Two-thirds of companies worldwide are failing to carry out quality assurance (QA) tests on their mobile applications, despite the potential risk this poses to their reputation and operations.

In a survey of 1,500 CIOs, IT directors and QA professionals conducted by Sogeti, Capgemini and HP, it emerged that many organisations are struggling to manage the challenges of the mobile era, with only 31 percent formally testing their mobile applications.

Of those who did conduct mobile QA tests, 64 percent chose to focus on performance and 48 percent on functionality, while only 18 percent of organisations prioritised security, meaning that the vast majority are putting their corporate data at risk.

The report revealed that although half of businesses still run testing as an in-house function, these processes are failing to keep pace with new technologies.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents characterised their internal QA teams’ knowledge of the latest testing tools and technologies as “average”, and two-thirds admitted they do not have the right tools to test mobile applications.

“Consistent and reliable software applications have become critical to the operations of many organisations. Yet the lack of confidence in most companies’ internal abilities to monitor and test the quality of their software is resounding, particularly when it comes to mobile applications,” said Michel de Meijer, Global Service Line Testing Lead, Capgemini Group.

“QA teams will need to seriously rethink their integrated testing strategies, covering traditional and new, mobile, application, to keep up with the demands of their users.”

The situation looks set to improve, according to the report, with 53 percent of QA budgets expected to rise by 2015. There is also a significant trend towards investment in Testing Centres of Excellence (TCOE), as companies seek to drive a reduction in costs and time to market.

Meanwhile, QA testing in the cloud is expanding significantly, as industry professionals become more comfortable with the cloud as a testing platform. While 28 percent of testing now occurs in a cloud environment, the report shows this is forecast to increase to 39 percent by 2015.

“Organisations need to balance limited resources with innovation as they seek to spur business growth and competitive differentiation,” said Matthew Morgan, vice president, Hybrid IT and Cloud, Product Marketing, Software at HP.