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Automated testing is still a big challenge for businesses, research finds

05 August 2022

A new study from Keysight Technologies reveals that despite 84 percent of decision-makers stating that the majority of testing involves complex systems, few employ automated testing or use artificial intelligence.

Keysight Technologies announced the results of a global study, commissioned by Keysight and conducted by Forrester, that surveyed test operations decision-makers to understand the state of test strategies and technologies. 

The research report, titled Conquer Testing Complexities with Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), identified that automation is gaining inroads, with 75 percent of organisations using a combination of automated and manual testing. 
However, only 11 percent have a fully automated strategy. With growing complexity, the number of tests is increasing (77 percent ) and, without automation, product development slows.

According to Jeff Harris, Vice President, Portfolio and Global Marketing at Keysight Technologies, “We learned in the study that companies feel pressure to do more test automation, especially when asked about the future. Manual or partially automated strategies simply can't keep up with the needs of organisations today, and without AI-powered automation, they will struggle to conquer testing complexities. 

"Additionally, we expect the COVID pandemic to accelerate adoption of remote development, automated test sequencing. We also expect a much higher use of digital twins as development teams strive to continue working together but from different locations. 

"At Keysight, we’re building this automation of intelligence across the workflow into our entire software product portfolio to address these needs and drive test and validation automation forward.” 

The primary technical challenges resulting from testing complexities are long cycles, accurately capturing bugs and issues, and then fixing them. These problems directly impact business results and the product development process. Respondents ranked the outcomes as: 

• 51 percent – Security breach risk 
• 48 percent – Increased expenses 
• 42 percent – Slower time to market 
• 36 percent – Defective product 
• 34 percent – Loss of revenue 

However, enterprises recognise that manual and partially automated testing strategies cannot keep pace with the increasing complexity of products. As a result, 45 percent will consider using a fully automated approach in the next three years, a 409 percent growth. 

Over half (52 percent) stated they would look at AI for integrating complex test suites, a 325 percent growth.

By shifting to intelligent automated testing strategies, organisations expect benefits. Operational improvements anticipated by respondents include increased productivity (59 percent), ability to simulate product function or performance (54 percent) and bug fix automation or simulation to save time on fix-retest cycles (53 percent). The anticipated business impact spans higher quality product that increases customer satisfaction (59 percent), the ability to reduce time to market (50 percent) and more agile product development cycles (50 percent).

As described in the survey, the most anticipated technology or operations improvements from automation and AI are increased productivity, ability to simulate product function/performance and bug fix automation/simulation. 

But a better metric for success is the business impact that organisations expect from the investment in new testing technologies, such as Keysight's Automating Intelligence, which offers customers: 

• A higher-quality product that increases customer satisfaction 
• The ability to reduce product time to market 
• More agile product development cycles 

In this study, Forrester conducted an online survey of 406 test operations decision-makers at organisations in North America, EMEA and APAC to evaluate current testing capabilities and to hear their thoughts on investing in automation (including AI). Questions provided to the participants asked about their organisations’ current testing environments, future investments, challenges and expected outcomes from testing automation.

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