As CEO of Tricentis, Sandeep Johri is propelling the lean concept of continuous testing to speed up the software development process across industries. With the industry’s top continuous testing platform, Tricentis has helped to reinvent software testing for DevOps. Through risk-based testing and scriptless end-to-end test automation, the company is breaking through the barriers experienced with conventional software testing methods, which tend to bog down otherwise speedy software releases.
I sat down with Sandeep to learn a little more about how automation is revolutionizing the software testing process.
Why do you think the software industry itself is becoming more sophisticated about automation?
Software has had an incredible impact on most enterprises in terms of automating business processes and driving efficiencies across all industries and functions. The confluence of cloud, mobile and ubiquitous internet connectivity has made digital transformation an imperative for all enterprises, driving the urgency of faster software delivery. Ironically, while most companies are adopting agile and DevOps processes to speed software delivery, software testing remains a predominantly manual process. Manual software testing, which still accounts for 90% of all testing, takes 6 to 8 weeks per release and consumes 30% to 40% of the average application budget; the industry spends more than $30 billion annually on testing. In the digital age, this is not acceptable or sustainable. Innovative enterprises are automating the entire software delivery cycle from development to testing to deployment.
You stepped in as CEO five years ago after Tricentis had been officially operating for five years. Last year the company secured a $165 million Series B round. How have your strategic priorities changed in the last five years and where do you think they will be going forward?
The last five years have been an incredible journey. We have evolved from a well-regarded European vendor to a global company with over 800 large enterprise customers across all industries and geos. Our priority has always been to deliver the industry’s most innovative test automation solutions. Today, we are recognized as the leader in continuous testing by customers and by industry authorities like Gartner and Forrester.
Recently, we’ve witnessed a rising sense of urgency in organizations wanting to transition to continuous testing. Enterprises are just now beginning to realize that their investment in accelerating development for digital transformation isn’t going to pay off unless they also reinvent testing. Legacy testing tools simply can’t keep up with the ever-increasing velocity and complexity of modern development. Organizations end up in a “hurry up and wait” situation until they get testing aligned with their digital transformation goals.
We’ve seen HP/HPE exit the market and Micro Focus wrestle with picking up the pieces. We’ve seen IBM outsource the maintenance of their testing tool suite to HCL. We’re even seeing challengers like CA Technologies face business disruption as they’re being acquired by Broadcom. The convergence of all these factors creates great opportunity for us—but to take advantage of it, we must execute fast and flawlessly.
As your customer base broadens every year, how do you keep a pulse on what their evolving wants and needs are?
Personally, it’s as simple as listening to our customers. I take every possible opportunity to meet with our prospects and customers, and regularly travel all around the world to do so. I have already logged 150,000 miles in 2018!
At a company level, we have established various programs that elicit feedback from our customers. We created a growth advisory board with around 50 CIOs from many of the world’s top organizations. We meet with the board throughout the year to share ideas, vet product direction, and understand their [members’] challenges and priorities. In addition, we have a customer advisory board and the Accelerate conferences in the United States, Europe and Asia. This provides us an interactive forum for presenting new ideas and opportunities, as well as gathering direct feedback on the product roadmap. This constant feedback is invaluable for prioritizing our R&D investments in areas that will have the greatest impact to our current clients and to the market at large.
M.R. Rangaswami is co-founder of Sand Hill Group and publisher of SandHill.com.