This GigaOm Research Reprint Expires Mar 1, 2025

CxO Decision Brief: Mastering Continuous Testing with Automation

The Value of Automation in Improving Efficiency and Quality in Continuous Testing

Solution Value Icon

Solution Overview

Automated testing platforms speed up software delivery by empowering DevOps teams to conduct extensive performance tests on mobile apps, websites, or APIs at a massive scale. Platforms like Perforce’s BlazeMeter enable organizations to improve software quality and flexibility.

Benefit Icon

Benefit

  • Fosters agile testing strategies with customizable tools.
  • Tailors plugins for precise needs, ensuring higher standards.
  • Open-source tools offer significant financial savings.
  • Provides diverse training for continuous skill development.
  • Consolidating tools simplifies collaboration, accelerates value, reduces training costs, and alleviates procurement challenges.
Urgency Icon

Urgency

Defects lead to abandonment, harm to brand reputation, reduction in revenue, and loss of customer confidence. Timely and effective testing is essential for quality software delivery. Postponing the use of tools like BlazeMeter risks inefficiencies and subpar performance, impacting overall product quality. The shift-left value of testing is the best way to protect your data, customers, and company.

Impact Icon

Impact

Adopting new testing processes involves investment in upskilling for automated testing, embracing Agile processes, fostering a quality and efficiency culture, using BlazeMeter’s continuous testing platform, and democratizing testing responsibilities for improved collaboration. There is a significant impact on people and organization.

Risk Icon

Risk

BlazeMeter, and all continuous testing platforms, require significant changes to software delivery workflows. The time needed to align processes and train people should not be overlooked. While these are expensive, they pay dividends in gaining the maximum value from the platform.

1. Solution Value

Ideal application development should be a frictionless process designed to deliver products as quickly as possible. Of course, reality is far different, and testing is a discipline that can impose high costs on the development process. The average window for proper application testing is three to six weeks per release. For a twelve-week sprint, that is a 25% to 50% load on the application workflow, which slows the release process. Cutting back on testing invites significant risk, yet companies struggle with this decision every day. So, how much time do we allow for testing, and what is the tradeoff?

Recent changes in the capabilities of automated testing platforms help to ease this burden. A quality automated testing platform, like Perforce’s BlazeMeter, speeds up software delivery by empowering DevOps teams to conduct extensive performance tests on mobile apps, websites, or APIs at a massive scale, leveraging powerful tools for flexibility and efficiency. BlazeMeter stands out with its blend of open-source agility and robust, scalable testing capabilities, catering to a broad spectrum of developers, including top global brands​​.

Effective automated testing tools will support a broad range of environments (web, desktop, mobile), multiple region support, and accessibility testing. They will also support an extensive catalog of test data (including platforms that offer AI-driven test data) that can closely approximate your app requirements and use cases. In addition these tools should offer services to complement your needs for testing, as they vary from application to application and company to company. A one-size-fits-all approach is not a good idea.

2. Urgency and Risk

In the fast-paced DevOps environment, it’s critical to integrate testing into the development chain to achieve timely delivery of quality software. A delay in adopting testing solutions like BlazeMeter can lead to inefficiencies and subpar performance, impacting product quality.

The goal is to focus on improving quality while maintaining the pace of innovation, so you can deliver factors that serve to retain customers and build brand reliability. This is why Perforce has made quality assurance a key focus of BlazeMeter’s capabilities.

Risk

Organizations may encounter challenges adapting to BlazeMeter’s capabilities, especially in aligning existing workflows with the tool’s continuous testing and DevOps integration. However, the risk is mitigated by BlazeMeter’s open-source flexibility and comprehensive training resources.

Customer retention is a top focus of high-performing organizations, and industry surveys show that poor website performance is the number one reason for visitors to abandon a site after their first visit. Testing must focus on areas that cost your organization retention and brand reputation. In this regard, proper implementation of an automated testing tool is crucial, as it can automate the hard work and employ a methodology that allows for comprehensive testing. Perforce has invested in this space longer than most and has incorporated the data and lessons learned from that experience into BlazeMeter so you can benefit from it without having to experience the same challenges.

