Solving retail digital transformation problems you don't know you have


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Solving retail digital transformation problems you don't know you have.

Technological advancements are happening at pace, all of which are being led by new types of technologies such as AI and machine learning. As these technologies advance, businesses in the retail sector are grappling to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring their digital offerings keep up.

Digital transformation has therefore taken centre stage as a way of using digital technologies to create new, or modify existing, business processes. The retail sector is beginning to adopt a multitude of digital technologies from improving payment systems to create better experiences for customers, to moving systems to a cloud-based infrastructure to provide more flexibility and scalability, as well as utilising machine learning and AI to create personalised recommendations that match customer preferences.

But as the industry undertakes such digital transformation projects, it needs to ensure that there are the right technical solutions and resources in place throughout all stages of development.

Many people are aware of the importance of testing throughout the various stages of software development, but often it’s a case of setting up a stage of your project, manually testing it, and then moving onto the next stage. But what happens when you get to the end of your project and something right at the beginning went wrong weeks ago, and has been causing an issue you didn’t even know you had?

Automated testing is a way of overcoming these issues, by ensuring that testing automatically happens at every phase of development, even after the project is complete. This provides a multitude of benefits including saving time and money. Automated tests are much faster than manual tests, reducing the time spent from days to hours. This then ultimately saves costs due to less time being spent. 

However, one of the biggest shortfalls when it comes to automated testing is the huge gap in Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) available to get the automation set up in the first place and monitored throughout. 

nFocus Testing, the automated software company, has established its SDET academy – a programme designed to address the industry-wide shortfall of Test Automation Engineers. 

The academy works with graduates, putting them through relevant training so they can then be placed into teams in the retail sector, helping to accelerate automated testing efforts by meeting industry standards and approaching challenges head on. 

Ryan James, Managing Director of nFocus Testing, said: “So many projects are failing due to people relying on manual testing and not realising that problems are occurring earlier on in the testing phase. Testing automation provides a multitude of benefits, offering a solution to the problem that businesses don’t realise they have. 

“However, there is a major shortfall of skills in test automation. In fact, we found that 68% of businesses lack technical testers and only 32% of organisations have testers that can code. We see the importance of having a workforce that has the right skills to do the job, which is why we started our SDET academy. 

“We’re helping to bridge that gap by investing in people who are at the start of their careers. We give graduates the training they need so that they can be placed into roles ready to provide expert skills, enthusiasm and great value from day one.”

nFocus has proven success with its SDET academy, having recently seen the fifth cohort graduate from the training, ready to be placed into roles as Graduate SDET Consultants. 

Ryan added: “With the retail sector beginning to undertake more digital transformation projects, especially as they are starting to get back on track following setbacks faced by the pandemic, businesses need to ensure that they have the right resourcing in place to ensure these projects don’t fail. The SDET programme is a way of getting the right people with the right skills into roles that support these projects, ensuring they are delivered on track and on budget, helping to save time and money.”

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