Until a few years ago, the optimization of the production processes of companies took up most of the time, while the work with procurement, personnel and customer relationship faded into the background. It is now clear that in order to remain competitive in the market, it is necessary to improve all internal operations.
To improve business processes, many organizations are implementing ERP systems, and, judging by what Statista predicts (by 2024, the market for ERP systems will increase to $ 97 billion), they will keep this course in 2021.
Using IT Professional Services, it is necessary to ensure the integrity of the data, the stability of the ERP solution, which can be achieved through timely testing. Read on to find out how to avoid incorrect operation of such software using the example of Acumatica and similar ERP products.
ERP SYSTEM: TO TEST OR NOT TO TEST?
Now many companies are switching to cloud data storage, as ERP systems contain large arrays of information about goods, employees, customers, helping to control all processes within the company, from procurement and supply to financial transactions. According to a survey conducted by the consulting company Panorama, more than 60% of ERP systems, support cloud technologies.
Given that this kind of software contains confidential information, it is important to ensure that data is safely migrated to the cloud when implementing ERP. Of course, such systems are vulnerable to cyber attacks, and the presence of bottlenecks in the operation of software can lead to theft of intellectual property. This is why security is coming to the fore in 2021.
Due to the large amount of information, it is necessary to ensure that the data is accurate and complete. This will help avoid future inconsistencies and avoid reputational and budget losses.
It is also important to organize structured data storage, because if you enter them randomly, it can slow down business processes in the company, forcing you to allocate additional time to optimize them from time to time. The technology of large data helps streamline the three-dimensional database (DB) system to work properly, you need to check whether the information in their database designated for specific operations is distributed.
Correct integration with other systems and compatibility with certain platforms and browsers affects the overall performance of the ERP, helping to prevent malfunctions or ensure quality operation. If you need to optimize an ERP product by supplementing it with corporate software, you should check the interactions between them and all modules of the system.
The key to the successful operation of any ERP platform is round-the-clock stability. Since there is a lot of such software every day and is often used, it is easy to overload the server, which can fail at the most inopportune moment. That is why it is important to check the response of the system to a high load: whether data is retained after recovery, whether some information is deleted during a failure, and much more.
Thus, to make the use of the Acumatica system and other ERP solutions easy, you need to take care of their reliability and check all possible failure scenarios.
YES, TEST ERP SYSTEMS. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CONSIDER?
Despite the fact that IT solutions for managing internal processes differ and the approach to testing them is also different, covering many aspects and risks, a1qa experts have put together a universal package for ensuring the quality of ERP systems. Let’s take a look at what types of checks should always be done before using such software at an organization-wide level.
Before starting the checks, QA engineers study the documentation and business logic of the system, after which they test all functionality in accordance with the requirements and identify defects. After the release of new functionality, specialists conduct regression testing to determine if the changes have affected the previously developed part of the software. And to make sure that all bugs are fixed, testers validate the defects.
For ERP solutions, the following is important: check the correctness of data storage both during migration and in a static state. Therefore, along with functional testing, it is checked whether the data is in the correct database, whether it is used correctly and whether the information matches how it looked in the original storage.
According to a study by the consulting company Panorama, about 30% of companies surveyed are concerned about the risk of data leakage when implementing an ERP system. There are two reasons for this: lack of transparency in cloud solutions (16%) and potential data loss (9%).
Thus , the spread of information technology leads to an increase in the number of detected software vulnerabilities. For example, as noted by the online service Exploit -DB, the number of detailed instructions on how to penetrate bottlenecks is constantly increasing every year.
Security testing helps protect the ERP system from cyber incidents: using penetration testing, QA specialists simulate the actions of intruders, thereby checking software for vulnerabilities.
If a company like The mango tech integrates an ERP platform with ready-made software, the risk of its malfunctioning increases, because it is not known how the system will behave in a stack with software. Therefore, a1qa experts advise to conduct integration testing, which will help to make sure that each component of the ERP system and their interaction works together with corporate platforms and other IT solutions.
It is worth remembering that additional functionality can be built into ERP products , for example, an electronic signature. In this case, the testers check how it works with a number of different documents, who can leave it, and what statuses the signed papers acquire.
A large number of data operations and multiple ERP modules can overload the server or cause it to crash. Through stress testing, you can evaluate the behavior of the system under the expected load, and stress testing will allow you to determine the peak number of concurrent sessions and assess the stability of the software product.
During performance testing, a1qa specialists use a behavioral method, simulating the actions of end users and setting test conditions as close as possible to real ones.
HOW TO TEST EFFECTIVELY?
Let’s discuss how to test an ERP system well. This is influenced by a number of factors, including the methodology used. Agile is a common approach in the IT industry, according to a 2019 ScrumTrek study .
The main reasons for adopting agile methods include reducing time-to-market, managing rapidly changing priorities, increasing productivity, and more.
However, ERP systems require a different approach. The best option is a combination of global planning using the traditional waterfall model and short-term planning and task tracking using agile practices. It is this scheme that makes it possible to achieve the intended results, to combine strategic goals and adaptability.
A team with the right skills is another indicator of effective testing. When attracting specialists to a project, it is necessary to conduct an introductory course so that QA engineers become familiar with the requirements, business logic and further understand the principles of the ERP system.
There are two ways to attract QA talent: organize your own testing team within the organization, or go to outsourcing companies. If you want to focus on higher priority tasks, then attracting a dedicated team is one of the ways out of the situation.
In a highly competitive IT market, companies are forced to optimize not only production processes, but also all other internal operations by implementing ERP systems.
To ensure the reliable and stable operation of such software, it is necessary to conduct thorough testing, otherwise the bottlenecks of the IT solution can affect the budget and the reputation of the business.
A comprehensive QA strategy allows you to identify defects in time, releasing quality software into production that helps to reduce manual labor and improve work productivity.