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Protecting your business through test automation

Software has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, transforming businesses of every shape and size and thrusting entire sectors forwards. With more software, there is inevitably more likelihood of outages. It is, therefore, unsurprising that there has been a growing trend of high-profile cases which demonstrate the serious impact – from damaged reputations to significant financial loss – of software outages.

In the fast-paced and heavily regulated financial services sector, the stakes are high, and the risks of software failure are significant. With manual software testing still the norm in many companies, businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to the risks of human error, which can lead to reputational damage, financial loss, and regulatory issues.

While the potential impact of software failure is clear, UK CEOs and testers in the banking and financial services sector have demonstrated a concerning disconnect and potentially even a lack of concern for the potential consequences of software failure. According to research from Leapwork, 71% of UK CEOs are concerned about losing their jobs in the wake of a software failure, yet a similar number (70%) of testers in the industry think it is acceptable to release untested software as long as it is patch tested later. This behaviour is problematic given consumers’ increasing reliance on banking apps and the huge implications for software failure in such a highly regulated sector.

The Risks of Manual Testing

Identifying, managing, and resolving software quality issues is much easier during pre-launch testing, but many defects remain undetected until it is too late. This is because organisations cannot fully cover the scope using existing (manual) testing. The inadequate pre-launch testing forces teams to then scramble post-launch to fix faulty software applications with renewed urgency, with the added pressure of managing the potential loss of revenue and damaged brand reputation caused by the defect. When the faulty software reaches end users, dissatisfied customers are a problem that could have far longer-reaching effects as users pass on their negative experiences to others. The negative feedback could also prevent potential new customers from ever trying the software in the first place.

So why is software not being tested properly? Changing customer behaviours in the financial services sector, as well as increased competition from digital-native fintech start-ups, have led many organisations to invest in a huge amount of digital transformation in recent years. With companies coming under more pressure than ever to respond to market demands and user experience trends through increasingly frequent software releases, the sheer volume of software needing testing has skyrocketed, placing a further burden on resources already stretched to breaking point. When CEOs were asked why their software wasn't tested properly before being released, 40% cited "reliance on manual testing" as the main reason, while 28% said they were "under pressure to release software quickly."

The problem is that manual testing is a labour-intensive and error-prone process. It requires significant expertise and resources, and it is often time-consuming and slow. In addition, manual testing is susceptible to human error as overstretched teams do their best to juggle tasks. Some estimates suggest that up to 70%-75% of software outages are caused by mistakes made during manual testing.

 Automation now a fundamental requirement

As many financial services enterprises on the journey towards digital transformation have realized, automation is now a fundamental requirement.  The problem when it comes to automating software testing is that it’s dynamic and can’t be effectively implemented or maintained with highly technical, maintenance heavy tools. This explains why only 15% of organizations today have managed to successfully automate their quality assurance efforts, including testing.

To fix the problem, we must adopt an entirely new approach to test automation and break down the language barrier between humans and computers, so that those who are involved in testing – business users, analysts and testers – can convert their knowledge of everyday business processes into automation.  

The role of no-code

No code test automation helps to solve the time consuming, error-prone nature of manual.  With no code tools, businesses can create and execute tests quickly and efficiently without the need for specialised knowledge or significant resources. This allows businesses to test their software thoroughly and quickly, ensuring it is high quality and abides by strict regulatory procedures. 

In the financial services sector, no code test automation is helping businesses to respond quickly and effectively to changes in customer behaviour and market demands. In recent years, the financial services sector has seen significant changes in customer behaviour and increased competition from digital-native fintech start-ups. As a result, many organisations have invested in digital transformation, leading to a huge increase in the volume of software needing testing.

In addition, no code test automation helps to promote a compliant culture within organisations by making it easy to track documentation and ensure that all tests are performed correctly and in accordance with regulations.

Looking beyond no-code

There is no denying that no-code is part of the solution for businesses in the banking and financial services industry looking to ensure software quality and compliance. The World Quality Report 2022-23 found that maintainability is the most important factor in determining test automation approaches. By making it easy for companies to adopt, maintain and scale test automation without requiring specialist skills, no code tools have the power to help the fast-paced and heavily regulated financial services sector to improve code quality, promote a compliant culture, and mitigate risk.

But as technology evolves, so must our reliance on no-code. Looking to the future, artificial intelligence has a significant part to play in taking automated software-testing to new heights. AI-augmented software testing uses algorithms and technology such as machine learning and self-healing to drastically improve the productivity and efficacy of testers. Business leaders within the financial services industry looking to implement test automation that is not only maintainable but scalable should consider AI-augmentation as the next step in the evolution of software testing.  



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