08 November 2019

Cost Of A Software Bug

 
cost of a software bug


Considering the cost of a software bug and the amount of effort that goes behind the whole process of testing in order to find bugs, many companies tend to avoid the whole process. But this only leads to the formation of a flawed product, which ultimately will not be serving the purpose.

A website is supposed to attract the targeted audiences in maximum number and bring the profit through them as well. It is supposed to function exactly how the company designed it to be, but without software testing, it will never be able to do all that. The presence of bugs in a system is inevitable, and knowing the cost of a software bug and performing tests thoroughly is a must as well.

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In this article, we will be discussing in detail the aspects of the cost of a software bug, and in general, why software testing is such an important step to consider for all the software companies out there. Next, focusing on the cost of software testing bugs, we will be discussing the direct cost of a software bug as well as the indirect cost of software bugs. 

We will be discussing the issues one will face if they ignore the process of testing and detecting the presence of bugs in the system, followed by what can be the cost of a software bug at different stages of development and testing.

Why Emphasize On Software Testing So Much?

Software testing is a detailed procedure in which flaws are basically searched for on the website or software. Multiple tests are written, keeping in mind certain situations and criteria which will help in making the app go through different environments, and checking will be done on how it performs under different areas. 

Accordingly, flaws or bugs will be detected in the system. If any are present, proper measures will be taken further to eliminate them.

Not emphasizing on what is the cost of a software bug, let’s see what not performing software testing can cost you:

  • A flawed system is comprising of disputes. The software or website will not work effectively under different situations and will not function properly on different devices as well.
  • Degraded user experience. Your targeted audience will find it difficult to navigate through your website and hence will not gravitate towards your website on a regular basis.
  • Loss in product sale. Since user experience is damaged in the first place, it is obvious that your products will also not get the deserving attention from your targeted audience and will not be sold either.
  • The cost for development and support increases as the bug creates complications in the system. The whole development process is delayed due to this, and also the requests from the customer support system keep building up. This in turn jams the entire system.
  • There will be a delay in the process of adding new features to the system because time will be required to fix the previously detected issues. That will ultimately delay the whole process in general.
  • Customer’s credibility is decreased to a huge extent which is one of the main reasons behind the degraded reputation of the company.
  • There will be a massive drop in the revenue since user experience is hampered. There will be a lot of unsubscriptions happening, people will not buy the products, and ultimately there will be a drop in the revenue production as well.
  • There will be bad reviews generated about the company and the products. Due to hampered user experience, the feedback that will be posted on the website will be not positive, obviously.

Cost Of A Software Bug Depending On The Different Stages

Now let’s see what is the cost of a software bug, depending on the different stages where it is detected.

Early Development

Finding the flaw at the stage of the early development of the website or software.

If this is done, then the cost of the software bug will be greatly reduced, going as far as next to zero. Because flaws are found at the initial stage; hence, the complication is not such a huge factor here, and the defect can be easily fixed almost immediately.

If the defect is not detected immediately, but by the developer or some other employee at a later stage.

In this case, the cost of a software bug will increase because the extra effort is put behind it, and it went out of the developer’s grip while it was during development. The moment when a tester enters the process of testing the cost of a software bug will be counted into it.

Detecting The Cause Of The Bug

This is the place that clearly controls the cost of a software bug, and it keeps elevating as the complication in the system also increases.

Fixing The Bug After The Software Or Website Is Launched

As more aspects are added to the system, the amount of complication keeps elevating. And as the complication increases in the system, finding the primary cause for the bug also increases. Hence a lot of effort goes behind first finding the bug (and how to reproduce it), then searching for the cause or the roots of the bug, and lastly fixing it is some other level of work. Due to all of this, the cost of a software bug is also increasing.

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Fixing the bug will obviously charge you a good fortune, but other than the cost of a software bug, if it remains undetected in the system, it will keep causing a loss in the sale and hamper your user experience as well. Hence, other than the cost of a software bug, you will be losing a lot of your profits as well.

So if estimated, the cost of a software bug is not something which is light on the pockets, unless it is detected in the initial stage of development. Otherwise, as the stages get complicated and features are added as well, the price keeps elevating.

Direct and Indirect Cost Of Software Bug

Other than the generic cost of a software bug, there are two types of main costs, namely direct and indirect costs.

Direct Costs

This includes the money that the management invests as a whole in the development of the project, including the salary of the employees and developers as well as the quality assurance work.

Indirect Costs

This can be considered an extra cost which you need to avoid as much as possible. If testing is conducted, bugs will obviously remain in the system, the complications it will cause due to its presence will be falling under the indirect costs. 

