The desktop testing solutions commonly found throughout the financial services industry were well suited for the payments environment in the 1980s. However, the payments plumbing of 2016 is far more intricate and demanding.
Today’s payments environment has more endpoints; an endless array of apps that continue to propagate; more frequent release cycles for an ever-increasing number of moving parts; and greater regulatory scrutiny. Layer on top of that the market’s expectation of 24/7/365 availability, and it becomes clear a new testing paradigm is long overdue.
Paragon’s recent white paper outlines the seven key capabilities that a next generation testing solution should provide for any payments organization. These capabilities not only free valuable IT and development resources to focus on higher value-added tasks, but they significantly improve product quality and by extension, customer satisfaction.
A mindset, not a plug-in
An important point to bear in mind, however, is that realizing these substantial benefits requires more than the simple installation of new software. The transition from testing tools to testing systems is an evolution requiring a change in mindset. For example, instead of using your testing resources for time-consuming, repetitive, manual tasks, automating testing allows those same testers to contribute in a more strategic way to the quality assurance effort.
In addition, the approach of testing a single, comprehensive software upgrade or release – which, in some cases, could require a system to be offline for hours – must be replaced with the concept and practice of continuous testing. This means the overall function of testing must be integrated in the development process to allow various system components to be tested on an ongoing basis. In fact, testing is never complete because the changes required to accommodate market change, transaction growth, corporate development and regulators never ends.
Little resistance to change, for a change
Organizational change can be difficult, particularly for longtime staffers. In our experience, a move to next generation test systems is typically embraced by the IT and development staff. After all, these are the same people being pressed repeatedly to work within tighter timeframes and test more moving parts while trying to increase code coverage. These professionals are aware that a new working model is long overdue. Moreover, when implemented properly, this new testing model can enhance their roles, relieving pressure points while automating mundane tasks and creating bandwidth for them to focus on other vital duties such as troubleshooting, creating test scenarios and creating new product enhancements.
With a nominal amount of training and clear communication across an organization, a true shift from desktop-bound testing tools to a holistic testing system, including a next generation testing solution like Web FASTest, can yield substantial benefits for payments organizations.
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