Seven out of 10 German IT projects are halted or delayed because of deficient testing.

According to a study conducted by German consultancy Steria Mummert, companies tend to budget too little time and personnel for quality assurance. As a result, faults are identified too late and have to be corrected at a much higher cost. Correcting errors later costs five times as much as fixing a problem during development, Steria Mummert said in a press release.

"The so-called cost leaders in IT projects most often save money in testing," said Lars Hinrichsen, a managed testing expert at Steria Mummert. "They do only what's absolutely necessary."

Hinrichsen said companies that conduct proper tests often use external partners, so that their own experts won't be tied up conducting routine tests. Generally, companies' own experienced IT specialists conduct too many of the tests, taking them away from the core business, Hinrichsen said.

Many companies use automated tests for routine IT adjustments that don't have a major impact on the business. Banks, for example, automate testing of changes in their transaction mechanisms. Steria Mummert said automation helps speed up implementation here with a minimum of problems.