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Agile Test Automation in Financial Services | Speed Up Software Delivery
The financial services industry is no stranger to rapid change. In a world where digital innovation and customer demands evolve at a breakneck pace, the ability to deliver software solutions quickly and efficiently has become paramount.
In response to these demands, Agile test automation has emerged as a practical approach. By combining the principles of agile development with the power of automation, financial institutions can streamline their software development lifecycle, reduce time-to-market, and ensure the delivery of high-quality applications.
This article delves into the realm of Agile test automation in the financial services sector, exploring how it benefits corporations and the best practices to implement this strategy in financial services.
The financial services sector is characterized by having complex, integrated apps and legacy systems that manage vital business operations. Once bugs are released into these complicated systems, they can lead to substantial costs for the BFSI organizations. Hence, the key strategy to mitigate these deficits is to test and monitor the systems as frequently as possible.
Some teams adopting a Waterfall or other traditional testing approaches find that as the product scales, the amount of testing grows exponentially –and the Quality Assurance team invariably struggles to keep pace.
This is when Agile test automation comes into place and changes the game with its tons of benefits that can help the BFSi organizations to:
- Accelerate time-to-market: Some app updates only require a short period of time to finish. By automating the testing process, financial service providers can significantly reduce the time required for repetitive test cases, enabling them to release new software features and updates more quickly.
- Improve test coverage: Automation reduces the risk of human errors, conducting tests meticulously and consistently, thereby eliminating errors that could limit test coverage. Moreover, the team can cover all possible testing aspects of their project with the proper automation tool based on new changes.
- Increases team productivity and project visibility: With the deeper involvement of QA teams in all SDLC stages, developers and testers can better address the business/technical aspects of the requirements. Also, suitable automated testing tools give the team advanced reporting capabilities to track the project’s progress.
While agile test automation offers numerous benefits, implementing it in financial services is not without its hurdles. Here are some challenges that you should be aware of:
- The complex nature of financial software systems
A typical financial application often encompasses intricate architectures and multi-tier functionality designed to handle a high volume of users simultaneously and large-scale integration.
It becomes more difficult to automate the testing process in legacy systems since they may include outdated mainframes and custom-built software that are incompatible with modern automation tools. Additionally, regression testing in legacy environments is complex and time-consuming, given the interdependencies between components in the existing systems that have evolved over time.
- Shortage of testers with the requisite skills
The effective implementation of agile test automation relies on a proficient team of testers and developers well-versed in the creation, development, and continuous upkeep of automated test scripts. In the realm of financial services, this undertaking becomes even more critical, as the complexities of the sector necessitate a specialized domain knowledge and skill set.
Automated testing enables a QA team to be agile, and agility, on the other hand, may help businesses act promptly. Yet, adopting automated testing may lead to quick failure if not having the right strategy to implement.
Financial institutions can consider these best practices to leverage the power of agile test automation:
Agile is indicated to be a lean process that demands the team to complete all planned tasks within short sprints. Financial service providers should define their testing objectives, and automation testing frameworks, along with the required tools, must be determined to be built properly before starting the project.
Moreover, although the financial app requires a broad spectrum of functions that need to be tested thoroughly, only some particular test cases in Agile projects are feasible for automation. Regression testing, non-functional tests, API tests, and GUI tests are worth considering since they help speed up software delivery and are stable enough for the automation tool to execute well.
It’s essential to tailor your test strategy to accommodate legacy systems. Consider a mix of testing types, including API testing, database testing, and user interface testing. Prioritize testing critical business functions and workflows.
You may also want to explore: Banking Domain Application Testing: Checklist and Sample Test Cases.
Highly agile technology corporations such as Spotify, Google, Netflix, and many more have embraced CI/CD to swiftly meet changing requirements. Fundamentally, the CI/CD concept embodies the fusion of software development and operations, adhering to key Agile principles by employing test automation to swiftly identify and rectify issues in the production software release. The CI/CD and Agile can be closely linked to deliver iterative and data-driven decisions rather than relying on opinions.
CI/CD in agile automated testing helps facilitate the rapid delivery of software updates and new features. For instance, the BFSI companies can automatically check new builds, perform tests, and gather insights into the performance regression of apps.
Moreover, bugs and weaknesses are continuously identified and fixed at the earliest possible phases of development. It is essential for Fintech, as it is highly sensitive to potential failures, and any downtime can cost billions.
Generating and managing test data for automated tests can be complex in the BFSI industry, where data increases significantly and needs to mirror real-world scenarios accurately. Therefore, financial institutions should equip their framework with resources such as libraries or plugins that can help in locating and managing relevant test data for positive testing.
It’s vital to create reusable test components and implement version control mechanisms to ensure the scalability and maintainability of the framework.
However, developing a comprehensive automation testing framework can be a daunting task, necessitating the engagement of a proficient testing team. The testing experts at KMS Solutions are well-versed in industry best practices that can bring businesses an automation testing framework tailored to the unique demands of financial services software.
Here is the automation testing framework developed by the KMS team, which includes work management, CI/CD, target environments, and the KMS library.
As technology continues to advance, the future of agile test automation in financial services looks promising. To unlock the full potential of agile test automation, financial institutions can focus on building a clear testing strategy, embracing CI/CD, and designing robust and scalable test automation.
To unlock the full potential of agile test automation while reducing implementation challenges in financial services, organizations can consider engaging with a trusted IT service provider, who has experience in helping numerous BFSI companies build their own automation testing framework, building effective CI/CD process, and accelerating testing process.
Learn how we helped TPBank gain comprehensive automation scripts, ensure effective CI progress, and enhance testing team capabilities in only 2 months.