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What Businesses Forget When Testing Enterprise Applications

Anna Thorsen

Anna Thorsen

Today's enterprises are dependent on a complex web of software to run important business processes. To be able to maintain and grow their market presence, they are building and implementing software faster, and more often.

To be able to maintain the speed and frequency of software releases, testing has to keep pace. This goal is hard to conquer when considering that 85%~ testing is still carried out manually

And we’re now in a position where manual testing, and some forms of test automation, are creating major bottlenecks that stop businesses from making progress.

In this article, we’re going to cover the reasons behind these blockers, the consequences, and the solutions that will help enterprises overcome them, so software can be released at speed, more often, and with low risk.

Related reading: What is Enterprise Application Testing?

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What businesses forget when testing enterprise applications

1. Heavy maintenance burden

2. Bad tech-stack fit

3. Long onboarding times

4. The test automation skills gap


What businesses forget when testing enterprise applications

If testing can’t keep pace with software releases, your competition will grab more of the market. But with 85%~ carrying out this process manually, problems arise.

Much like the issue of maintenance heavy test automation, manual testing slows down software deliveries. It's expensive, time intensive, and prone to human error.

This forces businesses to employ a risk-based testing approach, which focuses on only testing the areas perceived as the highest risk. It creates glaring holes in test coverage. More bugs slip through the cracks. And your business is left very exposed to system downtime.

manual testing creates more bugs

By manually testing, BNP Paribas Cardif couldn’t keep up with the mounting backlog of tests. They couldn’t guarantee that they were using their system to the best of their ability, and could only release once a quarter.

Learn about how BNP Paribas Cardif overcame their testing challenges, and tripled their release frequency

To mitigate these issues, businesses adopt test automation solutions, a shift that has brought its own set of obstacles.

We have unpacked some of those obstacles (and what you can do to solve them):

1. Heavy maintenance burden

No matter what test automation solution you choose, there will be maintenance. Code-based solutions - like Selenium requires - are a prime example of a high-maintenance tool.

Selenium, for example, makes you very reliant on a few technical test engineers to build, fix and update tests. The time spent maintaining (and building) automation is time taken away from creating value elsewhere.

Keeping up with software deliveries - and testing them - while managing the heavy maintenance of tests is an insurmountable task. If the resource that takes on this burden leaves, you’re left with lines of code that no one knows how to maintain. This forces testers to start from scratch, and leads to delays at a time when businesses need to deliver at speed and transform rapidly.

The solution?

A test automation platform that truly scales. Test automation shouldn’t require a user to dig through lines of code to find errors, or constantly update tests with every change made to the software under test.

If you can use a visual approach for the creation, maintenance, reusability and troubleshooting of tests, you can identify issues quickly before they become a problem.

Want to see how the most common test automation solutions stack up against one another. Check out this test automation comparison chart on the usability and adoption of tools, the integrations available, along with the applications they support.

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2. Bad tech-stack fit

From enterprise resource planning software to human resource management, enterprises use a complex web of systems for their day-to-day operations.

Many of these applications integrate and have processes that run across a combination of desktop, web, and legacy systems like mainframe.

If you’ve done some digging yourself, you will have found that most test automation tools don’t work across technologies or application types. Selenium, for example, was built for web automation, and immediately struggles when applied to other use-cases.

What’s more, it’s difficult to maintain and build end-to-end tests across application types. This leads to a siloed approach to testing that’s unscalable. The result? Even slower QA and product verification.

The solution?

Take a unified approach to testing applications and systems. What this means is your test automation solution should work across your enterprise landscape. This makes for faster quality control and defect management.

Learn how Investec, a leading wealth management fund, automated 95% of their regression tests

3. Long onboarding times

Long onboarding times can make or break an automation project. The longer it takes to learn and adopt a tool, the longer it takes to see a return on investment of your test automation efforts.

With highly technical tools like Selenium, it can take months to onboard. And the time investment (and money, if you’re using a commercial vendor) doesn’t always pay off. Adoption rates don’t increase. And you can’t keep up with growing testing needs organization wide.


These traditional tools are highly reliant on tribal knowledge, meaning that if your automation engineer leaves, you have to rehire and retrain that resource. And, they have to understand the coded tests written by someone else.

Naturally, this adds another barrier to becoming agile. It extends the testing stage of the development pipeline. As a result, the value of the test automation tool is not immediately obvious, and there is less time for innovation and value creating projects like exploratory testing.

The solution?

The tool should be easy for business users and QA personnel to learn, build, maintain and scale. The easier the tool is to use, the better the adoption rate and the shorter the onboarding. Hint: visual test automation can help.

As a result, the quicker test automation onboarding times will make for a more productive workforce, and the value of your test automation efforts will be realized sooner. This creates room for innovation and accurate QA that protects business from critical errors.

Tip: Dig into the details of vendor offerings. If they say their solution is easy-to-use, how long does it actually take to onboard? What type of profile is best suited to use the tool? Is that a resource you have in abundance? A customer success department can help develop these timelines with checkpoints and training sessions along the way.

“It took me five minutes to build my very first automated test case using Leapwork, and that’s a case I’m still using to this day.” - Voogd & Voogd

4. The test automation skills gap

Who carries out system and user acceptance testing in your business? Do they have coding skills? And lastly, do they have the time to code and maintain tests?

The common answer is no.

If the people who carry out testing can also use test automation, you create a more efficient team, get to market faster, and improve quality. By relying on developers for test automation, you hinder progress.

The solution? Test automation shouldn’t have to be a skill problem. It’s a tooling problem. By introducing Leapwork’s automation builder into their technology stack, Ascensus, the largest record keeping enterprise for savings plans, built tests in days, instead of months.

With a visual test automation approach, they’ve been able to roll out automation across roles too. The result? They’ve multiplied their headcount efficiency by 10, and now experience 90% less bugs.


Manual testing and test automation have their shortcomings. When operating in an enterprise, these challenges are only amplified.

But using them in the right way can yield results. And here’s what to remember if and when you start your search for more efficient, low-risk enterprise application testing:

  • Low maintenance. Visual automation builders, with the ability to create reusable components, keeps maintenance low
  • Integrate automated testing into your CI/CD pipeline
  • Fast onboarding. Dig into the vendor capabilities to get to the bottom of the time required to learn the tool
  • Easy to use with no coding required so the people testing your system (QA engineers and business people) can use it too
  • Cross-technology so you can create end-to-end tests smoothly, without requiring a mesh of different automation tools

Want to learn more about test automation for enterprises, and how different vendors stack up against these requirements? Download our Test Automation Comparison Chart.

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