Even SMBs have started realizing the benefits of test automation while myths and misconceptions surrounding the core concept of test automation keeps increasing. Contrary to popular beliefs, the advent of test automation techniques didn’t affect the demand for manual software testing. Organizations simply realized that a combined Manual – Automated testing practice grant greater benefits provided it’s implemented thoughtfully and effectively.

Though test automation essentially reduces the time to deliver high-quality products, it doesn’t always lead to quality success. Many organizations that are interested in test automation or are planning to invest in the practice may not be fully aware of its limitations.  There are hidden costs in implementing a complete test automation strategy.

From hiring QA professionals/Quality Engineers to test management and automation environment maintenance, it may overwhelm businesses that aren’t prepared to completely invest in the technology without preparing for it beforehand. This blog is for those organizations that are planning to jump on the test automation bandwagon, and discusses the various limitations of test automation.
 

Test cases should be designed for repeatability

 
Many organizations tend to implement test automation whenever they feel like accelerating quality feedback. This is possible only if the test cases are created for repeated use. Test automation is not very easy to set up either, demanding the technical team to invest hours in setting up, troubleshooting, and maintaining it.

If the test cases can’t run repeatedly even after exhausting a lot of resources setting up automation, leveraging test automation won’t grant much benefits at all. The key is to prioritize repeatability for maximum ROI from your test automation strategy.
 

Relying too much on test automation can do more harm than good

 
You may have read about organizations relying on test automation to scale product quality processes. This is more common in companies offering Agile software development services, and it works. You can get streamlined, much more efficient development cycles.

However, relying on test automation too much can end up causing a lot of issues, primarily due to the fact that test automation simply doesn’t apply to all kinds of test cases especially when scaling QA processes in an Agile ecosystem. A more balanced approach combining both test automation and manual testing offers better chances of scaling success. There is also the fact that a product that’s constantly evolving with each sprint will need you to allocate more resources just to maintain automation test scripts.
 

Test automation demands serious expertise & technical skills

 
Just because you have automated test scripts and a team with basic knowledge of automated testing doesn’t mean you can implement test automation and reap the best of its benefits. It requires a high level of expertise and technical skills to write test scripts. As a matter of fact, the technical skill requirement is one of the biggest limitations of test automation. You won’t easily find an expert automated tester like you would find an expert in software development.
 

Conclusion

 
With all the limitations we have discussed right now, we still can’t conclude that test automation isn’t a worthy investment. It is a big move that demands big investments and total dedication for a medium-sized business with limited resources. Nevertheless, if the business has the right talent and a great strategy, they won’t ever regret investing in test automation.

Written by: Kiran