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Testing plays a key role in Aegon asset management’s Digital Transformation

Change or die. 

This was the mantra that inspired the testing transformation at Aegon Asset Management, a global, active investment management company trusted by its customers to manage more than $300 billion in assets.

“I wish I would have known how difficult change was before I began this journey,” said Ryan Burlage, Global QA Manager of Aegon Asset Management, in a recent Tricentis webinar. Burlage says the message in the book “Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life” by Alan Deutschman would have provided him a useful framework for convincing key higher-ups at Aegon that testing needed to evolve.

“It’s a very good read, and it really puts perspective on how to get people to change their mindset,” Burlage says.

When he was brought on four years ago, the majority of Aegon’s software was developed using a waterfall method and was being tested manually. As the development team transitioned to scaled agile framework (SAFe) in an effort to accelerate software delivery, it became clear that manual testing would become a roadblock. These conditions ignited the search for a tool that was more cost effective for Aegon and that was able to support the company’s transition to SAFe development. 

Burlage recognized that the significant time and resources spent on manual testing could be reallocated to give testers the opportunity to become catalysts for transformation, rather than inhibitors. But first, he needed to secure executive sponsorship and convey testing’s potential to accelerate Aegon’s digital transformation. He identified forward-thinking members of his management team and made the case for an investment in test automation, which eventually resulted in key leaders identifying modernizing testing as an organization-wide goal.

In the video below, Burlage explains how his team transitioned away from what he calls “stare-and-compare” testing processes as the organization rolled out a comprehensive test automation strategy. 

As for what tool could meet Aegon’s demanding criteria, Tricentis Tosca fit the bill. Burlage says that with Tosca’s model-based approach to test automation, the company was able to quickly scale test automation and reduce time to market across multiple delivery teams. Today, 50 percent of teams have adopted test automation, a significant increase over the 4 percent that were practicing test automation with a script-based approach.

The journey to Data Integrity

In the financial industry, having your interfaces operating flawlessly is just the start. If the underlying data is even slightly off, this could quickly compromise investment and management decisions. To ensure data integrity, Aegon has also implemented Tosca for BI and data warehouse testing, which will ultimately enable Burlage’s team to completely automate testing across their end-to-end business flow. 

The team has already identified and eliminated data integrity issues with two core systems: the investment accounting platform PAM for Investments and the market analysis platform IHS Markit. They have also developed 404 automated test cases that verify 101 tables and tens of millions of records. It takes Tosca approximately 11 hours to execute these test cases – something that would take approximately 84.5 hours manually, according to Burlage.

Watch the on-demand webinar to learn more about how testing played a leading role in Aegon’s digital transformation.