Automation is not coming – it is here. From software to hardware, the rapid development of engineered entities which can operate without human intervention should come as no surprise to those in the tech and software industries. And yet – especially in the world of software testing and quality assurance – major players continue to lag in their uptake of automation techniques. Why is this the case? Especially in an industry buoyed from recent years of digital transformation and migration of applications to the cloud?
The answer largely comes down to an inability from software companies to justify the investment in new programs and altered procedures. But, as prominent leaders in the industry have began to voice, the return on investment will become evident as time goes on. Take for instance that the landscape for usable, reliable software has never been more competitive.
Research predicts the testing of global applications are expected to grow to $55 billion by 2023. And yet in the contemporary world of software testing, where the majority users expect apps to respond in two seconds or less, about 80 to 90 percent of software checks and tests are carried out manually. It is a process as lengthy as it is costly, with figures from the World Quality Report reporting that expenses software testing accounted for 26 percent of IT budgets in 2017.
Client Engagement DVT director Bruce Zaayman believes European companies struggle to successfully argue the benefits for software testing automation. “One possible reason for the lack of automation take-up is that there is no clear and articulate way of demonstrating the return-on-investment (ROI) against the spend for automation,” he told UK publisher Test Magazine.
“How do we define return on investment if we cannot quantify any revenue directly related to this activity? To put it slightly differently, in a cost centre where there is no profit realized, how can there be a clear return?”
Zaayman believes there is also fear around job loss when it comes to automated testing. However, he said it should be seen as a tool for software testers to work alongside – akin to farmers when they started to use tractors to become more efficient. One company advocating for automated software testing to become the norm is AutonomIQ. The US-based company is a cloud platform that enables product and IT teams to autonomously test, release and deploy software.
Chief executive officer Ram Shanmugam said companies need to make the tough calls for today to future-proof for tomorrow. The landscape of software testing and release is rapidly changing and those entities who do not change their operations may struggle in the long-run, Shanmugam said.
Automated solutions are set to bring disruptive effects to not only software testing but multiple industries across multiple sectors. Their integration should be front-and-centre in the minds of company executives who hope stay ahead of the tech adoption curve.
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company.