The goals of any successful business fall into two broad categories: generating higher revenue and greater operational efficiency. Finding solutions to achieve these two goals is an organization’s goldmine.
Given the ease of access to new alternative products from developers around the world, the competition continues to grow. In the software industry, customer expectations amplify fierce competition. Users expect new features, faster releases, and ever-improving top performance.
To achieve these core business goals, DevOps teams now develop software with a continuous delivery mindset. This practice helps organizations speed up release cycles while delivering new features to meet customer demand.
For most teams, there remains a major ongoing challenge: effective testing in this high-velocity release cycle. Traditional (non-automated) test methods have become a bottleneck in the CI/CD pipeline mindset, forcing organizations to choose between quality and speed to market.
Continuous testing helps overcome this problem by weaving testing throughout the delivery cycle by leveraging automation. But which tests should be automated?
End of 2018, KMS interviewed 135 professionalss who have successfully implemented continuous testing, for their insights into the process. Of the organizations surveyed, the following tests have always been automated:
- Unit tests (47.4%)
- Component testing (46.7%)
- Integration testing (45.9%)
- UI testing (38.5%)
- Performance and load testing (57%)
- Security testing (52.6%)
- User acceptance testing (34.1%)
We also found that the top three areas of testing coverage for continuous testing were:
- Integration testing (55.6%)
- Security testing (48.1%)
- UI testing (43.7%)
Ultimately, companies must succeed in embracing continuous testing to synchronize their delivery pipelines with development.
Despite several benefits from continuous testing, KMS has encountered some challenges for organizations that have adopted this methodology. Seventy-eight percent indicated that continuous testing would have been easier to adopt with a directive from their management.
Additionally, 78% indicated that they would have liked more team ownership of the initiative and 86% would have liked better team collaboration.
So how do organizations gain executive buy-in and mobilize the team to adopt the practice? By understanding and communicating how continuous testing directly contributes to achieving the two primary business goals of increased revenue and operational efficiency.
Let’s look at generating increased revenue. After all, money is what keeps any business moving. Businesses generate revenue by:
- Solve a pain point for customers.
- Encourage users to adopt their solution.
- Have the agility to change and respond to changing consumer needs, with speed.
To achieve operational efficiency, companies focus on:
- Achieve shorter release cycles.
- Receive feedback and ability to react with agility.
- A more efficient team, without increasing headcount.
With these goals in mind, there are three fundamental business cases for adopting continuous testing:
Increased agility and confidence in quality
Agile is the ideal delivery model for all software companies. True agility means organizations can quickly change direction and react quickly to customer feedback or market changes. It also gives teams the freedom to explore new opportunities/solutions. Continuous testing enables this agility by supporting a left-shift philosophy that uses test automation in the early stages of the development cycle. The left shift allows for a continuous feedback loop that allows teams to react to faults and establish better team communication.
By adopting continuous testing, 80% of professionals have found fewer defects that escape production. Responding to feedback quickly allows businesses to provide customers with the products they want. An organization can increase revenue by offering market-disrupting features.
Automation tools also encourage a testing mindset among developers: 80.7% of companies adopting continuous testing found that their developers were testing more. This shift in mindset is key to achieving agility with better collaboration. It makes software quality the responsibility of the entire team, truly aligning with the Agile Manifesto. As a result, product quality and user experience benefit, and satisfied customers increase revenue.
Faster overall speed
Keeping up with today’s market requires shorter release cycles. As I mentioned earlier, adopting continuous testing enables faster sprints by eliminating the testing bottleneck at the end of the release lifecycle. In fact, 83.7% of companies achieved shorter release cycles by adopting continuous testing.
Accelerating the software development lifecycle brings products to market faster. Putting functionality in the hands of customers before your competition gives your business a huge competitive advantage. By embracing continuous testing, organizations aren’t slowed down by outdated testing initiatives. Speed allows them to compete globally and disrupt the market.
Reduced operational expenses
How to reconcile speed and cost? Automating. Continuous testing automates routine testing. By using open source tools like Katalon, teams can automate with minimal additional expense. This not only helps you test faster, but your team can also be more productive: 84.4% of companies achieved better test coverage with the same team size and 67.4% were able to test with teams smaller. Either way, you get more done without investing in additional overhead.
However, automation is not here to replace testers. Automation in pre-production environments gives your resources the bandwidth to work more strategically: 53.3% of companies that have continuous testing in place do not manually test in pre-production environments . Seventy-four percent now have the bandwidth for exploratory testing in production. Use your team and resources where they are most effective, which work automation cannot do. Ultimately, the intelligent use of resources achieves a desired balance between speed and cost.
By exploring the business cases of continuous testing, organizations achieve true agility. The methodology aligns perfectly with fundamental business objectives. Enabling continuous delivery, continuous testing will support your organization’s revenue growth and operational success.