Return of Investment for Automated Testing

Return of Investment for Automated Testing 25 Jan,2016

Test automation is often seen as a way to reduce the cost of the testing. It increases the test coverage, effectiveness of the testing and reduces the testing cycle.

Many organizations consider automation testing as a vital step in establishing a mature Q&A program. But, manual testing can never be ruled out completely.

Automation testing is more costly than manual software testing, but this higher cost is a long term investments for your automation. Automated testing is a solution to a common business problem. And how to make high quality software with complex technology under competitive pressure. Automated testing provides the cost-effective solution to this problem.

Automation Testing Improves Business Results In Three Ways:

Shorter Time To Market, Increased Test Efficiency And Increased Test Effectiveness.

Testing efficiency is the average number of test cases you can run for an hour of tester time. High efficiency of testing reduces product development time and costs.

Testing effectiveness is rate at which testing reveals bugs before your application are released in the market. Increased effectiveness reduces the costs through a better product.

Application must be tested before release and reducing your time to market for benefits. Manual testing replacing with automated testing can cut time from elapsed testing time.

Test Automation Coverage:

Test automation coverage metrics signifies the number of test cases automated vs. total number of test cases that are automatize. Improved test coverage signifies finding the defects faster and fixing them earlier, thus leading to high quality and lower risk.

Time Gained for Every Regressing Cycle:

With agile, there are daily and weekly builds in a product life cycle, wherein the need to run regression cycles frequently.

Automating these tests can cut the testing time, enabling the teams to run tests multiple times with small time duration, thus reducing the whole application schedule and cost.

There is cost saving with automation but initial cost for automation setup is high that is the efforts and tools needed to automate which is costly high but with every automated test cycle, there is cost saving and after a number of test cycles, the cost saving for each test cycle will add up to the initial cost of automation.

The team is required to detect this inflection point depending upon the number of test cycles. Defects founded in every regression cycle indicate about the quality of the product.

ROI Formula:

The ROI for test automation can move into positive zone depending upon the number of regression cycles required for the lifetime of the application.

ROI for test automation can be simply calculated by the below formula:

Return of Investment(ROI) = (Manual testing cost – Automation cost)/Automation cost

Automation testing does produce tangible and intangible benefits. Intangible benefits can consists faster feedback from people and finding defects faster in the development phase, tangible benefits might be related to time gained and hours saved.

Also need to consider the consistent cost for automation, primarily related to maintenance. Every application requires changes time to time, all these changes effect test automation scripts that need to be changed depending on the change in the application.

The problem with classic ROI calculation is, we cannot compare both type of testing as executing the same number of manual tests as automated is near to impossible.

Risk Reduction ROI:

In the risk reduction ROI calculation, the benefits of automated testing are evaluated independently. When this method is used, at the time of automated testing, resources will be freed to be utilized in other productive tasks such as exclusive random and negative testing, test development, time in-depth analysis and much more.
With Risk reduction ROI technique, you can increase the coverage of the test. The investment on automated testing remains the same, but the monetary gain to the company is assured. Some experts believe that there is some subjectivity in the method and it requires a high level of risk analysis. Being said that it is up to you whether you want to use the method or not. If you have highly qualified resources, then you can adapt this method to increase monetary gains for your company.


It’s implicit to say that the automation testing is a good investment as it provides great value in terms of improved software quality, legal problems, and maintained customer image, lower costs of fixing bugs and reduced cost of testing. Also, it provides the IT value in terms of simplified routine tasks, quicker test runs, increased scope of coverage, and increased testing hours etc.

Harinder Kaur Harinder works as Automation Test Engineer at BugRaptors. She is experts in writing scripts in web driver/Behat using Cucumber, gherkin languages. She has tested the web application on multiple Browsers and OS using Automation.

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