The Global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) market will grow at a CAGR of 6.28 percent over the period 2013-2018, as per forecast of TechNavio’s analysts. A company’s ERP suite is an integrated application that helps them accomplish their manufacturing, service delivery, marketing & sales and inventory management. Numerous routine search processes and reports are generated every day leading to the creation of a data repository that has to be accurate and secure. Quality and secure data collected and stored by ERP systems helps manage and interpret business processes and activities including product planning and cost. ERP systems are robust and enable updating changes as and when business processes are upgraded. A successful ERP implementation demands continuous testing of system processes to identify and fix flaws and ensure quality reporting and decision making.
Why ERP Systems need Test Automation?
In these complex and highly configured ERP systems, mandatory testing becomes time consuming and critical. Researches reveal that 50% of the total ERP budget is occupied by testing. Relying completely on manual testing cannot ensure the full potential benefit of ERP implementation. Automated testing helps upgrading quality, and saves time and cost.
The following reasons add to the usage of automation testing in ERP systems:
- They have huge volumes of data, and testing regular procedures manually requires resources, time and cost.
- They are always customized to a specific industrial need, and very rarely any standard system is implemented.
- They are complex and tightly integrated with other systems. The output of one module is input for another module. Testing manually increases the complexity.
- Systems are applied in multiple locations and are customized to local requirements, requiring accuracy at every location.
- They are regularly modified to meet the changing frameworks, and unavailability of expert manual testing resources creates delay in regular ERP routines.
- New technology trends like Cloud, Big Data, and Mobility, connect extensively to the ERP backend of the organizations. As the transactions are directly connected to the centralized databases through transactions by employees, customers, and clients, corporate data is at risk of security breaches. Manual testing of fast transactions becomes impossible.
Benefits of ERP Test Automation
- A typical ERP environment consists of numerous automated business processes that reduce time when tested through automated testing, recording, and capturing through a testing tool.
- Using Test Automation for security testing and continuous monitoring of ERP systems with test scripts running regularly and repeatedly helps identifying and fixing flaws, reduce vulnerabilities avoiding phenomenal loss to organizations.
- Organizations implementing tested ERP applications provide timely, accurate, and quality responses to employees, customers, and client. Test Automation in ERP helps address major business challenges of sluggish routine processes due to delay caused by manual testing and ensuring accuracy. Speeding up routine processes reduces time and cost thereby improving revenue and creating a better ROI.
- ERP application modules are connected to a single centralised data repository. Implementing Test Automation for monitoring routine data structures ensures healthy and smooth running of company’s mission critical programs.
- Test Automation helps to ensure that the main focus of ERP implementation is to reach predefined business requirements.
To conclude, Test Automation eases the pain of testing routine processes, which form core inputs to multiple business processes. Implementation of faster test cycles covers many rudimentary testing processes such as regression and configuration testing. Though Test Automation is not an automatic, one-size-fit testing solution, Organizations need to discuss with testing experts to decide the right tools and procedures to include in their testing solutions for their business processes. This includes:
- Choosing a right automation tool
- Test cases proving complete application
- A good vendor who can cope up with the technology trends providing newer releases of testing tools.
Authored by:- Mr. Sairam Vedam, VP & Global Head – Marketing, Cigniti Technologies
(The views expressed in this article by the author are his own. Technuter.com doesn’t own any responsibility for it.)
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