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Enterprise spanning Applications Need Right Testing Approach

  • 22/06/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR
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Over the last few years, business applications such as Enterprise ResourcePlanning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) have gained huge prominence and have become imperative for most enterprises. They currently stand among few of the top IT spending priorities in large enterprises. With the effects of recession slowly fading out, enterprises are now back to normal at their IT budgets and started investing in implementing and upgrading their business applications to keep abreast with the latest innovations and support their changing business critical processes.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is today implemented by most enterprises across a wide range of applications due to various benefits like reduced costs, flexibility, shorter implementation times, and pay-per-use model, amongst others. The ownership cost transparency related to the upgrades of SaaS and cloud based deployments is further driving the ERP market. Often, enterprises customize their ERP systems and integrate them with other third party legacy systems to maximize their benefits. Upgrades to ERP systems and other business applications is a must for enterprises to stay ahead of the competition and standardize their processes. For successful implementation or upgrade of business applications that have enterprise-wide reach, one of the main challenges organizations have to deal with is to minimize the negative impact of an upgrade on other applications and business processes.

There has been rising dissatisfaction among end users with their enterprise applications, as most organizations perceive that ready packages don’t require testing before implementation. Adding to this, enterprises do not appropriately plan for the maintenance and enhancements of the post-implementation phase. Establishing an effective testing approach that offers insights at every stage of project and identifies performance issues at various levels like application, database, and protocols is quite essential. As even minor changes can have a major impact on the business critical operations, system configuration and supporting infrastructures, thorough testing must be ensured in a controlled environment that replicates the production environment.

Though testing the features and functions impacted by the changes in the upgrade is necessary, non-functional aspects like performance, availability and recovery must also be tested. While several test offerings like Unit, Integration, and System Testing, Functional and Regression Testing, Migration Testing, User Acceptance Testing, Performance Testing will focus on testing various aspects of a project, establishing an ERP Test Center of Excellence helps in the successful implementation of ERP packages. Overall, an effective test strategy will ensure that the new implementation or upgrade doesn’t introduce any security vulnerabilities, custom code works as expected, and application infrastructure supports new workflows and licensing requirements, while ensuring compliance with IT standards, government statutes and other regulations.

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