3. Benefit

    • Enhanced agility: BlazeMeter’s open-source foundation offers a high level of flexibility, which is crucial for agile testing strategies. It enables teams to customize tools according to their unique needs​​​​.
    • Quality control: Teams can directly influence the quality of their web and mobile applications, tailoring them to fit precise requirements, thus ensuring higher standards​​.
    • Cost efficiency: Open-source tools tend to be more cost-effective, offering significant savings in financial resources​​. Commercial tools are often preferred due to the value of having enterprise support and a single, focused organization driving platform evolution.
    • Comprehensive learning: BlazeMeter University offers extensive courses, fostering a culture of continuous learning and skills development​​​​. The courses address a range of topics, from open-source tools to complete commercial BlazeMeter functionalities. BlazeMeter University emphasizes the open-source philosophy of empowering teams of all sizes with easy-to-use solutions. This approach, extending beyond the platform into training and education, aligns with Perforce’s core values.
    • Platform benefit: Consolidating tools into a single platform can ease the challenges of cross-tool collaboration, accelerate time to value, lower the cost of training, and reduce the burden on the procurement and contract teams (a leading cause of tech adoption fatigue). Among the advantages BlazeMeter confers, the solution can:
      • Reduce your portfolio’s vendor count to save both money and time. Some customers have seen a 65% reduction in the vendor space where BlazeMeter’s platform solves the same challenges.
      • Reduce the number of external integrations required, simplifying the maintenance and improving the reliability of the testing process.

4. Best Practices

  • Integrate automated testing throughout SDLC: Utilize BlazeMeter to embed automated testing at every stage of development for immediate feedback and early defect detection. Leverage the integrated plugins, API, and command line interface to integrate with your organization’s custom CI/CD solution.
  • Leverage advanced automation features: BlazeMeter’s capabilities, like AI-driven test data generation and scriptless test creation, can simplify and enhance the testing process.
  • Focus on test data management: Use test data management tools to ensure tests are comprehensive and reflect real-world scenarios. You can leverage BlazeMeter’s AI-driven test data with your custom data sources to personalize your data at the scale and scope of AI-driven test datasets.
  • Emphasize collaboration and integration: Enhance team collaboration using BlazeMeter’s shared tests and reports, and integrate testing with the development workflow.
  • Develop a security-first mindset: Make sure your tools and platforms integrate with and support a focus on continually improving security and security posture management. Security is the responsibility of everyone and that includes your tools. It is paramount in application testing. We recommend focusing on vendors that align with your governance and compliance requirements, like SOC II and testing behind a firewall.
  • Continuous Learning: Utilize BlazeMeter University and resources like blogs, webinars, and tailored training to stay abreast of best practices and new functionalities.

Leverage Virtual Services
Finally, organizations should take advantage of virtual services, which the Perforce platform integrates into performance, API, web, and mobile testing, automating test data synchronization and advancing testing efforts. It’s particularly useful for applications developed in stages, eliminating traditional testing dependencies and accelerating the development process.

Virtual services enable isolated component testing at any development stage, directly identifying issues. They also support chaos testing by simulating various scenarios, assessing system resilience. This aligns with the shift-left approach, encouraging early and frequent testing to speed up development and increase agility.

By eliminating reliance on third-party services for testing, the BlazeMeter platform demonstrates its strategic importance in speeding up development and enhancing efficiency, quality, and resilience. The Perforce solution resolves testing complexities to ensure smooth development from start to finish.

5. Organizational Impact

Adopting BlazeMeter can significantly impact the organization by streamlining the testing process and integrating it seamlessly into the DevOps workflow. This change enhances the efficiency of software development and can foster a culture of quality and continuous improvement across the development team.

Incorporating BlazeMeter’s automated testing tools necessitates a cultural and process shift toward continuous quality. This involves adjusting team dynamics and workflows and embracing a mindset that values quality and efficiency equally.

