While your existing manual application testing approach might still be just about managing to meet current business requirements, the reality for most organisations is that the combination of business evolution, market disruption and rapid digital technology advances is driving the need for much faster and more frequent testing. Whether it’s the requirement for new technology within the applications portfolio, further advancements in areas such as mobile or the Internet of Things, or simply acceleration in digital transformation initiatives, there’s increased pressure on your software testing resources in terms of availability and urgency.
From the CIO’s perspective, you and your team will want to do everything possible to make sure that business impact caused by software or applications failure never happens on your watch. Clearly any disruption to business continuity is unacceptable, so every platform needs to work flawlessly around the clock. So how can you ensure that your ERP platform is always ready to deliver the functionality and business process execution your company depends on?
If you’re using a manual approach you’re most likely struggling to achieve the required levels of testing speed and accuracy. The manual ERP testing and quality methods are invariably ponderous, error prone, fragile and costly. That’s why analyst firm IDC believes that intelligent automation has a critical role to play. They say it’s “simply not possible to achieve needed speed and accuracy with non-automated approaches, particularly for business processes.” IDC goes on to suggest that: “dynamic, high-velocity automated testing is key to avoiding the business disruption, lack of visibility, and project backlogs created by manual methods”.
It is vital that every critical business process works at all times. Particularly in the ERP arena where the platform is continually expanding to incorporate new applications and technologies. That’s why we’re now seeing organisations evolving their testing focus from the performance of individual applications to the quality of entire connected business processes.
End-to-end processes can now span dozens of enterprise apps and digital platforms. Organisations need to ensure that each one performs exactly as designed. Therefore, the world’s leading organisations are increasingly replacing their manual QA and legacy script-based tools with intelligent test automation. They have to drive a continuous ‘lights out’ testing approach. This dramatically lowers the risk associated with software updates and helps with new installs of critical enterprise applications like ERP.
Intelligent test automation helps businesses bring continuous change into their ERP landscapes. This brings security in the knowledge that they have validated the performance of their critical business processes. It’s important to find an automated software approach that tests your processes in the way you use them. Simply because organisations utilise and customise their ERP deployments in vastly different ways.
Automated testing also eliminates the human element and increases predictability in testing timelines. The result is that you will see fewer time and budget over-runs when your primary ERP testing mechanism is fully automated. Also, when new technology works right the first time, you’ll gain from a much stronger user adoption of new applications. Using automation to document and validate your business processes can also deliver benefits. For example, ERP upgrade project times and expenses will improve with potential costs being reduced by up to 50 percent.
So, it’s now possible for organisations running complex ERP solutions to meet their traditional software testing challenges head on. They just need to get an integrated automated business process discovery and testing approach in place.
Neil is co-founder and CEO of ten80. With a strong background in SAP, Neil has worked as an end user, a consultant and as a contractor. He set up ten80 to allow clients to access the best SAP resources worldwide, and save money in the process.
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