It goes without saying that there are many organizational benefits of automating the testing process as much as possible. In fact, this is a key philosophy of various ISEB & ISTQB software testing certifications like the ISEB Foundation and ISTQB Foundation (CTFL). However, a large number of organizations have failed to deploy automated solutions. Why? Because it is very expensive!
One reason it is expensive is because automation requires scripting from specialized programmers that understand the internal workings & programming language of any given automation tool. Obviously, programming skills do not come cheap and hence this adds to the overall expense.
Additionally, this scripting takes time, and of course time is money. Not only do the scripts have to be created, but they also must be tested and integrated into the organizational testing environment. Depending on the complexity, this could take days or even weeks to accomplish.
Another reason is licensing costs. The vast majority of automation tools require the organization to purchase a company-wide license for deployment. These costs can often exceed thousands of dollars for a single automation tool.
Next, you must factor in ongoing maintenance costs. New software releases will require changes to the automation tools needed to test them. This is not an issue if your company only has a small number of impacted tools, but for large organizations that may have dozens of such tools, this can add a tremendous cost to the process.
Finally, the integration of automated tools into the organizational testing environment requires communication from multiple organizational levels and departments. This communication chain forms a dependency that will slow down the process if not done efficiently. And once again, time is money.
Yes automation tool deployment is expensive, but you can maximize the bang for your buck by boosting the scalability of the applications, and taking the steps necessary to reduce the time necessary for implementation.