As development moves ever faster, continuous testing can help further reduce the risk of introducing errors
In IT circles, “risk management” implies information security. But in the business as a whole, risk management is a function that spans the organization. The risk that an application will negatively impact corporate image, sales or employee morale is very real in the age of automating everything.
Once properly identified, these types of risks can be mitigated with continuous testing processes. The ability to set up a test to prove the login system works as expected keeps users able to get to the application.
Increasing use of agile and DevOps offers the opportunity to receive rapid feedback. Among other things, that includes business (as opposed to InfoSec) risk management. Requirements from the business side can clearly delineate items that create risk for the business unit and the requirements to reach desired outcomes. Continuous testing can turn those requirements into tests that validate the application is not contributing to business risks.
After all, there are enough risks in the business environment: competition, suppliers, coordination of marketing, legal, etc. Making application development less of an issue is good news for business owners and IT alike.
By translating business risk management requirements into automated tests early in the development process, stability and risk aversion are built into the application from (or nearly from) inception. This offers stability and provable correctness in the application development cycle.
As the pace of development continues to accelerate, there is a risk of negatively impacting the user experience. Whether that negative impact be through failures of critical parts of the system or degradation of performance, it harms the application and the business it supports. Continuous testing can help alleviate fears by testing for these scenarios and pointing developers at fixing them early.
Test automation tools are becoming more prevalent, and the next step is to include business requirements designed to mitigate business risks at every step in the process. It is simple to say and test “valid users must be able to log in,” but as development progresses, if the login prompt takes more than 10 seconds to return, that adds the “in a timely manner” business requirement that is then refined by IT to a number, and a new test is run. Only by having the inputs from the business at each stage can such refinements be identified and implemented.
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And consider it. The purpose of any given piece of software is to serve the business. Speed that introduces unwarranted risk to the business cycle is not the best answer. Continuous testing, and attendant business owner involvement, can mitigate those risks.