Top Challenges to Enterprise Test Automation and Ways to Overcome

The Forbes Global 2000 enterprises are under increasing threat from agile startups looking to upend their sector. Maintaining a competitive edge requires accelerating application delivery; however, it’s challenging for large organizations to stay up.

Oftentimes, the speed of software delivery is hindered by the testing process due to the software’s complicated system. Therefore, laying complete dependency on manual testing is never a viable option. Full-grown businesses managing complicated structures profit greatly from test automation services to accommodate current delivery schedules.

Advantages aside, they still grapple with a couple of pain points in implementing successful enterprise-level test automation.  Here are some real-time challenges that teams may encounter while implementing automation testing for enterprise apps and key strategies to overcome them.

#1 Inability to Choose the Right Automation Testing Tool

For a business that aims to manage testing transactions that pass through APIs, SAP, mainframes, web, mobile, etc.; it is essential to have a robust test automation tool for enterprise software that can streamline the testing process across all technology platforms.

However, since there’s a broad spectrum of automation testing tools available in the market, choosing the right tool can be a challenge for organizations since they need to consider various factors such as specific testing requirements, the tool’s compatibility with different technology platforms, ease of integration, scalability, etc.

Here are some key considerations when choosing automation testing tools:

  • Types of automation tools: Selecting a custom framework can be an appropriate choice for enterprise software testing, considering the specific needs and complexities of the organization.
  • Skills and experience of the team members: It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the skills and knowledge possessed by team members. Codeless automation testing tools in execution can be appropriate for testers with little IT background. Trusted by over 65,000 companies globally, the Katalon Platform is a codeless testing solution designed to address the scalability and ROI requirements of corporations.
  • Having a checklist to ensure the chosen tool has the ability to meet testing requirements/ expectations.

#2 Test Maintenance Issues

Maintaining test cases becomes increasingly challenging as software applications evolve and undergo frequent updates. Test maintenance involves updating and modifying test scripts, test data, and test environments to align with changes in the application under test. Several factors contribute to the test maintenance issue in enterprise software, including:

  • Test Data Management/ Test Environment Management: Enterprise applications often rely on complex and extensive datasets for testing. Managing and maintaining test data across different test cases can become challenging, especially when data dependencies or data variations need to be considered. Besides, managing multiple test environments for an enterprise app and ensuring their compatibility and stability can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
  • Test Script Maintenance: Test scripts, written in automation frameworks or scripting languages, require continuous maintenance to align with changes in the application. Failure to keep test scripts up-to-date may lead to false positives or false negatives, rendering the tests ineffective and unreliable.

There are several technical solutions to address this difficulty instantly when it becomes evident. Some of these strategies are:

  • Utilizing specialized tools or frameworks for test data management, such as Tricentis QTest, IBM ETM, etc. can simplify the process of creating and managing test data. These tools also allow for the efficient creation of data variations, data masking for sensitive information, and the ability to update test data when application changes occur quickly.
  • Implementing a continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipeline can automate the deployment of test environments, reducing the effort required to set up and maintain multiple test environments.

#3 Deciding Which Test to Automate

Enterprise software often involves complex functionalities, integrations, and workflows. Certain test cases in enterprise software can be complex and require experienced QA professionals to conduct manual testing. These cases present unique challenges for automation due to their intricacies.

In enterprise software testing, test scenarios often require human judgment and insight that automated tools may lack. Thus, choosing which test to perform automatically is particularly essential, as the software may have certain aspects that are better suited for automated testing.

The enterprise can perfect the art of testing functionality efficiently and decide on a release that ensures the ultimate user experience, in part by considering the following criteria:

  • High-value and business-vital tests: Consider smoke tests, sanity tests, and regression tests to ensure that your app functions smoothly and without interruptions.
  • High-volume, repeatable, and/or tedious tests: Testing different browser/OS combinations and running high-volume batch tests can be time-consuming and need to be repeated multiple times. Automating these tests helps save time and effort by eliminating manual repetition and ensuring consistent and accurate execution.
  • Frequently used functionality: Frequent use of specific functionality increases the risk of regression issues. Whenever changes or updates are made to the software, automated tests can be rerun to ensure that the existing functionality remains intact and unaffected by the changes.

#4 Skills and Resources Availability

Compared to the automation testing practices commonly applied in general businesses, the implementation of automation testing in enterprise software demands a higher level of skilled resources who possess expertise in automation tools, frameworks, scripting languages, and testing methodologies.

As enterprise test automation often involves writing scripts and code to create test cases personalized for business requirements, having a strong foundation in programming and scripting languages, such as Java, Python, or C# is crucial. However, not all testers possess the required programming skills, and training/ hiring individuals with sufficient skills can be challenging.

To overcome the unavailability of testing team resources, enterprises can consider the following strategies:

  • Skills Assessment and Training: Conduct a skills assessment within the organization to identify existing skill gaps in automation testing. Offer training programs and workshops to upskill and reskill the existing workforce in automation tools, scripting languages, and frameworks. Encourage employees to pursue certifications or attend external training programs to enhance their automation testing expertise.
  • Testing Centers of Excellence (CoE): Establishing an automation testing CoE in countries with lower rates can help enterprises save costs while ensuring product quality. The CoE can bring specialized knowledge and skills in enterprise software testing to develop automation frameworks, provide training and guidance, set automation standards, and promote collaboration and knowledge sharing among automation practitioners.

Focus on the Proper Approach for Test Automation Challenges in Enterprises

Automation testing offers significant potential for enterprises seeking to streamline their software development and testing processes. However, since the testing process in the enterprise is complicated, the test automation implementation also contains hidden challenges. With a strategic and well-executed approach, enterprises can navigate the complexities of automation testing, achieving higher productivity.

To harness the full potential of test automation, engaging with a specialized testing service provider is worth considering. The expertise and experience of KMS Solutions’ testing team bring valuable insights and best practices to the table, ensuring the successful implementation of automation in enterprise software. With the support of an external testing team, enterprises can achieve higher productivity, and deliver software products of exceptional quality to meet the ever-increasing demands of the market.

Author Bio

Van Pham is an experienced content writer at KMS Solutions with a strong background in writing and a deep understanding of the technology industry. Van specializes in creating engaging and informative content that covers a wide range of technology topics, from emerging technology trends to industry insights.

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