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Digital Transformation

Why Are CIOs Talking About Software Testing and Automation?

Like the “Great Debate,” the “CIO Panel” is one of the most talked (and tweeted) about components of the Tricentis Accelerate agenda. It’s back by popular demand next week at Accelerate SF. The fourth incarnation of this panel focuses on “The Automation Imperative.” Leaders from BNP Paribas and T-Mobile will share their perspectives on why automation is key for innovating rapidly while continuously driving operational efficiencies — and you can join them in San Francisco or from your desk, via our livestream.

To give you taste of what’s in store, here’s a look at the CIO Panel from Accelerate SF 2018, which featured Andy Walter (Procter and Gamble) and Jennifer Sepull (Air New Zealand).

Here are a few highlights from the session…

DevOps enables innovation…but testing can hold it back

Jennifer Sepull (Air New Zealand)

“I think the beauty of creating a DevOps model is that you have a powerful team that is empowered to really connect with the consumer. When those teams come together in that powerful way, and they own the entire end-to-end process, there’s opportunities for innovation. Application development and testing are absolutely critical to making sure that those innovations, or that connection with the consumer, can happen.

However, you can’t continue testing manually, the way that it always had been done, when you have an enterprise that’s moving at the speed of light. As a CIO, you do not want to be the bottleneck that’s slowing everything down. This means that you have to address testing and ensure it advances your digital transformation initiatives rather than holds them back.” 

Testing directly impacts business agility

Andy Walter (Procter and Gamble)

“In 2013, I took over the project delivery for the company. Six months later, they told me that they’re going to sell 20 per cent of the company—about 100 brands, including two major transactions.

The first was selling Duracell to Berkshire Hathaway. We’ve done lots of acquisition divestitures, but this one was a bit unusual because Berkshire had no systems. We had to set up a $5B company from scratch. This was a cool project—we designed a really modern, cloud-based infrastructure for the business. But eventually the game plan led to us asking, “Well, how are we going test to make sure everything works?” The answer was to do it by manually running the 40,000 test cases accumulated for the Duracell business. And then, without a chance to even breathe, we learned that we were selling a big chunk of the beauty business to Cody. There were over 100,000 manual test cases associated with that transaction.

At that point, we realised that manual testing was no longer sustainable. We, as IT, became the bottleneck for the company. We had to tell the rest of the business, “We can’t make any changes for you over the next 18 months because we’ve got to focus on these transactions.”

I think Continuous Testing is going to be core to companies being able to dynamically evolve their structures, their M and A, joint ventures, all these types of areas. While we were doing the Cody divestiture, we started a covert project of “how are companies going to be structured in the future?” And there’s no way you can satisfy the demands of digital transformation without DevOps, Continuous Testing, and the speed and agility they enable.

The project leaders used to wear those 40,000 to 100,000 manual test cases as a badge of honour. But you need to change that culture because you need to remain agile.  There’s no company that’s too large to be disrupted. And both the pace and scale of disruption are increasing rapidly.”