Financial Organizations Outperform Other Industries in Application Testing
September 09, 2021

Jori Ramakers

For many businesses, pushing lightly tested updates to production and hoping that no errors will emerge is possible with minimal risk. However, for financial organizations, any error can have huge impacts on the business, and can deteriorate relationships with customers and users who have trusted the company with personal financial information. With this in mind, it is imperative that financial organizations employ quick and accurate application development to stay competitive and ensure customer satisfaction (and protect their customers and their brand).

Customers of financial organizations simply have no time to wait for system patches, so it' imperative that any software update has been tested extensively to ensure quality and stability of applications. In addition, knowing that these organizations operate in a highly regulatory environment, any slip up or accidental release of protected information can severely harm brand reputation and invite regulatory compliance investigations and penalties. With so much at stake, leaders of financial organizations are under increased pressure to ensure that software has been sufficiently tested and stressed tested before being rolled out.

In order to understand how financial organizations are using software testing, and the challenges they face with, Tricentis surveyed IT leaders from over 290 Fortune 500 (or global equivalent) financial organizations across the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

High Testing Maturity

Key findings from the survey indicate that overall, financial organizations' testing processes are significantly ahead of their peer industries. Specifically, the survey revealed that financial organizations are 60% more mature in terms of execution strategy, and 46% more mature in their test coverage. Test coverage evaluates how well tests mitigate risk, so this is an impressive level of maturity compared to non-financial peer organizations.

Financial organizations are also 39% more mature in terms of testing in Continuous Integration, 36% more in terms of testing roles, and 34% more in terms of test management. Testing appears to be taken seriously at financial organizations and is conducted prior to the release of applications.

Another significant finding from the survey is that the insurance industry leads the pack in terms of test data management. Test data management is an often-underestimated pain of test automation and Continuous Testing. With a mastery of test data management, 23% of insurance teams achieve resilient test automation, a full 8% higher than the rate of those outside the financial industry. By conducting swift and rigorous tests often, the insurance industry and others position themselves to break through test automation plateaus and reduce opportunities for errors and wasted time by automating end-to-end scenarios.

These results suggest that the banking industry is adamant about staying on top of testing. 79% of banking teams run tests at least daily. That' a rate of 24% more compared to other financial teams, and 42% more than non-financial organizations.

Challenges Remain

The art of mastering elements of Continuous Testing appears to continue to elude most financial organizations. Automation, testing, and test environment strategy are a few of the tenets that have yet to be fully addressed. It' critical for financial groups to quickly assess any changes that could potentially break core functionality in the interest of maintaining strong customer, regulator, and stakeholder relationships. At the core of assessing these changes is having access to dependable test environments, along with integrating test automation into the DevOps pipeline.

However, financial teams face complex application stacks with everything from mobile to mainframe, countless integration points, all sorts of specialized message formats, daunting test data requirements, and a multitude of complex test environments that are difficult to spin up on demand — to name just some of their most pressing challenges. Given this, it' not surprising that financial teams seem to have more difficulty mastering these practices than their peers in other industries.

As financial organizations continue to automate and digitize, the need for quick and accurate testing for applications and software will only become more apparent. For Fortune 500 companies and global equivalents, this need will continue to manifest in the interest of reducing costly errors and being well-equipped for more digital waves throughout the financial industry.

Jori Ramakers is Director of Customer Experience Strategy at Tricentis
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