People Impact

  • Upskilling in automated testing: Enhance team skills to adopt sophisticated automated testing tools and methodologies.
  • Adopting Agile testing processes: Shift towards processes that integrate automated testing into the fabric of software development.
  • Cultural shift toward quality and efficiency: Cultivate a culture that views automated testing as integral to achieving software excellence.
  • Skills development: Engagement with BlazeMeter and its university resources enhances team skills in modern testing practices.
  • Team structure: Testing responsibilities become more democratized, promoting a culture where testing is everyone’s responsibility, thereby improving collaboration and efficiency​​.

Investment Outlook

Investing in automated testing platforms like Perforce’s BlazeMeter is crucial for organizations looking to enhance efficiency and maintain high-quality standards in software development. The ROI comes from faster development cycles, improved software quality, and greater alignment with modern software development practices.

Adopting BlazeMeter requires a strategic investment in training and integration with existing systems. The platform’s open-source nature can lower initial costs, but dollar and time investments in training and process reconfiguration must be considered. Details on licensing and pricing structures would offer a clearer picture of the financial implications.

6. Solution Timeline

Implementation timelines will vary based on the organization’s existing infrastructure and readiness to adopt BlazeMeter’s tools and methodologies. However, BlazeMeter offers access to BlazeMeter University, so your team can get up to speed before the POC environment is fully operational. Automation and integrations are embedded into the platform to speed time to value and eliminate the need to master the toolset. The payoff: your team can get results faster.

Plan, Test, Deploy

Plan: Identify key areas where automated testing can be integrated into your existing processes. With BlazeMeter, plan for a testing strategy that covers various aspects of your software, from API to UI testing.

Test: Implement BlazeMeter’s automated testing tools for efficient and comprehensive testing. Leverage its AI-driven data generation and scriptless testing for a streamlined testing process. BlazeMeter excels at testing at large scale and large tests; its focus on ease of use makes it easy to design and execute these tests, regardless of whether you want to write and deploy custom-coded tests or execute tests that require no advanced coding for faster testing.

Deploy: Integrate BlazeMeter within your CI/CD pipelines for continuous testing and monitoring. This ensures that every software release is tested thoroughly and is of the highest quality.

Future Considerations

As your organization matures its automated testing capabilities, you will see an increase in the variety of tests you want to perform. These can be complex, with the wrong platform placing the onus on your team to develop the environment conditions, data sets, and exhaustive test scenarios from scratch. We also expect to see continued investment in AI and for AI to become more useful as Perforce integrates more AI capabilities into the platform.

BlazeMeter is already there with built-in and growing test data and environment management. The partner integrations will also increase over time to provide more speed to value and ensure the platform continues to meet your needs as they evolve. We expect this to continue at a pace that exceeds market expectations for the foreseeable future.

7. Analyst’s Take

BlazeMeter represents a robust solution in the Q&A test automation landscape, offering a unique blend of open-source flexibility and comprehensive testing capabilities. Its commitment to continuous testing and integration into DevOps aligns with current industry best practices, positioning it as a valuable tool for organizations seeking to enhance their software delivery process.

8. About GigaOm

GigaOm provides technical, operational, and business advice for IT’s strategic digital enterprise and business initiatives. Enterprise business leaders, CIOs, and technology organizations partner with GigaOm for practical, actionable, strategic, and visionary advice for modernizing and transforming their business. GigaOm’s advice empowers enterprises to successfully compete in an increasingly complicated business atmosphere that requires a solid understanding of constantly changing customer demands.

GigaOm works directly with enterprises both inside and outside of the IT organization to apply proven research and methodologies designed to avoid pitfalls and roadblocks while balancing risk and innovation. Research methodologies include but are not limited to adoption and benchmarking surveys, use cases, interviews, ROI/TCO, market landscapes, strategic trends, and technical benchmarks. Our analysts possess 20+ years of experience advising a spectrum of clients from early adopters to mainstream enterprises.

GigaOm’s perspective is that of the unbiased enterprise practitioner. Through this perspective, GigaOm connects with engaged and loyal subscribers on a deep and meaningful level.

9. Copyright

© Knowingly, Inc. 2024 "CxO Decision Brief: Mastering Continuous Testing with Automation" is a trademark of Knowingly, Inc. For permission to reproduce this report, please contact sales@gigaom.com.