Why Use Test Automation?
One of the key reasons for using automation, is that is enables manual resources to focus on more high-value, complex tasks such as defect investigation, to drill down into the root cause of a problem, rather than repeating regression tests which is a relatively manual activity.
By automating a comprehensive set of tests, manual testers can focus their skills on activities likely to bring more value to the operator. Automation is also very useful in proving product stability and compliance to requirements; stability refers to assessing device reliability under sustained loads for an extended period of time, with no service degradation across any area of platform performance or UX.
Speed of product development and timely release is also a key reason for implementing test automation. Establishing a quality baseline through automated testing allows an operator to very quickly see if a new build has introduced regressions, and if it meets quality targets. This speed of getting actionable results means that new builds can be released much more frequently - beneficial in both Waterfall and Agile approaches. Rapid releases are required for Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment or DevOps methodologies, where developers are more in tune with the quality of their code, resulting in features being released sooner to the market.
The volume of testing that can be performed by an automated system far outstrips the capacity of all but the very largest of test teams. Thousands of tests can be easily carried out with the click of a button. This provides a far greater view for the operator of platform stability and performance, as there are commonly various defects which only manifest in less than 1% of occurrences. Whilst this sounds very low, when spread across thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of users or interactions, it’s often these defects that are only found post-launch (when test automation has not been utilised), which can tarnish new releases in the eyes of end consumers. The improvement in quality that an operator is likely to see from using automation also allows for lower support costs in customer care departments, even in cases when the time-to-market pressure from product and marketing groups remains high.