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8 Min Read

The ROI of generative AI in software testing: A force multiplier for CIOs

April 9, 2024 / Unisys Corporation

Short on time? Read the key takeaways:

  • Automated software testing has a long history of benefits, including improved efficiency, accuracy and reliability.
  • New and old challenges limit organizations’ implementation of automated testing, but you can overcome them with the right strategies.
  • Generative AI transforms automated testing in areas like test generation, self-healing capabilities and test optimization.
  • The ROI of using generative AI in software testing is high.

The benefits of automated software testing are undeniable. It can improve the efficiency, accuracy and reliability of your software development processes and accelerate the delivery of high-quality products.

However, implementing comprehensive automated test suites at scale presents significant challenges for many organizations. As software grows increasingly complex, ensuring tests remain up-to-date and provide sufficient coverage requires substantial resources and expertise. This is where the power of generative AI can be a game-changer – acting as a force multiplier that allows organizations to intelligently automate and optimize test pipelines.

Explore the practical benefits of automated software testing and its role for tech leaders. See how it can help you effectively overcome common obstacles and the ways generative AI is advancing software development, offering organizations a more efficient and competitive edge.

What is automated software testing?

Automated software testing checks your software’s functionality to ensure it meets set requirements before releasing it into production. For tech leaders, investing in automated software testing is a forward-thinking strategy that pays dividends in efficiency and agility.

Automated software testing is not a new concept. The rise of DevOps incorporated automated testing into development pipelines. And with the integration of automated testing and software pipelines, large technology companies are empowered to accelerate their innovation by taking full advantage of rapid and frequent software releases.

What prevents organizations from automating software testing

Setting up automated testing can demand significant time, effort and resources, particularly for complex software systems. As software evolves, your organization must continuously update the tests to align with changes. This is the only way to ensure accurate results and keep the tests effective. Intermittent test failures can undermine confidence in software quality and waste valuable time.

As more organizations recognize the importance of automated testing, skilled developers adept in testing principles, programming languages and frameworks have become a hot commodity. Finding and retaining these developers is a challenge for many organizations. On top of that, managing a growing number of tests adds to maintenance overhead. Prioritizing tests, identifying redundancies and ensuring comprehensive coverage can become increasingly complex and time-consuming.

How generative AI can contribute to automated software testing

Generative AI addresses the test development challenges organizations face. It excels in helping people generate unique and creative content and inspires novel ideas and concepts. It also supports data augmentation by producing synthetic data samples, which become especially valuable when it’s impractical or costly to gather real-world data.

By leveraging generative AI, organizations can create personalized content tailored to individual preferences and can simulate complex scenarios and environments. By automating content generation tasks, like creating tests, generative AI streamlines processes and reduces manual workload.

Areas where generative AI can help organizations overcome test development obstacles include:

  • Test generation – Combinations of code, comments and documentation to help you create tests automatically.
  • Test suite creation – Building intelligent test suites identifies specific ranges of software functionality that are logically affected by a related change.
  • Self-healing capabilities – If a change in software composition is detected, generative AI can help update impacted tests for seamless and automatic maintenance.
  • Test coverage enhancement – By generating tests from code, the potential for test coverage is enhanced. Generative AI can make recommendations or implement changes to code to enhance testability for additional coverage.
  • Test optimization – Tests are automatically optimized and redundant tests are eliminated, and with intelligent test suites, changes can be regression-tested with pinpoint accuracy.

The ROI of generative AI in software testing

Automated software testing contributes to greater ROI in many ways. With generative AI, you can overcome the obstacles in creating tests and data needed for automation. Though it requires an initial outlay, automated testing using generative AI offers many advantages over manual testing, such as:

  • Faster testing cycles, providing quick feedback on code changes. This saves you significant time on repetitive tasks like regression testing and is ideal for continuous integration and deployment pipelines. Rapid, reliable and high-quality releases ultimately give you a competitive advantage.
  • More consistent test performance helps ensure thorough testing, reducing human error.
  • A wider range of covered testing scenarios, which can identify defects early in development.
  • Reduced costs and saved time by decreasing the need for manual testing. Though there's an initial investment, the long-term cost savings are substantial. Not only that, but it also lowers the total cost of ownership by optimizing tests and contributing to ongoing test development and maintenance.

Organizations must do more than ever to boost efficiency, agility and competitiveness in today’s fast-changing digital landscape. The powerful ROI of automating testing makes it a valuable investment that frees you to focus on staying ahead rather than testing your software. Besides testing, generative AI can support development tasks like documentation creation and generation, user experience, coding, project management and predictive maintenance.

Consider automating your software testing

Does your organization need help to reach your customers quickly and with greater impact? Or do you want guidance on implementing automated software testing initiatives? With Unisys’ expertise and the generative AI advantage, you can realize the benefits of automating your software testing. Explore how application migration and modernization solutions from Unisys can help you.