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Capgemini: Firms Turn to AI for Test Automation

09-07-2019-capgemini-logo-1569404097

Automating just performance and regression testing is no longer enough. The giant Capgemini World Quality Report – now in its tenth year and released today – reveals increasing investment by banks and other financial firms in automating the entire testing lifecycle. And firms are also seeing overwhelmingly positive results from automation, with 71% of respondents saying that automating beyond performance and regression testing has led to better test coverage with the same percentage reporting shorter testing lifecycles. However, the drive to automate comes with a unique set of challenges, which Capgemini says can only be addressed with artificial intelligence. Shorter cycle times and larger amounts of data mean that the potential for error also increases and more sophisticated algorithms are needed. “Quality is increasing, but issues are also increasing,” said one of report’s co-authors Ajay Walgude, VP of Financial Services at Capgemini. “The only way out is the adoption of AI. We really predict that this is going to pick-up over the next two years. We’re definitely seeing higher adoption in the financial sector,” Growing adoption of automation across the SDLC is reflected in a lower slice of testing budgets being dedicated to human testing resources (26% today compared to 33% in 2015). “We’re seeing a change in the skills being sought. A couple years ago the most sought after skill profiles shifted from pure testers to test development engineers. Now, businesses are increasingly looking for AI test engineers and people with similar skillsets,” said Walgude. AI dashboards which provide project visibility to all stakeholders are increasingly popular. And 24% of survey respondents working in financial services said that cognitive tools are an important part of AI research for their businesses, thanks to their potential to reduce the chance of human error and improve control over important parameters like test environment and test data management. “We’re definitely seeing faster adoption of AI in the financial sector. Historically, the sector has the largest amount of data, so it makes sense that these are the businesses that have embraced AI,” added report co-author Mark Buenen, Sogeti’s Global Head of Digital Assurance and Testing. More and more organisations are allocating significant budgets to the development of cognitive testing tools and this is going to drive a major shift in QA over the next two years, Buenen added. Robotic process automation, in particular, has picked up traction over the last year, with teams looking to reduce time spent on repetitive tasks. 34% of respondents said they are looking into some form of RPA. “We’re seeing self-learning, self-running systems. This part of cognitive RPA is really emerging. People are really willing to invest and allocate within this space, because it is seen as the best way to automate testing, ” said Capgemini’s Walgude. The automation trend is driven in part by the widespread adoption of Agile and DevOps. These models, already widely used among fintechs and large financial institutions, are becoming increasingly popular among small and mid-tier businesses. The adoption of Agile is illustrated by the declining number of respondents within the financial sector who said that testing was performed by a dedicated testing professional (20% compared to a 33% average across industries) rather than testing being distributed across the organisation with some support from a testing professional. To read the full survey, click here.