Today the focus on digitisation is driving a steady stream of change throughout complex enterprise landscapes and, for CIOs particularly, the goal is to deliver the kind of world-class end-to-end quality and business process improvements that enable differentiation and disruption across competitive markets. However, while some firm’s processes might range across just a handful of enterprise applications, other IT infrastructures have become infinitely more complex – often including major software deployments such as ERP that range across multiple on-premise, cloud and mobile platforms.
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Clearly, today’s business processes traverse complex paths across multiple enterprise applications. This diversity, coupled with increasing dependence on the cloud, is bringing unprecedented change into an already complex environment. Not surprisingly, this can introduce the new risk of single failures bringing critical business processes to a grinding halt.
Traditional legacy testing approaches struggling to keep up
Companies turning to the cloud also face the challenge of more frequent software updates. With cloud applications, organisations have less control over the timing of software changes and where those software changes occur. The window to manage changes in the cloud – and across the enterprise – can also be very short. So, while hybrid cloud deployments can dramatically increase both complexity and the pace of enterprise IT change, there’s still a requirement to validate end-to-end business processes across both public and private cloud platforms as well as your existing non-cloud applications.
While IT teams have traditionally been able to validate and test the performance of business processes where there are just 10 or so variations, they’re now finding it difficult to handle the multiple variations of today’s deployments. If for example, you extend your business process to work across ten different mobile devices and operating systems, your team will have to handle around 100 tests instead of the original 10. And if that process also now extends further across ten more linked enterprise systems, you will end up with a testing challenge that’s 1,000 times more complex than when you started. With the need for these complex processes to be validated across both cloud and non-cloud applications, it’s increasingly accepted that traditional legacy tools and manual software testing approaches are simply no longer viable for today’s hybrid application infrastructures.
Moving towards an automated testing approach
With this level of escalating complexity, it becomes almost impossible – without some form of automated business process discovery approach – for CIOs and their teams to determine their current ‘as-is’ business process state. And that’s problematic because finding out exactly how your current business processes operate is essential if organisations are to establish a starting point for their digital transformation initiatives.
That’s why we’re now seeing organisations evolving testing and validation emphasis away from the performance of individual applications to focus on the quality of entire connected business processes. With end-to-end business processes now spanning dozens of enterprise apps, cloud and digital platforms, CIOs are turning towards technologies that automatically discover current ‘as-is’ business processes, accelerate test automation, and carry out complete step-by-step validation to ensure quality. Adopting this approach means that they can then confirm that all underlying business functions and transactions are performing correctly across every enterprise application and interface, including cloud apps.
Automation helps businesses bring continuous change into their ERP landscapes, safe in the knowledge that they have validated the performance of their critical business processes. And because organisations utilise and customise their ERP deployments in vastly different ways, it’s important to find an automated software testing approach that tests your processes in the way you use them.
Instead of using up expensive resources to identify and capture all current IT processes, organisations can use the latest business process discovery techniques to take the pain out of generating and maintaining critical business process documentation. And by automatically testing the integrity of end-to-end business processes at a rate that can keep pace with digital transformation ambitions, cloud application changes and critical security requirements, they can also take significant steps towards mitigating technology risk across their hybrid cloud enterprise landscape.
With end-to-end business process testing in place, CIOs can also identify issues before they become problems, whether that’s achieving successful initial migration to cloud-based applications, verifying integration between cloud and non-cloud enterprise applications, or ensuring that critical transactions and processes are performing correctly across the cloud landscape.
That’s why a growing proportion of the world’s leading organisations are now replacing manual QA and legacy script-based tools with intelligent automation solutions to help drive a continuous ‘lights out’ approach to software testing and business process discovery. And with automated solutions not only reducing risk but also delivering test automation that’s up to three to five times faster than other enterprise cloud testing approaches, organisations can be confident that their IT infrastructure will continue to work flawlessly – even when their business applications change.