Get the Complete Picture When Choosing Software Test Automation for Packaged Apps and Beyond
Automation can deliver significant benefits to many parts of your organization in the form of time savings, risk and cost reduction, and improved quality. But one size never fits all and there are several factors to consider when choosing an automation solution. Selecting an automation solution and determining how to apply automation effectively at your organization could arguably be considered two of the most important decisions today’s business leaders will face in their careers. While research like analyst reports can be a great resource for identifying vendor options, they rarely give a full picture of the market. They do not focus on how these automation solutions work for various industries and use cases. When evaluating your options for automation solutions, use all of the following criteria to get a more complete picture.
Analyst Reports: Know the Facts, Understand the Scope
There’s no shortage of analyst reports covering automation and other closely related topics. When reviewing these insights, it’s important to read them with the right lens in order to glean which data is most applicable to your technology and business needs. Consider the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Test Automation. Over the past three years, the scope for this Magic Quadrant has evolved considerably, where breadth is valued more than depth. This is evident by the diverse set of vendors represented in the quadrant, some of whom have no relation to each other or do not compete in the same market. This evolution requires customers to pay close attention to the changing scope of these reports to evaluate relevance and to ensure they select vendors who truly address their organizations needs.
The latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Test Automation report itself acknowledges the shift in this market, stating: “Gartner anticipates that this research will be the final Magic Quadrant for Software Test Automation, as it no longer provides the correct perspective for understanding and evaluating the vendor areas such as web testing, mobile testing, packaged application testing, vusiness intelligence (BI)/warehouse testing, embedded software testing or data testing – and the increasingly tighter integrations in the DevOps toolchain require a news perspective on this market.”
For the enterprise/packaged applications market, there are four main criteria for evaluating solutions:
- Process Discovery - Before automation can begin it is very important to understand end-to-end business processes. How end users actually use enterprise apps to conduct business for a company
- Ease of Use - Business process testing is typically done by functional users who are not technical. Therefore, it is critical that these users be able to create automation and provide input into the process. This ‘democratization’ of automation is therefore critical to mass adoption and delivering long term ROI
- Scalability - Automation for enterprise/packaged applications involves hundreds, if not thousands of participants and the resulting automation has to run at scale again on hundreds of cloud or on-premise machines as part of a continuous delivery implementation
- Automation in Production (RPA) - Test automation for critical business processes has to be carried forward into production to support RPA use cases. The same automation solution has to do both test automation and RPA
Peer Feedback: References, Reviews and Relevant Analysts
Analysts reports like Gartner MQ do not consider, weigh or evaluate criteria like scalability and ease-of-use. So when researching options for the right solution to meet your needs, it’s important to also consider the first-hand experience of others. Broaden your evaluation to include additional resources such as independent customer reviews and industry case studies from your peers to gain relevant viewpoints about specific use cases.
IT Central Station and Gartner Peer Insights are great resources to learn about how a specific automation solution has impacted enterprises like yours. Worksoft is ranked #1 for Best Functional Automated Tools according to IT Central Station reviews and rankings. Reviewers cite ease-of-use and code-free convenience, as well as ROI and the ability to save time, accelerate projects and use automation across SAP and non-SAP applications as key benefits of the Worksoft Certify product. In addition to online review sites, the Worksoft Customers page showcases featured automation journeys with real-world customer experiences.
Use Case: Business Needs, IT Landscape, Opportunities
Your unique business requirements are perhaps the most important aspect of your evaluation process. Where and how will automation be applied? Ongoing development efforts, particularly in Agile+DevOps environments, dictate a need for automation to ensure end-to-end business process continue to run smoothly, even in the midst of constant change. Often major system upgrades or migrations can leverage automation to accelerate project timelines, while reducing cost or human error. A shift to S/4HANA requires not only the ability to automate effectively, but to discover and document business processes at the outset of a migration project.
Also consider other areas of your business where it would be practical and beneficial to automate beyond the initial project scope. Routine or commonly repeated processes, processes with regulatory compliance requirements, and lower skill processes that take time away from higher value tasks all have potential for automation with the right solution, especially solutions capable of RPA.
Your organization’s specific IT landscape is also key. Not all automation solutions can effectively interact with every application your business depends on. If you’re heavily invested in SAP, automation that specializes in packaged applications is mission critical. If you support mobile apps, web apps and other tools as part of your end-to-end business process, your automation solution must also be able to operate across all of those applications.
To help ensure your specific business needs are met with automation, use a variety of resources and data points to support your evaluation. Links to reviews, customer testimonials and other resources are listed below to support your search for evaluation of automation solutions for enterprise/packaged applications.
Applying Automation Across SAP and Non-SAP Complex Application Landscapes:
Customer Video: From Weeks to Hours | Johnson Matthey Experiences the Value of Automation
ERP Transformation: Gain Efficiency, Quality and Flexibility:
Customer Video: Deutsche Telekom Accelerates ERP Migration with Intelligent Automation
Independent Peer Reviews IT Central Station:
Real Value. Real Results: