Why A Modernized IT Environment Still Needs Test Engineering

Anna Thorsen

Automation Expert

With a shift to cloud environments (no matter the cloud strategy) the roles of testing and development will change. The amount of testing required increases dramatically, and this inevitably puts critical business processes at risk.

However, there is a common misconception that you do not need to test your system after it has been migrated, or that testing will be a fraction of what it once was.

A cloud migration results in more testing. It requires a structured approach to test engineering that includes a change of culture and new processes and tools to enable a quality system.

While moving to the cloud may mean the total cost of running your software is lower (because you can make do with fewer developers), your Quality Assurance (QA) team will not be going anywhere.

Related reading: How to secure a safe cloud migration with test automation

In this post, you will learn why test engineering is just as important in a cloud environment with expert advice from Anand Chandra, Global Head of Pre-Sales, and a growth leader for Europe APAC at Accolite Digital.

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Traditional approaches to business continuity and disaster recovery planning are being challenged by the modernization of IT, specifically with the use of test engineering within operational resilience. This is especially true of those focused on critical applications and shared technology services.

These challenges come forward in many forms, but most notably there are fragmented opinions about the drivers for operational resilience. There are also tightly held beliefs about the risk scenarios post-modernization, the complexity of assessing operational resilience capabilities and executing remediations.

Risk scenarios vary based on whether they are a systems-led approach (availability) vs. a service-led approach (thresholds) to modernization.

When migrated, a data-heavy application will have an equal dependency between a system and service-led approach. A UI-led modernization is driven by a service-led approach. Containerization models within the cloud adoption journey further affect the operational resilience across ecosystems as cloud migrations vary a lot based on the regulatory landscape.

(In this context, modernization is associated with functional and logical design, traditional vs. cloud-native architecture, and embedded security guidelines.)

Why is test engineering still important in a cloud environment?

In the move towards a modernized technology solution, the business will have a hyperconnected ecosystem that needs more test engineering focus than before. However, without a clearly defined happy path for business use cases in a modernized ecosystem, there will be gaps in traceability/back testing, which affects the balance of operational resilience.

This is a point of concern for those migrating to cloud in a hybrid or multi-cloud approach. Back testing is not fully covered as it was in a legacy system where you had monolith entry and exit points. Hence in a legacy modernization program, teams have to build-in traceability with the help of external tools alongside re-platforming.

A test automation solution that does not require coding skills to operate makes it easier for those using your system - business users - to build functional automation. With tools like Leapwork, you can ensure back testing of data and heavy business-function applications like Salesforce and SAP.

Test engineering becomes particularly important in UI first modernization (e.g., decoupling of mainframes/green screen to an API-based ecosystem) where traceability and back testing dimensions are service-led. Any extension or scaling on the modernized IT becomes simpler and faster when good test engineering practices are in place as part of the development lifecycle.

Assessing the maturity of your test engineering – what to consider

The assessment of test engineering maturity as part of an ecosystem modernization is critical in terms of:

  • Team composition & skills. Does the tool you are using require upskilling? Do you have enough development resources available? Do you have business users and testers available to test your system to ensure high quality?
  • Test approach & process. Does your approach to test engineering in a modernized ecosystem require innovative approaches to testing and development? How will you ensure traceability in your modernized system?
  • Automation maturity. Are you spending too much time maintaining automation? Does your current automation approach rely too heavily on developers? Learn more about the maturity of your automation in our post on test automation for business enablement.
  • Tooling assessment – build vs buy. Do you have the resources available to build a test automation framework from scratch? Or do you need an efficient solution that can scale beyond siloed projects, and enable products to get to market faster? The less complicated the tool is to use, the more likely it will be adopted, and the quicker you will get up and running.

A modernized ecosystem also encompasses developers with the primary responsibility of wiring frameworks and tools to test applications, features, and functions in controlled test environments.

Feature/scrum teams (PODs) must understand software internals, debug code, automate repetitive tasks, and implement new tools and frameworks needed to streamline the quality process.

In summary, test engineering that uses a strong understanding of the functional and non-functional goals of the application or infrastructure service is an important aspect of modernization. It ensures all key outcomes are evidenced and defended by tests, and in turn, improves the quality of the modernized system post-migration.

You can read more about the best practices for setting up test automation as a business enabler in our article or watch our webinar on setting up test automation a business enabler with Accolite Digital.    

Setting up Test Automation as a Business Enabler With Accolite