Is Test Automation the Right Strategy for Your Business?

Author Poster

Rohit Jain

10 June 2024
blogPoster

A 2023 report by Global Market Insights suggests that the automation testing market is set to experience a compounded annual growth rate of 15% every year from 2023 to 2032 [1]. Clearly, the adoption of test automation is growing across enterprises. However, a substantial chunk of corporations still shy away from adapting automated testing to their ecosystems.

While some businesses insist that automated testing be incorporated into the project from day one, some step back over concerns about the costs of automation. A few other enterprises are still debating over the benefits automated testing provides. And then, there are those that choose to incorporate automated testing towards the end of the software development cycle.

Which of these strategies actually works? And what is right for your enterprise? In this article, let’s examine a few insights and statistics to help you decide.

Table of Contents

What is Automation Testing?

What is Automation Testing

Software testing is the discipline of evaluating a system to ensure it satisfies user requirements. According to the ANSI/IEEE 1059 standard, testing can be defined as – A process of analyzing a software item to detect the differences between existing and required conditions (defects/errors/bugs) and to evaluate the features of the software item.

Traditionally, this process was carried out manually, which resulted in unacceptable delays and costly missed defects. Automated testing seeks to eliminate these inefficiencies by reducing manual intervention through the use of automated tools and techniques.

But despite its apparent benefits, a significant chunk of enterprises still need to adopt test automation.

Why do companies shy away from Test automation?

Why do companies shy away from Test automation?

1. Testing is a costly enough affair: Testing constitutes a significant chunk of resources. A 2022 Statista report pegs the average costs of software testing to be around 23 percent of the total project cost [2]. In some projects, the costs of software testing rise up to a whopping 50-60%.

Understandably so, CIOs are concerned about spending a significant chunk of the project budget on automation when manual testing can enable the project to go live within a fraction of the cost. Test automation engineers are also significantly costlier to hire than their counterparts.

2. Getting the project out the door is a priority: In our fast-paced world, a delayed opportunity is a lost opportunity. Enterprises are often rushing to the market and need critical software to be delivered on time. While the long-term time savings through automation are self-evident, setting up a sturdy test automation system in place requires significant time investment.

The rush to market prompts project managers to prioritize manual testing efforts and speed up delivery. Test automation becomes a good-to-have feature that is increasingly delayed and sometimes never implemented.

3. Not knowing which way to turn: Complicating the scenario further is the suite of test automation tools available in the market. Selenium, Katalon, Appium, TestComplete, Cypress, Test Studio, Jasmine, and Mocha are only a few among the abundant suite of testing tools that engineering teams have to pick from.

Narrowing down to the test automation tool that meets business requirements could turn into a technical nightmare, especially for those teams that are just starting out with automation. This complexity, in turn, translates into an increased unwillingness to automate testing.

4. Hard to Measure ROI: Perhaps the most potential deterrent to adopting automated software testing remains the hard-to-measure returns on investment. The returns on test automation often accrue over the long term as the newer versions of the software are rolled out, and the amount of regression is minimized. The gains are greater for complex projects with changing requirements and could be minimal for a simple web application that sees little to no changes after going live.

Hence the ROI on automation is hard to predict and requires long-term assessment. IT managers thus have a hard time justifying the costs of an investment with no immediate benefits. It isn’t surprising, then, that automation is often left out of IT project plans.

The Case for Automated Software Testing

But it certainly isn’t all gloom and doom when it comes to test automation. Companies that take the time to investigate and invest in automation testing reap significant benefits. IT managers who still get cold feet at the thought of test automation must study popular industry case studies that are similar to their current use case.

artificial-intelligence-vs-business-intelligence

1. Automation Adds Value: Though hard to measure directly, test automation does add value over the long run. The Today Software Magazine published a case study that proves that carefully executed test automation can add substantial value to the business [3]. By successfully deploying test automation for regression testing, the team was able to double the number of yearly releases of a banking application from 4 to 8. Needless to mention more successful releases translate to more returns on investment.

2. Efforts Must be Made to Measure ROI: Proving the ROI of test automation might be difficult, but it certainly isn’t impossible. By applying mathematical models and accurately recording the time/effort savings, managers can draw a pretty accurate picture of the cost savings that accrue from automated software testing. Comprehensive research efforts have been undertaken in computer science to accurately quantify the ROI from automation testing [4]. IT teams must keep themselves up-to-date with these efforts and adopt these models to measure ROI.

A more simplistic approach to estimating the costs of testing can be found here.

3. Software Development at Scale Requires Test Automation: Gone are the times of delivering monthly builds for software development. With markets becoming global, enterprises must deliver software iterations rapidly to stay relevant. Most software giants are now aiming for up to a dozen deployments every week. This is only enabled by agile and DevOps software programming practices and the power of test automation that minimizes regression.

While practices like continuous integration have significantly sped up building software, these efforts
are offset by the extensive efforts required for manual testing. Adopting automated software testing is
no longer optional in the evolving, fast-paced software development scenario.

4. An Endless Array of Benefits: Although tricky to adopt, successful test automation provides a slew of benefits to enterprises like reduced costs, reduced efforts, lower technical debt, and lower failure rates. Apart from these direct benefits, indirect benefits like improved employee morale and work satisfaction result from eliminating mundane, repetitive work.

Businesses that skip test automation pass out on these benefits and accrue significant costs over the
long term.

The Bottomline

Deploying successful automated software testing remains a problematic affair for enterprises. The uncertainties involved in the process demotivate many decision-makers, who then put it on the back burner indefinitely (We all know how that turns out with software).

But the benefits of automation testing needn’t necessarily be passed up. With skillful planning, careful analysis, and effective decision-making, test automation can be successfully integrated into projects where the benefits significantly outweigh the costs.

Executing a test automation strategy is an acquired skill that comes with experience and insights. From picking the right automation testing tools to optimizing budget, from achieving complete code coverage to writing comprehensive test cases, enterprises must depend on skilled resources for successful execution.

Our automation testing services check all the boxes of successful test automation. With ample industry experience in automation testing, skilled software resources, and customized solutions for every enterprise, we strive to deliver maximum ROI on test automation from day one.

Grab a free consultation on test automation with our experts here. Apart from providing comprehensive automation testing services, we also provide consultation on critical issues and resource augmentation to suit your business needs.

References

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