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Testing To Go

• Cost avoidance: Outsourcing means you don't have to buy all the hardware, software and expertise needed to do worthwhile testing.

• On-demand testing: You can use third parties to meet periodic bursts in demand.

• Knowledge base: By using a third-party testing house during product selection, an organization's in-house lab and operations groups can jump-start their learning and pick up best practices.

• Objectivity: Outsourcing testing is sometimes the only way to get an unbiased, customers' eye view of your organization. Outside-the-firewall, testing services such as Gomez and Keynote Systems can monitor and load actual production environments in the same manner as your customers. This insight, which we think is impossible to reproduce in the lab, can put line-of-business and IT managers in your customers' shoes and illustrate overall service-performance levels.

Other perks can go unnoticed. We chatted with a number of third-party testing labs and found that smart enterprise IT managers are using outsourcing services as political heat shields. An unbiased outsourcer can help relieve pressure on in-house staff.

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