What the cloud brings …
You may have read the previous blog about SAP HANA by our CEO Martin, if not you can read it here!
SAP HANA is designed for use in the cloud. The cloud, as we have come to know it, brings many things to the end user – the ability to (as SAP calls it) “run simple”, with far fewer technical barriers to consider as well as faster innovation – to name but a few. By utilizing SAP Hana and SAP’s new drive to ‘Run Simple’ you can use the cloud to fundamentally change the way you do business…
But no change is easy or without challenges. To this end, it’s worth looking at the key elements to keep in mind to ensure that you don’t end up with poor user experience in this cloud-driven economy:
The first, and one of the most important areas of change, is that cloud technology such as SAP HANA puts companies into a position to work in a more agile development environment. This brings with it the opportunities for changes in functionality to fit the fast paced modern business world. Again, doing this is not challenge free. In order to make the most of cloud agility testing needs to be much more “fluid” to not interrupt agile development cycles but still remain as comprehensive as testing in other environments.
Secondly, it becomes critical for testers to clearly define the scope of a project early on and for it to be signed off by all relevant parties. “Scope creep” (where additional functionalities or changes to timetabling) can put projects under serious strain – thwarting even the best-laid plans.
Cloud also really does let organizations ‘Run Simple’ as SAP calls it. But making sure things “just run”, with minimal technical knowledge needed by the end user, means performance testing comes to the forefront. Simple and streamlined processes have to work instantaneously – with cloud, slow and steady isn’t a viable option. You don’t ever want to be stood with your end user apologizing to them that it’s not working as fast as you, they or anybody else expected it to!
By performing rigorous and comprehensive performance testing you will be able to ensure that your business processes and user experience doesn’t suffer when there are large number of users or at peak times. These are the times you get the biggest return for having SAP implemented, why scrimp when that’s the reason your business made the decision to migrate in the first place?
The final benefit that cloud brings is the ability to drive continuous and rapid innovation. With cloud, after a new functionality has been deployed, development doesn’t stop there! As mentioned before, the technology industry is fast paced and constantly changing. If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. It’s so much more important to constantly innovate and assess the functionality that you supply than sit back and think ‘Yep… I’m done’. With the bottomless potential of a cloud environment’s compute power, there’s now plenty of room for this innovation to grow and thrive. But – and it’s a big “but” – with every iteration you go through, it’s as easy to step backwards as it is to stride forwards, especially in regards to the user experience you’re delivering. If your testing is not rigorous enough, or doesn’t focus on the correct areas then with one swift strike you can irreparably damage your brand and in turn demotivate end users and undo years of good work.
Lots of projects are challenge-ridden because the teams running them don’t focus on the right elements for success – achieving the overall objectives in the context of the business. Each area of the business can think their specific requirements are the most important, which means things are bound to slip through the gaps from time to time, if someone is not in place to keep bringing it back to the original goal of the overall project. Having an objective and independent partner with you at all the major points of the process AND test your end product is crucial to continuing to build on the success that you’ve worked hard to embed into your business. After all, the user experience is directly tied to the ability of whatever systems you implement to fulfil their goals.
Originally posted August 24, 2015, by Pippa Perkins, Experior Group