Automation Fragmentation: The Challenge of Choosing an Automation Tool in a Fragmented Market

Maria Homann

Automation Expert

2020 is the year of automation fragmentation; while more and more businesses are realizing the benefits of automating their tests, tasks and processes, the number of automation tool providers is growing. While this may at first glance seem like a good thing, users should expect to be faced with more partial and incompatible solutions.  

In fact, in 2020, you can expect to find yourself increasingly confused by options as we see a hockey stick ramp-up in test automation and RPA tools that each cover only a subset of the field. 

Growth in test automation and RPA tools

In test automation, the need to test across an array of technologies, platforms, systems and programming languages is increasing as systems become more complex and users’ expectations of technology are growing. Many new test automation solutions, however, will only allow you to test one or two at a time. 

What does this mean for you? 

Although it may seem positive that more options are becoming available to businesses wanting to automate, it also makes it extremely difficult to navigate in the pool of options.

You will probably have to spend significantly more time researching the tools available to find the ones that meet your needs. Even when you find a list of tools that, combined, meet the criteria you’re searching for, you might find yourself hitting a brick wall when you try to make these solutions work together. 

The problem is that while the number of solutions is steadily increasing, most of these solutions address only a subset of problems. Some only support one or two programming languages, some only support desktop web automation and not mobile web automation, and some just don’t let you work with multiple technologies at once. 

Even if you manage to overcome this hurdle, you might then find yourself hitting another brick wall once you realize the amount of work that goes into maintaining such a suite of tools and technologies that don’t ‘speak the same language’ or that require coding to function. 

A graphic with two brick walls illustrating the hurdles faced when adopting test automation

If you have found yourself facing these problems, you’re not alone. In Capgemini’s most recent report on quality, where 1700 people in IT management were interviewed, 68% of said they had difficulties automating their QA and testing processes. As a result, only 14-18% used automation actively, despite the technology and tools being available for more than 15 years now. When asked what specific difficulties they faced, 52% said they didn’t have enough time, and 43% said they didn’t have the right tools. 

So how do you overcome these hurdles? How do you navigate between these options and how can you ensure that the tools you select will work seamlessly with your existing systems? And most importantly, how do you avoid maintenance monsters? 

It all comes down to making the right initial decision when selecting your automation tool.  

To help you out through this process, we’ve put together a guide to help you navigate in the pool of options. 

Read the automation tool checklist here or download the checklist as a whitepaper, and use it as you do your automation tool research. 

Download the guide