It’s telling that the 2019-2020 World Quality Report doesn’t include any analysis of the EMEA region. Africa doesn’t even feature in the 11th edition of software quality assurance and testing assessment that does span Europe, Australia, New Zealand, UK, and America.

For those regions, quality assurance (QA) underpins business growth, end-user satisfaction, cost control and security. Quality and the measures put in place to maintain it remains a strategic priority and foundational driver for the organisation.

However, according to Mandla Mbonambi, CEO of Africonology, this is not exclusive to the rest of the world. Africa is paying attention to the value of QA and is increasingly aware of its value to the business.

“Organisations in South Africa understand the value of QA and the results it can generate for the business,” he adds. “There’s little doubt that they can see the bigger picture and the opportunity that QA affords them to not only deliver exceptional customer experiences on the continent but for the rest of the world.”

Any organisation looking to leverage growth within a stagnant market needs to put QA at the top of the strategic agenda. Why? Because it allows for increased agility and flexibility within the confines of digital transformation, providing companies with a foundation from which to build more reliable solutions and services while remaining competitive and compliant.

“QA isn’t just about ensuring that the business can reconfigure its quality, it’s equally about cementing a competitive advantage into the very fabric of the organisation,” says Mbonambi. “Rigorous QA that’s part of a company’s make-up and approach allows for in-depth development of tools and platforms that get results, and for the company to remain on the edge of emergent technology innovation and potential.”

QA is the step into the innovative future, allowing for the organisation to fully leverage the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), automation, machine learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s the box that must be ticked to ensure that any company is capable of fully realising its role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. QA and testing are the frameworks that companies need to implement if they want results, it’s that simple.

“Want solutions that aren’t slow or poor performers? Want to ensure that African business remains at the forefront of innovation? Implement QA and testing or get a partner that can embed these principles into the business for you,” adds Mbonambi. “It’s not an expense that the company can afford to avoid either, especially in light of how rapidly customers can walk if they don’t enjoy the experiences or appreciate the solutions.”

Customer enjoyment aside, the cost of QA is quickly returned in smooth performance, improved productivity and better service. More customers, more capabilities and better services tend to translate into savings. QA also helps with the management of customer and stakeholder expectations.

“Not sure how long a project is going to last? Unsure of what timelines to work to? QA answers those questions as well,” says Mbonambi. “It genuinely can address project shift and complexity by ensuring that every step of the process is being managed accurately and, most importantly, realistically.”

As pointed out by the World Quality Report, it’s ‘better for quality to be implicit in everything an organization does, than for it to be simply a stage in a process.” It’s a critical component for DevOps and agility, it’s the foundation for AI capability, and it’s a central component for sustainable business growth. It also doesn’t need to be left behind in Africa due to skills shortages and infrastructure complexities.

“While Africa has its own challenges and faces complexities around skills retention and development, this doesn’t mean that QA and testing are not part of the corporate culture,” concludes Mbonambi. “There are organisations that have developed rigorous testing and QA-as-a-Service solutions that enables African companies to grow in competence and expertise. It’s a growing market and local companies are definitely not being left behind.”

Thanks to innovative as-a-Service solutions and growing pools of expertise centred with focused QA and testing organisations, South African companies are embracing the QA ethos and the potential it offers. It’s not a future that’s without its challenges, but it’s one that will soon see Africa on the QA reporting map as local companies showcase the value of QA investment through ongoing innovation.