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Who will test all subscription updates?

“You should try our subscription service. It is great! All you have to do is pay a monthly fee and never bother about any complex and tedious upgrades.”

I guess you have noticed it. More and more ERP and system providers offers a subscription rather than an on-prem solution. The subscription has a lot of advantages. The risk of ending up with a non-supported and incompatible solution disappears. You don’t have to bother about any hardware issues. Expensive ERP upgrades are history, you will always have the latest update.

Then, what is the problem?

Regression testing!

Imagine this scenario. You have selected an ERP-solution and made a small modification to the sales order. It allows you to auto create sales orders from an external website, saving you a lot of time. Now, your ERP provider sends you an update every other month so six times a year you have to make sure that this integration works properly. Imagine now that you have 100 modifications that need to be checked six times a year!

In all ERP projects I have worked in, the customer always says, “No or a minimum of modifications”. In the end, there are always more modifications than planned. This causes a lot of problem in the subscription era. Instead of analyzing and validating the modifications every five or ten years, you have to do it several times per year.

This requires a quite extensive organization for many companies. Most companies are well equipped with a support organization, but far from all have planned for the necessary regression testing.

How will companies manage this in the future? Internal resources or hire test resources as a service? Test automation?

I guess the future will tell.

Anna Isaksson

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