We understand. Yes, we understand that small banks and medium banks have limited IT budgets. And whatever little budget is available is spent on upgrading the core banking solutions with the regulatory requirements, new feature releases, and just about anything to stay afloat and compete.

Be it your own IT team that pushes new code, or you rely on your vendor to do feature releases and defect fixes, if there is one thing that you cannot compromise, is that none of the existing stable features that are critical to the business breaks due to the new code being introduced.

But is it possible to verify all the stable workflows for every release, manually, within the short time window that the testing needs to be completed? Will that be a productive utilization of the testers or business users’ time to perform repetitive testing such as these?

There it is. I can hear someone quip “But we only have a limited budget and we cannot afford to invest in test automation”. Absolutely! This is indeed a very valid concern. However, this is because while we can easily see the cost of test automation to be a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars depending on the magnitude of the software, we usually do not have clear visibility on the cost of not investing in test automation. Let us help you to get a perspective on the cost of not using test automation. Here are five reasons why you would need ‘test automation’ no matter how small the organization is.

    1. Compromise on test coverage since you would not be able to test all stable features within limited time and resources
    2. Instead of thoroughly testing the new features or new code, your testers will end up partially covering the new features and old ones
    3. Testers and business users spend time unproductively to repetitively test stable features
    4. Without test automation, you would not get feedback on product quality in the nick of time, thereby delaying the defect fixing time and the whole release schedule
    5. Due to all the inadequate coverage, you may leak a defect into production on a stable feature that may potentially cause losses to the business. (How much you ask? Well it really depends on your luck!)

Now that we understand the importance of using test automation to supplement manual testing, here are a few tips for the budget-constrained organizations or small banks to get started and effectively use test automation.

  1. Start small: Identify the most critical workflows numbering not more than 50 for test automation
  2. Rely on open source tools
  3. Get help from a trusted IT partner to tap their tried and tested test automation framework that comes with a high degree of scalability, reusability, and ease of use
  4. Use this test automation pack to run build validation tests across all environments as a quality gate before venturing into new feature testing for faster feedback so you can reject the build if it is not stable, without wasting the time of your testing team.

This set-up can be implemented in about 2 months with a hole that could be less than $30,000 in the wallet. While this set-up is not foolproof, it does help bring in much-needed confidence on the critical workflows of the application so the business, as usual, is not affected.

Well if you cannot find $30000 in your budget to help improve your product quality (that is bread and butter for your organization), I would say Good luck, because you are going to need a lot of it.

Explore our test automation strategy that leverages advanced and best of breed tools while optimizing cost and effort for small banks and medium banks here.

Srinivasan Sankar

Project Manager at Aspire Systems
Srinivasan is a seasoned testing professional and test consultant with experience spanning on various facets of testing that includes Functional, Automation & NFT. Srinivasan's expertise includes Project Management, Business Development, Strategic Transformation, Test Management, Test Automation, Business Analysis, and Consulting, for a variety of projects for various clients belonging to the financial sector, predominantly Banking & Insurance. He has successfully handled and executed testing for several digital transformation products.