Disruptive changes characterize the digital transformation. Companies are responding effectively to these challenges by adapting their IT skills and IT environment. DevOps provides an approach to quickly optimize digital innovation processes. One promising option is the targeted use of artificial intelligence in test automation.
DevOps combines software development and IT operations and serves as an approach for improving processes in these areas. The combination of Development (Dev) and Operations (Ops) stands for a collection of ideas and practices. It can shape the corporate culture. DevOps is characterized by the collaboration and regular communication of teams from development and operations and the use of smart tools. A scalable environment allows resources to be deployed where they are needed. DevOps helps increase customer satisfaction and value. The approach also enables companies to quickly integrate new digital technologies.
Artificial intelligence offers great potential for test automation. Its influence pervades all industries. In principle, artificial intelligence methods allow computers to evaluate data and draw conclusions from it. This evaluation is based on algorithms. In this way, artificial intelligence enables processes such as speech recognition or visual perception. It is advisable for companies to organize relevant knowledge. This can be achieved through the development of data structures to a roadmap for artificial intelligence.
Applications based on artificial intelligence can particularly support the DevOps approach. This is because these technologies allow data to be determined on the basis of which further adjustments can be made directly in development. This feature effectively complements the integrated approach. Because DevOps uses errors as a basis for improvements. With the help of automated quality management, defects can be detected quickly. In this way, developments are successful with fast repetitions and high quality. Automation through applications based on artificial intelligence offers DevOps teams flexibility and relief from administrative tasks and thus contributes to added value.
The use of artificial intelligence in combination with an API test strategy is an effective way to accelerate the automation of test processes. Testing using the Application Programming Interface (API) surpasses the manual UI testing procedures commonly used. They allow simpler test processes, are characterized by reusability and make it possible to eliminate defects in development more quickly.
In practice, many companies have not yet realized the potential of DevOps for process optimization, as Amy Fenwick, Head of Product Marketing, Functional and Performance Testing, ADM at Micro Focus, explains: "In order for the DevOps approach to provide companies with comprehensive benefits, automated testing is essential for software. Studies show, however, that less than 20 percent of tests in companies are currently automated and therefore take up valuable time and resources. As reasons for the lack of automation of tests, those affected cite rapidly changing applications and the number of scenarios that need to be tested. The incomplete automation of test processes means that IT departments cannot work at the speed required by the economy. In 2020, companies will use tools equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) to address the existing deficits in test automation. In order to create possible approaches for automation, they will no longer experiment with artificial intelligence only for short-term solutions. Rather, they will strategically embed these in the development of automated test processes. The use of AI makes automation approaches easy to use and program. This allows anyone, regardless of their own IT skills, to take advantage of automated test environments. This enables a more efficient implementation of the DevOps approach. Only in this way can IT departments work at a pace that corresponds to that of business."
The use of AI in test automation initially requires effort, as the tools for developing an API test strategy require a high level of expertise. However, it is worth investing in expanding these resources and advancing agile development.
Conclusion: Test automation based on artificial intelligence is a promising option to achieve the maximum benefit of the DevOps approach.
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