ECS Digital acquires technical software testing firm QAWorks

Acquisition of QAWorks is part of ECS Digital’s strategy to reduce the time and cost of delivering software and software-related services

ECS Digital, the specialist DevOps (development operations) division of the ECS Group, which has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, has acquired UK technical software testing organisation QAWorks, which is said to be recognised in the industry as the home of the Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET).
The acquisition is part of ECS Digital’s strategy to reduce the time and cost of delivering software and software-related services by including practices such as Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) and Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) as core elements of all DevOps transformations.
The combined company will be known as ECS Digital and have a turnover approaching £10 million which is expected to continue to grow over 100% year on year.
ECS says the combination of specialist testing expertise with proven – and rare – DevOps experience will make sure the company’s customers, who are across all sectors with the majority in finance and retail, can realise even greater outcomes from digital transformation.
DevOps is a methodology that helps companies create software and software-related services such as internet banking, faster, at lower cost and with improved quality.
Andy Cureton, Founder and Managing Director, ECS Digital
Andy CuretonFounder and Managing Director, ECS Digital, said: “This is, as far as we are aware, the first time that a specialist DevOps company has integrated to this extent with a specialist testing company.  We believe the deal will make ECS Digital unique as we will be the only consultancy to offer specialist testing practices as a foundation element of our DevOps offerings as well as in their own right.
“This acquisition is driven by the need for greater levels of innovation and customer engagement within many companies, and the ever-rising benchmark of high performance.   By combining testing and DevOps, companies can ensure that software is designed with how the customer is going to use it in mind and tested on that basis. Development and delivery will be accelerated as testing is done as part of development rather than separately.
“With over 14 years’ experience in DevOps and digital transformation (ECS Digital) we could not have found a more experienced software testing team (17 years) than QAWorks. Combining the rare skillset of the SDET with the equally rare DevOps skillset, will enable us to meet our customers’ growing demands and further our position as a leader in DevOps and Digital Transformation.“
London-based ECS Digital is part of ECS Group, which is headquartered in Scotland. The ECS Group delivers a range of services, from Cloud adoption to cyber-security to DevOps for many FTSE 100 companies.
With the acquisition of QAWorks, ECS Digital will have one of the largest pools of SDET and DevOps engineers in the UK.
QAWorks develops testing software as well as providing agile testing consultancy and implementation.
Studies suggest that 31% of IT budgets are being spent on testing which is set to rise over the coming years as a result of growing demands on organisations to increase innovation and time to market and reduce associated cost.
Jason Westhorpe, Managing Director, QAWorks, said: “The services offered by ECS Digital complement and enhance the services we currently offer our customers. For true DevOps to be successful it is essential that continuous testing / test automation is in place, likewise for the benefits of test automation to be realised we need an effective DevOps strategy. With the integration of two of the UK’s leaders in these fields, both the existing QAWorks customers and ECS Digital customers will gain the greater benefit from the adoption of DevOps.
“Continuous Delivery and DevOps has seen the once independent disciplines of infrastructure automation, continuous integration, deployment automation and so on, merge into software delivery pipelines. Businesses that are increasingly reorganising around products or customer journeys and adopting DevOps and Continuous Delivery practices, are now benefitting the most.
“It’s no longer enough to be a specialist in one discipline such as testing.   It is rare to find companies with the skills to provide DevOps to large corporations, so we are delighted to be teaming up with a company of the calibre of ECS Digital.”
According to Gartner, by 2020 DevOps initiatives will cause 50% of enterprises to implement continuous testing using frameworks and open-source quality tools.
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