Application packaging and testing are essential processes in enterprises and large organisations to streamline and standardise the deployment of apps on user devices. The question of how app packaging and testing processes are completed is becoming more and more important. There are several options, including sticking with the same manual processes that have been used for decades. Semi-automation is another option, as is automated self-service.
At Access IT Automation, we believe self-service is the future of app packaging and testing. There are lots of reasons for this (we’ll cover the most important in this blog), but one of them is that we no longer spend as much time in supermarket check-out queues as we did in the past.
That might sound a bit left field, but if we indulge the analogy, there are similarities between app packaging/testing and buying groceries at your local supermarket.
From Self-Service Supermarket Checkouts to Self-Service App Packaging and Testing
Ten or so years ago, buying a box of porridge and a litre of semi-skimmed milk at the supermarket involved using your years of experience to assess the length and speed of each checkout queue before choosing one to join. You then waited in line while the person in front bought enough groceries to feed the cast of a secondary school stage production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When it was your turn, and you were already late for picking up the kids, a supermarket employee would complete the transaction.
Today, the experience is completely different as you can use one of the many self-service checkouts to quickly pay your money and be on your way. Self-service checkouts enabled supermarkets to process more transactions faster and with fewer members of staff, while still giving customers the option of using a traditional checkout staffed by an employee.
Self-service app packaging and testing delivers similar benefits, i.e., package and test more applications and do it considerably faster than before while still having the option for manual packaging whenever the need arises.
The Traditional Approach
To explore this further, it is beneficial to briefly go over the traditional and still common manual approach to app packaging and testing in enterprises and large organisations. From a positive point of view, the manual approach works and has been reliable for decades. However, it is also incredibly (and unnecessarily) time-consuming, inefficient, and costly.
Manual app packaging and testing processes typically involve the following steps:
- A user submits a service request for a new application.
- The service request is assigned to a technical resource and the discovery process begins.
- Communications go backward and forward as installer files, source code, license keys, and installation instructions are found and distributed.
- The new application package is manually created in the appropriate format.
- The new application package is then tested to ensure compatibility with all relevant versions of Windows as well as compatibility with other apps.
- If issues are identified, the previous steps are repeated, and the testing process starts again.
- Final quality checks are conducted, and the newly packaged app gets published.
Going through all the above steps manually takes weeks and longer if there are technical resource availability challenges. So, it is very resource intensive.
Cost per application calculations are also high. Furthermore, as manually packaging and testing applications is costly, it is common for some applications not to be packaged at all. Decisions not to package applications because of cost, resource, or timescale problems lead to additional challenges, including increased compliance and security risks.
The Speed of Change
An additional challenge with app packaging and testing processes in the modern IT world is the speed of change. Today’s applications are updated frequently, for example, while IT transformation projects take place on significantly shorter timescales than was previously the norm.
It is essential to keep up with the latest developments while also ensuring your IT infrastructure remains compliant and secure, and your business competitive, resilient, and agile. However, keeping up is becoming increasingly difficult without automation or, even better, self-service automation.
Self-Service App Packaging and Testing
Self-service app packaging and testing automates the vast majority of processes that are currently completed manually. The benefits include:
- Reduced strain on technical resources while also empowering application owners, including non-technical application owners.
- Streamlined packaging and testing processes that are efficient and can be completed in minutes rather than weeks.
- Ensuring app packaging and testing processes are future-proof and flexible to meet business needs today and in the future.
- Deeper integration of app packaging and testing into other business processes.
- Considerably reduced costs per application package.
- Ensuring all applications within your estate go through the same high-quality and reliable app packaging and testing process.
Self-Service App Packaging and Testing with Access Capture
The benefits of self-service app packaging and testing are clear. The next step is to choose the best tool for automating the various processes and providing users with the features they need.
Access Capture offers all the features needed to move to a self-service app packaging and testing model in your organisation, regardless of the number of users or apps in your estate or the complexity of your IT infrastructure. Find out more by contacting us today.