Automation can increase the productivity of companies of different sizes by streamlining business processes and boosting profits by reducing costs.
However, choosing an automation tool from the multitude of products available on the market should be an informed decision, otherwise, you risk investing in the wrong software.
Even if you want to work with open-source automation frameworks, careful evaluation is crucial, as products come with significant hidden costs. This article will give you detailed recommendations on the choice of an automation tool.
Analyze the Company’s Needs for Automation
To ensure you make the best choice of an automation tool, you need to establish clear goals for your automation project.
The automation strategy should not be based on the blurred expectations of radical improvements without precise success parameters. These, in turn, can be defined when a company’s automation needs are correctly understood.
For example, the success of automation can be measured in terms of savings or reduction of errors in automated processes. Note that it is essential to set a timeframe for your automation goals. Only then can you get a complete picture of the progress made with automation?
More information in the article: What are the criteria for selecting an Automation Testing Tool?
Assess Company’s Existing Technical Capabilities
Consider your current technology infrastructure and the technical capabilities of your staff. You may already have employees with sufficient skills to develop automation frameworks based on open-source tools. In this case, choosing such tools may be a viable decision.
However, it may also happen that there are not enough specialists of this type, and employing them involves high costs. In this situation, you can consider no-code tools as long as they are suitable for your software. For test automation, for example, this could be a particularly user-friendly Executive Automats.
Features to Look for in Your Automation Tool
Once you have defined your automation goals and assessed your organization’s technical infrastructure, it is time to choose the best automation tool. Here are some of the most important features to look for in a tool. As you will see, they are universal for software used for automating different tasks.
Although sometimes automation is achieved through advanced technological processes, this does not mean that the automation tool has to be complicated.
Fortunately, user-friendly software can be found on the market. Executive Automats, for example, used for automating testing of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM system, is a no-code product that can be operated without programming skills.
An intuitive tool with a minimal learning curve does not require too much time and effort to train your employees and speeds up the process of implementing automation software in your company. This, in turn, leads to a faster return on your investment.
Some automation tools have widely used features and functionality, while others have something unique to offer. Of course, your main focus should be on the most critical features that will make your automation project possible in the first place, but it is still always wise to choose a product with additional features if they are available. Some of the features that are critical for smooth automation are test scheduling, data integration, error handling, and reporting.
Pay attention to the flexibility of your tool. Some automation solutions, especially those that are tailored to specific software, are less customizable than the tools that come in the form of libraries that allow you to develop your own automation infrastructure. The latter solution is indeed more flexible, but it also requires advanced programming skills.
Performance and Scalability
Even if your company is quite small at the moment, remember that it can grow and the processes you want to automate with your tool can also undergo an expansion.
For this reason, it is recommended to choose a scalable solution from the very beginning. Scalability is the feature that allows increasing the load of your software without affecting its performance. Moreover, it ensures the smooth operation of the tool can be achieved without a need to make any significant changes in the future.
Integration with Third-Party Software
Depending on the processes you want to automate in your company, you need to make sure that your tool can integrate with other applications. Think about the software critical to your business operations and choose an automation tool that can be used with those products.
Limited integration options put constraints on the variety of features you can use and diminish the value of the tool.
Support and Reliability
More and more automation tools are coming to market, and many of them meet the above criteria. Yet, before you decide to invest in one of these software products, you should check how reliable it is and whether you will have access to professional and helpful customer support.
Case studies and customer reviews are one of the best sources of information about the vendor’s reputation and the quality of their automation tool. At the same time, inquire thoroughly about the support services offered by the vendor. Pay particular attention to the availability of documentation on troubleshooting practices, regular software updates, and timely technical support.
Note that the community of the tool users also plays a crucial role, as often people working with the tool in different contexts encounter software behavior that is not always obvious even to the developers. If you want to have the opportunity to discuss your tool with other users and learn about their experiences, you should choose a software product that has sufficient popularity.
Compliance with Data Protection Regulations
Most processes that can be automated involve the use of large amounts of sensitive data. To protect this data, you need to make sure that your tool is secure enough and complies with the standards and regulations that apply to your industry.