platforms.