The COVID-19 pandemic apparently presented enterprises with an unexpected glimpse into the future world, one in which digital interaction is the new norm and automation a critical part of every organization. It has forced several companies all around the globe to focus on developing a digital strategy in order to stay competitive in the locked-down world. Companies with existing digital strategies were quick on adopting innovative technologies such as AI/RPA/ML and integrating digital into all aspects of their business operations.
Over the last year, deliberations about the future of work have been dominated by the prospects for this long-heralded tech transformation and, in particular, by attempts to predict the domains where automation was truly necessary. The result was an innovative world in which digital channels became the fundamental customer-engagement model, and automation strategies became a primary driver of productivity—and the basis of flexible, transparent, and stable supply chains. A world in which flexible and changing ways of functioning are a necessity to engaging seemingly everyday changes to customer response.
The Need For Automation
The sudden explosion of automation does not mean that the pandemic has led to huge demand in testing or no longer retains the need for human employees in business efficiency. It means that enterprises might now adapt in a way that accelerates the rollout of labor-saving technology, that not puts human workers out of their jobs but enhances the way they work.
Here are some of the benefits businesses leverage from Automation
Cost savings: Automating large and repetitive projects can generate significant cost reduction when compared to manual or traditional methods. By accessing automation tools directly from Cloud service models, enterprises will only have to pay for the bots they use and can be implemented relatively inexpensively and for just the required amount of time. This will prevent enterprises from paying the complete amount for an automation tool that they might just use for a couple of months. Efficient automation tools are also capable of increasing the quantity and quality of tasks while enabling human resources to focus on other creative tasks at hand.
Increased Speed: As mentioned earlier, automation can complete large repetitive tasks much faster than human resources. They can slash the time spent on manual tasks by orders of magnitude and can do it both efficiently as well as effectively. Automated chatbots in customer services were capable of providing instantaneous replies to customer queries. This was proven to be significantly helpful during the COVID-pandemic as most people were dependent upon website interaction and virtual chats to clarify concerns.
Productivity: As stocks and share market prices dropped, several companies have been compelled to lay off employees during the pandemic. Maintaining business productivity with lesser employees seemed to be a challenge for almost all enterprises. By automating certain activities in routine work, the employees can alternatively concentrate on tasks that demand human problem solving.
How COVID-19 Influenced Automation Testing
The need to ensure efficient customer satisfaction and the increasing acceptance of AI-enabled cutting-edge technologies for software testing were some of the factors that contributed to the growth of automation testing. Nevertheless, some challenges raised by COVID-19’s lockdown situation, such as the growing complexity for implementing the transition from manual to automated testing are certainly going to impede the growth of automation testing in the subsequent years.
Nowadays, the transformation to automation testing has been significantly driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Artificial Intelligence has been accumulating potential in testing as it considerably decreases the test lifecycle. AI has also proven its capability as it could be integrated into almost all aspects of testing, including performance testing, functional testing, automation testing, & regression testing.
How Technology Helped Automation Testing Overcome COVID-19 Challenges
With the implementation of DevOps and other cutting-edge technologies in software development, QA testers are tasked with making frequent changes in test environments to make sure that the applications work efficiently. The experience of enterprises to develop and conduct testing for the prevailing software/digital scenario is challenging and time-consuming. The performance testers and QA experts are probably well-placed to assist during such circumstances. However, they are typically careful about the modeling potential because testing functions can literally consume huge annual expenses due to extra capacity usage.
In the last couple of years, the software testing environment has observed vital developments, where Test Automation has emerged to promote agile software deployments of the best quality. Automation has constantly remained an innovative trend, as it reduces the conventional testing life cycles and expedites the complete testing process.
To achieve the goal of Automation testing. AI, RPA, and machine learning have all become essential elements of modern software testing tools. Individual test cycles produce huge volumes of essential data, which can be utilized for recognizing and fixing test failures. After each consecutive test sequence, this data can be loaded back into the developer’s algorithms. These ever-increasing benefits of automation in testing, have significantly increased the demand for automation testing in several enterprises especially due to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the enhanced acceptance of AI and such innovative technologies in the improvement of test tools, the tools can self-heal at runtime. Self-healing automation testing is predicted to be one of the most influential automation testing trends in the near future. Automation testing is expected to see a significant growth during and after the COVID-19 pandemic era, as more enterprises are looking forward to automate IT operations to recover from the crisis. Enterprises are said to be investing more in cognitive skills, artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation (RPA) as businesses recover post-COVID-19. Test automation services coupled with innovative technologies is imperative nowadays as enterprises expand business continuity strategies and automate their infrastructures to be more resilient to upcoming disruptions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited digital acceptance in workplace environments that were previously initiated through automation and AI adoption. Similar to building innovative applications, testing these applications to ensure customer satisfaction is also imperative in the software development cycle. Enterprises must focus on strengthening and reskilling existing employees with automation tools to ensure that your enterprise’s post-COVID business model is a success.
Ricky Philip is an industry expert and a professional writer working at ThinkPalm Technologies. He works with a focus on understanding the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, SDN/NFV, cloud analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) services. He is also a contributor to several prominent online publishing platforms such as DZone, HubSpot and Hackernoon.