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ECS Digital Acquires QAWorks


New Company Will Have £10 Million Turnover

September 13th 2017 London-based ECS Digital, the specialist DevOps division of the ECS Group, has acquired QAWorks, the UK’s leading technical software testing organisation. QAWorks is recognised in the industry as the home of the Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET). Studies suggest that 31% of IT budgets are being spent on testing[1] which is set to rise over the coming years as a result of growing demands on organisations to increase innovation and time to market and reduce associated cost. This acquisition is part of ECS Digital’s strategy to reduce the time and cost of delivering software and software-related services by including practices such as Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) and Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) as core elements of all DevOps transformations.

The combined company will be known as ECS Digital and have a turnover approaching £10 million which is expected to continue to grow over 100% year on year.

The combination of specialist testing expertise with proven – and rare - DevOps experience will ensure that the company’s customers - who are across all sectors, with the majority in finance and retail, can realise even greater outcomes from digital transformation. DevOps is a methodology that helps companies create software and software-related services such as internet banking, faster, at lower cost and with improved quality.

Andy Cureton, Founder and Managing Director, ECS Digital, commented, “This is, as far as we are aware, the first time that a specialist DevOps company has integrated to this extent with a specialist testing company. We believe the deal will make ECS Digital unique as we will be the only consultancy to offer specialist testing practices as a foundation element of our DevOps offerings as well as in their own right. This acquisition is driven by the need for greater levels of innovation and customer engagement within many companies, and the ever-rising benchmark of high performance. By combining testing and DevOps, companies can ensure that software is designed with how the customer is going to use it in mind and tested on that basis. Development and delivery will be accelerated as testing is done as part of development rather than separately.”

He added “With over 14 years’ experience in DevOps and digital transformation (ECS Digital) we could not have found a more experienced software testing team (17 years) than QAWorks. Combining the rare skillset of the SDET with the equally rare DevOps skillset, will enable us to meet our customers’ growing demands and further our position as a leader in DevOps and Digital Transformation.“

ECS Digital is part of ECS Group, headquartered in Scotland. The ECS Group delivers an extensive range of services, from Cloud adoption to cyber-security to DevOps for many FTSE 100 companies. With the acquisition of QAWorks, ECS Digital will have one of the largest pools of SDET and DevOps engineers in the UK.

QAWorks develops testing software as well as providing agile testing consultancy and implementation.

Jason Westhorpe, MD, QAWorks, said, “The services offered by ECS Digital complement and enhance the services we currently offer our customers. For true DevOps to be successful it is essential that continuous testing / test automation is in place, likewise for the benefits of test automation to be realised we need an effective DevOps strategy. With the integration of two of the UK’s leaders in these fields, both the existing QAWorks customers and ECS Digital customers will gain the greater benefit from the adoption of DevOps.”

He continued, “Continuous Delivery and DevOps has seen the once independent disciplines of infrastructure automation, continuous integration, deployment automation and so on, merge into software delivery pipelines. Businesses that are increasingly reorganising around products or customer journeys and adopting DevOps and Continuous Delivery practices, are now benefitting the most. It’s no longer enough to be a specialist in one discipline such as testing. It is rare to find companies with the skills to provide DevOps to large corporations, so we are delighted to be teaming up with a company of the calibre of ECS Digital.”

According to Gartner, by 2020, DevOps initiatives will cause 50% of enterprises to implement continuous testing using frameworks and open-source quality tools.[2]


Note to Editors

ECS Digital
ECS Digital, based in Bermondsey, London is a leader in automation and digital transformation. It is part of ECS Group, which acquired ECS Digital, then named Forest Technologies, in 2016. ECS is relied on by many FTSE 100 companies to undertake complex IT infrastructure projects such as Cloud adoption, cyber-security, and DevOps. The ECS head office is registered in Scotland.

Founded in 2008, ECS Group has offices in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Pune, India. Clients include Nationwide Building Society, three of the four largest UK retail banks and two of the top four British supermarkets.

ECS Digital specialises in helping clients in the financial, retail and other sectors to deliver software and software-related services faster and at lower cost through the adoption of DevOps and Continuous Delivery practices. The company works closely as consulting partners with key vendors including AWS, GitHub, CloudBees, HashiCorp, Docker, Automic, and Puppet, as well as directly with some of the world’s largest global businesses. It has helped organisations such as Vodafone, Shell, Lloyds and Walmart realise the benefits of DevOps and Continuous Delivery practices.

Founded in 2003, ECS Digital provides DevOps and continuous delivery expertise to firms undertaking digital transformation initiatives to improve business agility. The company defines DevOps as a way of working: a collection of principles, concepts and methodologies which, when adopted by companies in certain combinations, deliver business outcomes.


Founded in 2000, QAWorks is one of the longest- established software testing companies in the UK. With a highly skilled team of SDETs, the organization is an advocate of Agile methods, BDD, ATDD and open source technology. Working with developers, QAWorks helps teams improve their engineering practices, including Continuous Testing, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. QAWorks’ wealth of experience and proven track record allows them to work with some of the largest global brands, helping them introduce testing best practice and the latest technologies.

BDD stands for Behaviour Driven Development. It’s a software development process that sits within the Agile methodology, and has collaboration and communication at its core. BDD ensures the team talk through the design of a software ‘feature', find any gaps and determine whether the needs of the users are met. SDET stands for Software Development Engineer in Test, and is an individual who works alongside developers building effective test automation whilst also contributing to the technical direction and implementation of the application. The SDET builds the test automation framework and scripts at the same time as the developers build the software features, so that tests can be executed almost as soon as the code is ready for testing.

QAWorks are experts in training and coaching teams in implementing BDD holistically; from user engagement, capturing acceptance criteria and defining gherkin scenarios through to building robust test automation frameworks. Test automation frameworks enable development teams to capture these conversations in the form of executable and repeatable tests.

The firm uses a range of proprietary products and lists Oxfam, BP and News UK as customers.


Photos are available on request.

For more information please contact:
Sian Heaphy
+44 (0) 7834 879778