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My Thoughts on the State of ERP Testing

October 10, 2022
   /   
by 
Pankaj Goel

My amazing research and product teams just published our inaugural State of ERP Testing 2022 report, so I wanted to look at a couple of key findings, and explain what I think they mean for intelligent ERP test automation platforms like Opkey.

But first a quick plug: you can download the report here. We surveyed more than 300 IT and business leaders about their ERP systems and testing practices, and to the best of our knowledge, there’s no other report like this. It’s awesome.

Now let’s jump in:

Finding 1: Only 7% of respondents are “extremely satisfied” with their currently level of test coverage, and 18% of respondents are “not sure” about their level of test coverage

With the rise of outsourced testing services–more than half of organizations use an outsourced partner for ERP change management and more than 90% of organizations utilize an outsourced partner for ERP implementations–most would think that enterprises would be more satisfied with their current test coverage. After all, these outsourced partners are theoretically experts in ERP testing. 

After speaking to my network, it’s become clear to me that the reason for this disconnect is because enterprises are being left in the dark when it comes to knowing what their outsourced partners are actually testing. If a system update occurs without major issue, great. No reason to wonder what the outsourced partner is testing.

But if a bug leaks to production, or if there’s unexpected application downtime, then the question of “what the hell is my outsourced testing partner doing?” quickly arises. And the harsh reality is that these testing partners often don’t know what to test. 

At the beginning of most of these relationships, the outsourced testing firm spends weeks with front-line employees of their client company, mapping out processes and workflows. Typically, this work is done in Excel spreadsheets, and is based on the whims and best guesses of the clients’ employees. There’s no real science to it.

But after some time, perhaps a couple of update cycles, critical workflows change–sometimes drastically. And 3rd party testing services have a tough time keeping up with the business changes of their clients. Especially today, when cloud-based applications and workflows are easily modified by the users who interact with them most, it’s unrealistic to expect these outsourced testing teams to keep up. 

So when a critical issue arises due to a critical process not being thoroughly tested, it’s often the case that these outsourced firms didn’t provide the test coverage their client needed because they’re not tuned into their day-to-day operations. It’s too resource intensive and requires too much back-and-forth to have these outsourced partners constantly in the loop. 

This is why Opkey’s launched our Test Discovery platform. We plug into our clients’ environment to mine the tests they’ve historically run, and in parallel, look at their transaction logs to discover the business processes their employees are actually utilizing. Taken together, we help bridge the gap between what actions are being performed, and what processes are being tested, to help ensure our clients have absolute visibility into their test coverage.  

Finding 2: Only 15% of respondents have more than 75% of their testing work automated, and more than a quarter of respondents have less than 25% of their testing work automated

These survey results are what gets me so excited to wake up and work every day. 

I founded Opkey because I knew how tedious, boring, and difficult it is to test ERPs manually. And while the test automation industry is growing rapidly–16% year over year–these findings show how much more room for explosive growth there is.

A wise friend of mine once told me that every line of code, at one point or another, must get QA’d. Today, as more and more business processes move to the cloud, and more code is written and utilized, the need for efficient QA testing has never been greater.

While automation has taken over industries from manufacturing and food service to healthcare, it’s clear to me that ERP testing is the next frontier. 

And Opkey will be at the forefront of it.

Download the report here.
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