Service virtualization is becoming a must-have technology enablement in the IT transformation programmes of many enterprises. However, service virtualization alone will not yield the desired ROI or measurable benefits unless the investment is extended to support the right level of testing and, especially, test automation. The three key target objectives of service virtualization are
- Enable early and continuous testing
- Reduce time delays and dependencies
- Reduce environmental costs
Many industry recognised statistics and reports show that organizations are achieving significant and measurable benefits from DevOps with around 20% improvement in key business metrics such as revenue, time-to-market and new customer acquisition. Seeing the success of the early adopters of DevOps, in the last few years an increasing number of companies have invested in DevOps and in many cases, DevOps has been one of the main items on the CIO’s agenda.
These organizations soon realise that the building blocks of DevOps needs to be in place to start the DevOps journey. As service virtualization is widely accepted to be a key enabler of continuous integration and DevOps, most organisations start to shop for SV tooling in addition to other automation tools at the early stages of the DevOps programme.
During the last three years, I have gained experience in this space being a technical project manager and strategist for few large enterprise wide SV implementation and rollouts. In my experience one of the common challenges I faced was to make the senior management understand that investment is service virtualization alone will not yield the desired ROI or a measurable benefit unless the investment is extended to support the right level of testing and especially test automation.
I would like to recommend the following considerations for service virtualization implementation:
- It is important to identify the prioritized set of use cases for service virtualization as part of the discovery exercise.
- It is important to consider what is the earliest possible stage in SDLC you can effectively employ service virtualization.
- Do not be afraid to step back and revise your test strategy to get the most out of service virtualization.
- If you are an influencer or technical lead please make your IT management understand that test automation is key and aligning the test framework to consume SV should be planned within the SV roadmap.
If you are a project, programme or functional manager managing the SV implementation, please make sure that testing function is in liaison. Please make the senior stakeholders aware that the benefits of SV can be realized only with an appropriate testing strategy and maturity of test automation.
To put it in a nutshell, I believe that service virtualization cannot be seen as a capability enabler on its own, it is a technology which has to be considered, planned and implemented along with effective testing technique in order to achieve the business drivers.
It will be great to hear your thoughts and experience.
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