Article written by Keith Klain, Director, Quality Engineering, KPMG UK
Examining various research that has been undertaken that analyses the efficacy of digital transformation projects, the broad consensus is that approximately two-thirds of these plans are doomed to fail. Often considered as an insurance policy, software testing can be used to support business and digital transformation – so, could this be the panacea for improving the success rate of transformation initiatives?
Testing sits at the heart of the processes required to enable and fast-track business change, so the information it generates can be used to shift how an organisation operates, help redefine its value proposition, or change how it competes in the market. Testing specifically, is closely aligned to business strategy and supports more than just technology delivery. The management information (MI) produced by testing can also be leveraged to drive innovation and identify opportunities for both risk reduction and investment.
This is particularly important where external disruption is driving changes in testing. Let’s take digital payment technology as an example. We are extremely likely to see more bundling of the capabilities that are necessary to deliver a seamless experience for digital transactions at the point of sale – both online and through mobile platforms. In fact, the mobile experience has pulled ahead of branch location as the determining factor for bank selection, and in the UK, almost 50 percent of all bank accounts are digital-only in London (roughly double since 2010)! Combined with the complexity and interconnectedness of technology, the right testing strategy and approach are increasingly becoming a competitive advantage.
So how should disruption affect our test approach? Here are some key questions your test approach should be able to answer:
- How aligned is our test approach to our business strategy? Misalignment in test and business strategy can miss key threats and introduce unnecessary risk into the organisation. Identifying risks and opportunities through gaps in coverage can be useful information for your business to take advantage of to respond to changes in the market.
- Does our test approach look at risk from a system perspective? Transformation requires a holistic approach to testing and utilises system thinking to look at risks and opportunities through analysis of the business flows, customer insights, and areas of complexity.
- What level of operational insight does our test approach provide? Ensuring we optimise the test process to get information on risk, quality, and delivery capability to the right stakeholders at the right time is essential to delivering any transformation program.
Ensuring testing supports your digital transformation program is essential because it is a fast and comparatively easy way to accelerate benefit realisation, and also to increase the value of your current investment in testing. A successful digital transformation needs the operational intelligence testing provided so your business has insight into not only a systemic, end-to-end view of their products but also the processes that build them.