Digital Transformation, DevOps, and the Future of Testing
Despite recent advancements in AI, big data, and predictive analytics, software testing is still awaiting an update through digital transformation.
Just as smartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate, digital transformation initiatives like Agile and DevOps have forever changed the way that software is developed and delivered. Development teams have already made previously-unimaginable leaps forward—yet we are still in our infancy when it comes to achieving the expected speed and process automation.
Despite all the changes we’ll undoubtedly experience in the very near future (driven by AI, robotics, big data, and predictive analytics…), testing remains largely stuck in the past. Manual testing as we know it today—methodically stepping through a specification-based test plan and checking core values at each step—simply cannot survive the force of the digital tsunami that’s fast approaching. It’s too slow, and it consumes too many resources that could otherwise be enabling innovation. Legacy software testing practices and platforms are also due to go extinct.
The fact of the matter is that previous efforts to automate software testing have not yielded the expected results. Now, the pressure of digital transformation requires a level of test automation that far surpasses the capabilities of legacy testing platforms. Balancing the business’s demand for speed with their tolerance for risk requires Continuous Testing, which provides real-time insight into the application’s business risk.
Continuous Testing is a broader process than test automation. With Continuous Testing, test automation is extended and supported by practices such as risk-based test case design and prioritization, stateful test data management, test-driven service virtualization, and seamless integration into the DevOps toolchain. But can we make it a reality?
This brings us to an inflection point: given the increased cadence and complexity of software delivery that the business now demands, traditional testing is not capable of de-risking (e.g., thoroughly testing) every release candidate. As the latest test automation research recommends, we must reinvent testing…and soon. It’s not simply a matter of more tools or different tools. Reinventing testing is a deeper transformation involving people, process, and technologies.
What’s needed to balance the business’s demand for speed with their tolerance for risk? Are your legacy testing tools and processes up to the task? Tricentis founder Wolfgang Platz and Gartner Research discuss these topics in a new newsletter, Digital Transformation, DevOps, and the Future of Testing.
Key takeaways include:
Tools and practices commonly associated with Mode 2, such as agile and DevOps, are evolving to enterprise scale as organizations mature their bimodal capabilities.
As cloud-based services make advanced technologies such as machine learning more accessible, application architectures and tools that leverage such services take prominence while service-oriented approaches fade.
Because application development technology assets are interdependent with other assets, organizational collaboration is needed to change them effectively.
Test automation rates are currently averaging around 20% overall, and from 26-30% for agile adopters. Top impacts on test automation rates are legacy testing tools and the Sisyphean maintenance burden, evolving software architectures (from client/server and mainframes to cloud native and microservices), and the changing responsibility for quality.