Why Are Most Companies Struggling to Manage Test Data?

Getting rid of the agile development traditional bottleneck is easier than you think with Automic test data management

Yann Guernion
Yann Guernion, July 13, 2017 12:30 pm
Blog > ASO | Service orchestration | QA > Why Are Most Companies Struggling to Manage Test Data?

Today, we live in the application economy and every company is a software company. Customers expect to interact with organizations using applications; whether is it from the web, their mobile, connected things or directly from their preferred social network.

All this has big implications on how companies are doing innovation. According to Gartner, the public cloud services market is expected to grow 18% in 2017 to $247 billion. And 8.4billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31% from 2016.  In fact, most companies are focused creating more features and services, innovating faster than the competition in order to boost customer acquisition and keep churn rate as low as possible.

Most probably you get increased pressure from the business to deliver new customer services as quickly as possible. But of course, developing features faster doesn’t mean reducing the volume of testing as you are still accountable for the quality. So, you might run into the situation where agile development teams are pushing more changes more frequently into the traditional bottleneck of the software development lifecycle: QA.

The crude truth is that companies struggle to deliver test environments fast enough for their accelerated and ever-growing development schedule. And this is actually not only a speed problem, there are other aspects that prevent test teams from keeping up with business expectations:

  • One big problem is data security, and also conformance to personal data protection regulations. You need to deliver realistic test data to QA, so that they can execute relevant test cases. But of course you cannot expose sensitive production data into non-production systems because it would break your compliance.
  • Productivity is another important topic. Analyst research shows that testers can spend up to 50% of their time waiting for the data they need.
  • Furthermore, whereas waterfall approaches relegate testing to after development, agile and DevOps methodologies shift testing ‘to the left’ – closer to the beginning of each development iteration. This mean test environments need to be refreshed all the time and it has a strong impact on the cost of IT operations.

That said, addressing these issues may be easier than you think. It requires a combination of practices and tools in order to define, create, provision, refresh and secure test environments across all steps of the test cycle. The main idea is to enable proper continuous testing, by removing manual steps and making the test process fully unattended, available on demand for the developers and the testers.

Automation is the solution of choice for agile and DevOps teams trying to keep up with increasing pace of change. By eliminating waste in the test process and installing good test data management practices, automation provides the speed and end-to-end test data governance that in turn enables high-quality testing.

For this purpose, Automic has combined the capabilities of CA Test Data Manager and CA Automic Service Orchestration. This unique association provides a way to address the need for accelerated application delivery, without jeopardizing quality and conformance to data protection regulations. Getting the suitable environment, with the right test data, to the right place, at the right time, is not a challenge anymore. So maybe it is exactly the right time for you to consider automating your test data environments?

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Yann Guernion

Yann Guernion

Yann Guernion is Product Marketing Director at Automic Software. With over 25 years of experience in the world of IT, Yann has a wealth of expertize in managing the entire product line lifecycle.