Many software outsourcing companies ignore the most important stage of software development life cycle that is Software Quality (Testing). Software Quality Assurance is predominant and unrivalled step in providing quality and successful product to the customer. It is a known myth that the QA process is performed as a last step of software development process however QA starts from the beginning of the project. Quality of a product is backbone to its success. Following case studies provides important insight on how less quality product can create havoc and ultimately impacts the business performance and its brand image.
1. Apple Maps – A vision to replace Google Map
According to (NYtimes, 2016) company decided to replace Google Map with its own mapping system back in the year 2012 with Apple iOS 6 update. Unfortunately, it did not work the way it was planned resulting in one of the most epic failure of the mobile computing. The software was missing entire towns and some locations were entirely misplaced. Company invested a lot of money in building the same and then replacing the software.
2. Windows : the Blue Screen of Death
Per (Geek, 2016), most of software professionals might have witnessed this bug. This bug was due to issues with hardware driver software. This causes the Windows to crash and stop working. The only solution it was believed to have was to start the computer. This can potentially lead to data loss.
3. Software Security flaw in OLA’s Mobile App
Mobile computing and usage is increasing at very high pace. Users have started using Mobile apps for various reasons like online shopping, booking and online banking. Security is paramount for safe and secure user experience.
Ola cabs app allows easy and fast cab or a taxi booking. Per (Times, 2016),the two programming flaws allowed unethical individuals with basic computer and programming knowledge to enjoy unlimited free cab rides at the expenses of Ola company. This was due to lack of implementation of security protocols or token validation issues.
4. HSBC business banking glitch
Financial transactions are highly prone to hacking and security breaches for financial gain and misuse. Security is an unrivalled important factor for online banking and transactions. As mentioned by (BBC, 2016), HSBC customers could not access their internet banking for several hours due to cyber-attack. The company website and portal was hit by a denial of service attack, which is caused by overload of network traffic by cyber attackers.
5. Nissan’s Airbag Software Flaw / Malfunction
(Bidnessetc, 2016) takes a note of Nissan’s Airbag software flaw that resulted in 4 million Nissan cars being recalled. The software had safety issues where passenger air bags or seat belts could fail in a crash that can lead to serious fatalities or injuries. As per The Telegraph news, Nissan recalled approx.. 3.5 million cars due to airbag issues and it caused heavy loss to the company.
6. US and Canada : Blackout for 50 Million due to Race Condition Bug
As per the sources of PC Authority, (PCAuthority, 2016), on August 14, 2003, a blackout across eight US states and Canada affected 50 million people. “A race condition bug”, a situation when two separate threads of a single operation uses the same code element, was culprit behind this software flaw. This crashed a system without proper synchronization and resulted 256 power plants offline. This failed primary server within 30 minutes due to unprocessed events queue. Backup system also failed within few minutes.
FirstEnergy’s computerized Energy Management System is known as the direct cause for the blackout that cut off electricity to 50 million people in 8 states and Canada.
7. Computer virus due to World Of Warcraft game
World Of Warcraft (Wow) is a popular game of adventure in the fantasy world. (BBC, BBC NEWS | Technology | Deadly plague hits Warcraft world, 2016) reported a security breach in the game where new Hacker, the god of Blood, hit the game and took the “computer virus” thing literally. The virus, “Corrupted-blood” had the ability to kill off weaker characters thus interrupting the game. This infected many workstations as well.
8. Loss of $440 million in 45 minutes - Knight Capital Group
The Knight Capital Group was an American global financial services firm with great reputation in the market, engaging in electronic execution, market making, and institutional sales and trading. Per (Fortune, 2016), It took only 45 minutes to blow off the company reputation and capital due to a computer software bug. Between 9:30 am to 10 am EST, 1 August 2012, the company’ software bought high and sold low on 150 different stocks. By the time software stopped further bleeding, company had already lost $440 million on trades. Company’s market capital was just $296 million then and loss was about four times its 2011 net income. In addition to this, company’s stock price dropped 62% in just one day according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
9. Starbucks Breakdown caused by Software Bug
Starbucks Corporation is an American coffee company and coffee house chain founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971.
As noted by (Yahoo, 2016), In April 2015, Starbucks had to close roughly 60% of their stores located worldwide due to software failure. Thousands of stores in North America were unable to proceed with their business due to software bug. Software flaw did not allow cash registers to process orders and take payments. The software malfunction was very high and it affected roughly 13,500 locations in US and Canada.
10. Swiss Bank : Software Glitch Sent Bank Statements to the Wrong People
According to (AbcNews, 2016), a Swiss bank found themselves in critical situation in 2014 when they discovered that their software system has sent bank statements addressed to wrong people. Many customers reported receiving along with their statement, other statements comprising of details for other bank patrons.
These case studies are examples of what havoc a software bug can create. Software can be helpful in automating your business processes however they are potentially dangerous if it goes buggy. It can impact your business big time. Software outsourcing companies in India should emphasize software quality and should include this from the beginning of software development.
AbcNews. (2016, 10 1). Swiss Bank Giant UBS Hit by LoveBug Strain - ABC News. Retrieved from AbcNews: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=119543&page=1
BBC. (2016, 10 1). BBC NEWS | Technology | Deadly plague hits Warcraft world. Retrieved from BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4272418.stm
BBC. (2016, 10 1). HSBC online banking is 'attacked' - BBC News. Retrieved from BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35438159
Bidnessetc. (2016, 10 1). Nissan Under Investigation By U.S As Two Of Its Vehicles Are Called Back. Retrieved from Bidnessetc: http://www.bidnessetc.com/37653-nissan-under-investigation-by-us-as-two-of-its-vehicles-are-called-back/
Fortune. (2016, 10 1). Why Knight lost $440 million in 45 minutes. Retrieved from Fortune: http://fortune.com/2012/08/02/why-knight-lost-440-million-in-45-minutes/
Geek, H.-t. (2016, 10 1). Everything You Need To Know About the Blue Screen of Death. Retrieved from howtogeek: http://www.howtogeek.com/163452/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-blue-screen-of-death/
MIS-ASIA. (2016, 10 1). MIS-Asia - Top software failures of 2015/2016. Retrieved from mis-asia: http://www.mis-asia.com/tech/applications/top-software-failures-of-20152016/?page=4
NYtimes. (2016, 10 1). Apple’s New Maps App Is Upgraded, but Full of Snags - Review - The New York Times. Retrieved from nytimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/technology/personaltech/apples-new-maps-app-is-upgraded-but-full-of-snags-review.html?smid=tw-nytimesbusiness&moc.semityn.www&_r=0
PCAuthority. (2016, 10 1). Ten of the world's most disastrous IT mistakes - PC & Tech Authority. Retrieved from PC Authority: http://www.pcauthority.com.au/Feature/264645,ten-of-the-worlds-most-disastrous-it-mistakes.aspx
Times, T. E. (2016, 10 1). Taxi aggregator Ola hit by tech glitches that allow free rides - The Economic Times. Retrieved from economictimes.indiatimes: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-03-20/news/60322836_1_ola-largest-cab-aggregator-mobile-app
Yahoo. (2016, 10 1). Starbucks breakdown shows how registers have evolved. Retrieved from Yahoo: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/starbucks-breakdown-shows-registers-evolved-103020989.html