To fix all the problems caused by the bug, the amount of money you will spend will be considered as nothing but indirect costs. To avoid it, you need to conduct testing procedures for your project. If the bug is detected in the initial stage or the development stage, then you can easily save a lot of money and also create a project devoid of any minor or major problems in it.

Cost of Software Bug In Real Life

Now let’s dig deeper into knowing what the cost of a software bug can be in real life.

According to the Tricentis’ in-house Software Fail Watch report, the worldwide software failure cost reached somewhere near $1.1 trillion in 2016. This is estimated by taking into account the big companies whose systems failed due to the presence of bugs. There were around 363 such companies, and in turn, it affected around 4.4 billion customers as well.

A few years back, one such complication was seen in the system of Amazon, where their site went down for 20 minutes. This incident took place in 2016, and there was a loss of $3.75 million for this reason as well. This was the loss generated since the site was down, and customers couldn’t make a purchase; apart from that, there were also other costs associated with fixing the complication as well. 

The cost of a software bug is not just a one-time cost; it has multiple cons where you need to spend a good fortune. The cost of a software bug basically involves money to fix its causes or roots and also its effects.

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In 1962, similar sort of complication was detected in the system of NASA as well. When NASA launched its Mariner 1 spacecraft to venture Venus, the system of the spacecraft gave issues due to the presence of bugs in it. After the spacecraft was launched, it veered off since the bugs started taking over the system. Ultimately, a NASA employee had to command it to self-destruction. All of this happened because a single hyphen was missing in the code, which eventually led to all the complications. The whole project was for $18 millions, and a small unidentified complication resulted in the entire expense of $18 millions to go to waste.

In the year 1990, a similar complication was seen in systems of AT&T when they updated their software for long-distance calling. But unfortunately, the system could not cope up with the speed change in the process and ultimately crashed. Due to this long-distance calls were stopped for almost 9 hours. Over 2000000 airline reservations were not found, and there were around 75 millions lost or missed phone calls generated. The whole chaos cost the company around $60 millions.

Estimating the cost of a software bug is not a doable job because it depends on the stages where it is found. Hence calculating what the cost of a software bug will be is a relative work. 

If the bug is found in the absolutely initiating phase, during the necessary requirement gathering time, the cost of a software bug can be somewhere around $100. 

If the bug or complication is found by the company owner before the testing procedure is initiated, then the cost of a software bug and fixing it will be $1500. 

If the bug is found after the entire production procedure is completed, then the cost of fixing it will be somewhere around $2000. These are all still fixable cases and might not be that harmful long term but if the bug remains undetected, then the cost of fixing it will not be a concern. 

Rather than what will be an issue is the cost or the drop in revenue generation and the massive loss the company will face without knowing what is going wrong in their work.

What Can Be Done In Terms Of Fixing These Bugs?

The most important thing you need to do in terms of getting this totally under control is to test your system. Conducting proper and thorough tests is very important. Also, make sure you initiate a stage where code is reviewed so that any mistakes, if present, are detected easily.

Conduction of both automated as well as manual testing is really important. The majority of people often tend to indulge in only manual testing and avoid automated testing due to its higher cost. But both processes form a quintessential part while estimating the cost of a software bug. Always keep in mind that poor testing methods can elevate your cost of a software bug; hence, there is no point in taking risks in this matter. When you plan to go for it, invest in getting both manual testings, as well as automated testing for your project.

The presence of bugs in the system is nothing uncommon; nobody is so flawless in their job that they can develop something absolutely devoid of any issues; hence, investing in getting your system tested properly is something that cannot be an option. It is an utmost necessity and requires our full attention as well.

In order to finish the entire process correctly, one should aim for 80% of their time into sorting and performing proactive activities, like incorporating features and enhancing the condition of the product. And 20% of the time should be invested in sorting the reactive work, such as finding bugs and fixing them. If this pattern is followed correctly, then the end results will be great as well.

In this time of technological advancement, nobody wants to settle for anything less. When the numbers of software business and startups are flourishing, people are getting multiple options to inculcate from. In this case, they will never consider settling for companies that offer less to them. 

Attracting the targeted audience becomes a huge task in present-day situations; hence, compromising with the quality of the website or application is something that is no longer an option. Conducting tests is also no longer an option; it has become a necessity as well. 

Knowing the cost of a software bug and starting the work accordingly in order to initiate and complete the work with accurate and satisfactory end results is they key to success.

In terms of getting help in software testing, you can always rely on us at Apphawks. Our techniques and approach to handle our clients and provide a solution to them for their cases make us unique. 

If you plan to know anything about the QA Services, contact us .

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