This IDC study evaluates the need for effective test data management as part of an overall application life-cycle and quality approach. Organizations struggle with gaining access to current data for testing purposes in a timely fashion. Given the velocity and voracious demand for software deployment across multiple platforms, a commensurate need for test data management — with current data to provide context for quality deployment and effective, optimized performance without violating confidentiality, risking data breaches, or undermining (or ignoring) compliance regulations — is key. "This study discusses the challenges of effective test data management, current concerns, and strategies for addressing quality execution to deploy software in ways that are adaptive and agile while minimizing risk of security or data breaches," said Melinda Ballou, program director of IDC's Application Life Cycle Management & Executive Strategies service. "Just as service virtualization is playing a role in other areas of testing, data virtualization can play a key part in enabling organizations to execute effectively and pragmatically in this challenging and important area."