There are a number of good cloud based web & mobile test platforms such as; BrowserStack, saucelabs and the likes, these are great in allowing cross browser, version and operating system testing and offer a lot more spices for automated end to end testing.
From my historical sketches, we have saucelabs integrated in our reference application ui tests, i wonder whether we hold a free license or what @raff since you own these! From my analysis the main challenge about these is the fact that the best are commercial.
Am trying to analyse those cloud based vs our own community built and maintained platform.
We could go around the commercial challenge with some good virtualisation platforms such as docker, the choice of a platform to own and spin our test cases affects how we write our testing framework though, Selenium Grid architecture for-example allows us the benefit or testing against multiple browsers, browser versions and operating systems. once Selenium is favoured i would appreciate reusing the reference application ui tests, the extra effort would be wrapping selenium Grid in docker rather than routing tests through saucelabs and then writing extra test cases for identified user requirements. We can still hook that up into CI suchas Jenkins CI, Bamboo to trigger running of and managing test case results there!
Please drop your thoughts around these 2 options else help shape a better approach.