In the digital age, applications are the primary mode of consumption for nearly all products and services and brand differentiation lies in providing seamless, omnichannel customer service experience. Organizations have already adopted lean and DevOps ways of development and they have to afford new approaches to test new ecosystem of complex, highly interconnected, APIs and cloud-driven applications. IT leaders cannot pick the two out of Speed, Quality and Cost. They need all three–Speed, Quality and Cost for creating all-inclusive digital journeys.
Companies like Netflix are already changing how media consumption works and all credits to their engineering practices, right from development to testing. The company has gone from a manual mode to continuous, fully automated and high-volume testing. We are not talking here to replicate their engineering practices.
It is impractical to replicate the automation framework of any organization as there are stark differences in applications, technology stack, leadership style, team structure and size. Testing automation should happen in incremental ways to achieve required maturity. Every IT leader has to develop a unique blueprint for testing their applications to ensure a fully functioning digital customer experience. This blog talks how teams should re-imagine their test automation approach to complement their digital transformation journey.
The path to test automation in the age of Digital Transformation
Test automation is a buzzword but still not a household practice in organizations. Digital tsunami requires pro-responsive test strategies focused to deliver differentiated and high-touch services to reinforce brand identity in the digital era. The change in testing strategies need to touch myriad of processes, from challenging the status quo of established testing model to cater to the need for speed in dealing with changing development course with customer and partner feedback. Some of these changes that are required for test automation in the age of Digital Transformation are –
Focus on business tests – Teams are required to zoom out of the code and testing details; and take a closer look at the important business-level problems and write tests to solve these business problems vis-à-vis deliver seamless digital experience. One way of doing this is looking beyond the requirements and scope documents and build tests by looking at the real-time and operational data on how users are interacting with the application. Yes, it is possible. There are tools available in the market that gives idea metrics about end-user interaction. Teams need to understand these and develop tests accordingly.
Digital transformation revolves around customer-centricity and thus test strategies should focus on writing the test cases from a customer’s point of view. Behavior Driven Development (BDD) encourages use of simple language to blur the lines between engineering and business teams. BDD holds relevance for a digital future as it focuses on the outcomes and not the product important for the success of digital transformation.
Introduce Continuous Testing into your development – Digital transformation is beyond responsiveness and agility, its pro-adaptation to the future and related outcomes. Continuous testing ensures that engineering team are proactively testing every new feature in the development stage.
To introduce continuous testing in development, engineering heads have to introduce automation and leverage tools available for environment provisioning to test continuously at developer-machine level. Organizations often term test data management and generation as challenges because they are highly manual and time-consuming. These are the areas where organizations should use automation heavily to have testing running in parallel with the development. Test automation is required to test new codes continuously and this ensures a timely feedback about the bugs and issues to fix them early in the cycle.