"Why a ‘Test Automation Tools Assessment’ is an essential part of your ERP transformation"
Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of processes are affected by the complex process of migrating a legacy ERP to S/4 HANA. In this blogpost test automation expert Magnus Loveman dives into how you can approach this challenge.
The ERP typically sits at the heart of an organization’s business processes and systems, with diverse peripheral applications and interfaces. Migrating from a legacy ERP to S/4 HANA is understandably a complex process, with hundreds (even thousands) of business processes affected by the change. Before these processes can go live in the new SAP landscape, every single interface that’s been integrated into S/4 HANA must be validated.
Faster and better testing
This is not a task for manual testing. Thus, test automation has become essential. It enables faster and better testing (preferably unmonitored) supporting the multiple releases that will become the norm with S/4 HANA and cloud applications. More importantly, it will reduce the time taken for the regression testing needed to assure that previously tested functionality isn’t affected by subsequently introduced functionality.
This speed of testing is viewed as an important asset by quality assurance (QA) and test professionals globally. In the recently released 2020-2021 World Quality Report from Capgemini and Sogeti, in partnership with Micro Focus, 69% of survey respondents cited reduction of test cycle time as a key benefit of automation – the highest perceived benefit of automation.
Matching the tools with your application landscape
One of the biggest challenges in this respect is finding the right automation testing tool and testing framework to support the end-to-end integration testing needed for business assurance. The modern enterprise application landscape is diverse. It’s not uncommon for a business to be using 200-plus applications, and in some cases upward of 800.
A range of tools is utilized to maintain this landscape, including those for test management, defect and regression testing, release management, and more. Any decision regarding test automation tools must align with this tooling and application landscape. And there are several test automation tools to choose from, both commercial and open source. These all have different attributes, and either scripting, for which coding knowledge is a must, or scriptless, which requires no coding knowledge and business team (configuration owners) can provide support on test automation script creation. Selecting the right tool demands a proper risk assessment to ensure the tool(s) selected can ‘talk’ to everything else in the testing toolkit.
At Sogeti, with our focus on business assurance as clients move to S/4 HANA, we always recommend an Automation Tools Assessment. In discussions with the CIO, head of QA, or perhaps the ERP transformation program lead, we work through six steps designed to produce a set of recommendations for bringing the tooling vision to life.
In Step 1, we set out to clarify what the organization wants to achieve through test automation, establishing an as-is picture and understanding the future automation vision. Steps 2 and 3 are assessments of the application landscape and tooling architecture respectively. Step 4 sees us engaging in tactical discussions with key stakeholders across test, QA, SAP, tooling and more to understand any areas of concern, pain, or specific need. In Step 5 we perform an analysis on the selected commercial and open source tools, using Sogeti’s experienced based matrix. This provides tool comparison against sustainability, ease-of-use, testing type suitability (i.e. mobile, API, cross browser, etc.) and testing approaches. Finally, in Step 6, our summary report sets out the tooling vision for the enterprise. In this, we make the case for specific tools based wholly on the individual set up of each client.
We are clear that test automation tools must be part of the S4/ HANA ERP landscape of tomorrow. And, as this year’s World Quality Report reveals, although automation has become core to QA transformation, there’s still some way to go before it reaches maturity, with just 58% of organizations saying they have the right level of test automation. Our remit is to help our clients achieve the right level, with the right automation tools, in the right testing toolkit.
I live and breath test automation. If you want to discuss the content of this blogpsot, feel free to reach out to me!
- Magnus LovemanNational Digital Assurance & Testing Lead
070-207 33 60
Magnus LovemanNational Digital Assurance & Testing Lead
070-207 33 60