As per an IDC report, almost $1 billion of the estimated $13 billion global software testing market is accounted for by Indian companies. With the concept evolving considerably in the recent times, CXOtoday explores the industry and its future prospects in India.

"With software tools changing its landscape, testing has become a specialized discipline and is growing faster than it was even two to three years back," averred Shashi Reddy, CEO, Applabs Technologies.

He feels that CIOs are now beginning to understand the benefits of testing and are investing heavily in it. As a result the opportunities have grown substantially in recent past.

Speaking about attitudes towards software testing market, Oren Ariel, CTO and Chief Architect of Mercury Worldwide commented, "With an increased realization of the potential hitches that defective solutions can create, testing software is preferred to risking its failure later. However, despite growing awareness, software testing is still not a prioritized strategy for many enterprises."

"Many business applications are not tested properly before being released into market. As a result companies suffer due to application downtime. This becomes a key concern of the CIO," he added.

Meanwhile, India is becoming one of the leading destinations for offshore testing, with market opportunities for the offshore software testing companies currently at $2 billion, and expected to rise to $8 billion by 2008.

Arun Ramu, Head - IVS group, Infosys, perceives an increased reliance by global software vendors on India to save costs in terms of logistics and time
"The potential that exists in the software testing space is similar to the offshoring model offers. Our global delivery model has been a competitive advantage in the software testing space too."

Neeraj Singh, Test Project Leader, IBM, pointed out that quality of testing an major CIO concern. Hence, vendors are trying their best to optimize testing through several tried and tested as well as innovative techniques.

On other recent trends he pointed out, "Most organizations are also realizing that software testing is becoming an independent professional discipline. It not only brings objectivity and transparency to defect reporting process, but also improves the core business strategy."

Customers are ready to get their software tested by a company that has not played a part in the development process. Moreover it reduces costs by deploying cost-effective models and perceived risk of outsourcing testing is low, he remarked.

While traditional Indian software service players have concentrated on the BFSI domain, Mercury and Polaris have gone way ahead to address multiple segments such as wireless, mobile and embedded systems.