Why do so many organizations use specialist SAP testing services?
With increasing complexity across enterprise applications environments, along with rapidly developing cloud infrastructure, IT leaders have a big business assurance challenge to address. And as the pace of SAP transformation accelerates, there’s the added complexity of assuring all the business processes underpinned by the SAP digital core as it is continually updated at a far faster pace and with more regularity than ever before.
The SAP Business Assurance Study produced by Capgemini, Sogeti and Tricentis considers the impact of this complexity on SAP customers around the world. Based on desk research, expert interviews, and a quantitative global survey of 759 respondents from large-scale organizations, the study reveals that more and more organizations are looking at outsourcing their end-to-end SAP testing processes. It asks why this is the case and considers the most likely test activities to be outsourced to a specialist service provider.
Realizing the value of SAP
What becomes clear is that organizations currently rely on different best practices, from involving dedicated multidisciplinary teams to hiring specialist service providers who can help them realize the full value of their SAP investments and mitigate any risk to business operations. Internally, when asked which team was responsible for ensuring the overall quality of SAP business assurance, it was the IT department that largely held that responsibility. From coordinating different departments in order to ensure robust testing and evaluating automation options, to engaging with specialist service providers, the survey results indicate that 45.6% of organizations hold their internal IT team responsible for the overall quality of SAP business assurance/end-to-end testing — way more than the 27.8% with dedicated testing teams for end-to-end SAP testing, or the 21.3% that rely on the project quality management team.
These IT teams — or the QA and Test teams within their remit — don’t always have the requisite skills, latest tools and techniques, or experience of varied business cases needed for business assurance. So, it’s unsurprising that they are utilizing the services of specialist service providers. These external providers can perform end-to-end testing of SAP systems in a more effective manner than if it were left to internal resources alone. Further, the SAP testing experts interviewed as part of the study suggested that the experience external specialists have with other clients opens new avenues to optimize testing processes and enable a greater level of efficiency.
Using experts for more challenging tasks
So, what activities do SAP customers engage with these specialist service providers for? Our survey results indicate API testing/component testing as the most dominant use case in this instance, cited by 45.1% of respondents. This is closely followed by performance testing with 43.7%. The experts interviewed suggested that API testing is one of the most challenging parts of the overall testing process because it determines the expected functionality and performance of applications on which the overall success of software depends. Many organizations typically lack the technical expertise in this area, so it makes sense to bring in a team with both this expertise and extensive past experience.
This section of the SAP Business Assurance Study also discusses plans for increasing specialist service provision over the next 1-3 years versus current provision. It concludes that we are “witnessing growing traction for specialist service providers in the SAP business assurance space and the trend is likely to continue due to the technical and functional expertise that these providers offer. They possess the necessary skills, tools, and expertise required for identifying possible test scenarios, risks, and mitigation strategies that businesses may lack”.
Find out more
For more insight into the business assurance practices and outsourcing trends discussed here, along with a broader overview of SAP business assurance as organizations seek seamless and efficient testing to enhance their overall ERP system, read the comprehensive study findings and our analysis of them.
Download SAP Business Assurance Study here