Why Automation Is the Key to Business Continuity in the Age of Digital Transformation
March 17, 2022

Christian Brink Frederiksen
Leapwork

"We have seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months."

A soundbite that will no doubt form part of the history books, recording what has been a momentous period since the outbreak of the pandemic. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke these words during an earnings call in April 2020. Few could have predicted that almost two years later, we are only just seeing signs that the pandemic may finally be over.

In the months since that memorable quote from the head of Microsoft, companies have been forced to continuously adjust to the new world order, exploring better ways to streamline processes, harness data, or shape entirely different ways of doing business. The trend is set to continue throughout 2022. A recent survey of business leaders by PWC found that 60% said digital transformation is their most critical growth driver this year.

There is perhaps no better example of the way in which digital technology has transformed an industry than in the financial services sector. The rise of technology-led challenger brands has forced financial powerhouses to invest heavily to ensure their products and services meet the demands of a world in which the cheque book and bank branch are fast becoming redundant.

A recent World Retail Banking Report emphasized the extent to which the global pandemic has generated more consumer demand for digital. Over half (57%) of consumers now prefer internet banking, up from 49% pre-Covid-19, and 55% prefer banking mobile apps, compared with 47% previously. Investment in digital transformation to enhance customer experience and drive revenue growth has never been more important.

This digital transformation does not come without risks. The danger of entire infrastructures being run on software is that one error can mean a loss of revenue, reputational damage, and in some cases, being overtaken by competition altogether. For UK bank TSB, its IT meltdown in 2018 resulted in almost two million customers being locked out of their accounts, an embarrassing investigation, a CEO's departure, hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, and significant reputational damage. TSB chairman Richard Meddings said technical issues were at the heart of the failure.

These types of failures can be easily avoided with the appropriate software testing measures in place. The problem is, many organizations continue to rely predominantly on manual testing efforts. With the ever-increasing speed of software development and customization, relying on manual testing alone is no longer scalable. The resource-heavy and time-consuming nature of manual testing can lead to slower release cycles, with companies being forced to cut corners, or not test all their software appropriately. This in turn leads to systems breaking, and businesses failing to operate as they should. The surge in digital transformation and increased pressure on IT teams has only exacerbated the issue.

Test automation has been heralded as a potential solution, helping to reduce manual involvement, test greater volumes, and accelerate time to market as much as tenfold. However, one of the key barriers to harness successful test automation for most organizations is scalability. Even if a business manages to put together a team that, combined, has all the right skills, they will often find themselves prohibited from scaling those practices. Why? Most enterprise automation tools available on the market have not evolved to overcome today's serious challenges. These solutions — often referred to as low-code — are far too complex for everyday business users, and typically require professional-grade coding skills to use.

When it comes to test automation, the smarter way is no-code. This doesn't mean tests can't be coded — it means that they don't have to be. Test cases can be designed, executed, maintained, and scaled with ease and speed, plus those who understand the business processes the best won't be prohibited from contributing as with code-based approaches. With no-code, companies can harness existing capabilities to build a flow in minutes, and developers and technical teams can then be freed up to focus on more high value tasks, helping to further accelerate innovation.

By adopting a no-code solution, businesses can achieve a wider coverage of testing, without having to compromise any existing software, systems or business processes. As a result, they can ensure their applications are of the highest quality, minimising the risk of damaging outages while accelerating business growth. Today's increasingly digital economy requires digital solutions, and in automating software testing, businesses will solve a major challenge and be armed with the tools to drive growth today and tomorrow.

Christian Brink Frederiksen is CEO of Leapwork
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