IT Test Environment Management: What, Why And How?

By | March 29, 2022

Quality, faster release, software development process optimization, reduced time-to-market, and innovation. Every IT business is striving to achieve these goals. Unfortunately, due to improper management, lack of technology, and suitable infrastructure, engineers are frustrated with monotonous work rather than researching innovative ideas. Managers are struggling with resource allocation, especially environment management. QA automation teams find it challenging to establish a clear line of communication with various groups.

The result?

Delayed application release. Average quality. Lack of innovation. And most importantly, dissatisfied clients/users. That’s where IT Test Environment Management comes into play!

 

What Is IT Test Environment Management?

With IT test environment management (TEM), you can accelerate your application releases. TEM emphasizes the following:

  • Close collaboration and interaction between all team members regularly
  • Capture environment demands and requirements for each phase,
  • Establish a simple and transparent environment utilization process,
  • Maintain cooperation and eliminate bottlenecks through effective release planning
  • Allocating resources and monitoring their life cycles.

Thus TEM helps to streamline the release management process by ensuring a verified, stable environment is available at the correct time to the testing teams for executing any test scenarios or replicating bugs.

What Are The Functions Of TEM?

  • Complete transparency of test environment
  • Test environments allocation across projects, teams, QA engineers and DevOps.
  • Monitoring resource usage, introducing a simple, smooth process to procure and release resources.
  • Creating new test environments when required, updating or deleting redundant, outdated test environments.
  • Support continuous innovations, enable constant improvement and leverage automation to minimize the burden of routine manual tasks.
  • Optimism infrastructure costs.
  • Standardize environment utilization by streamlining daily tasks and operations.

Best Practices To Improve Your Test Environment Management

Preparing a test environment checklist with the best practices can help you successfully manage the test environment.

Understanding The Requirements

Before you jump into the planning phase, take a pause! Understand the requirements. When your team knows the expectations, the outcomes can be near perfect. Create a knowledge base/resource base so that everyone in the project has demand awareness.

Prepare A Plan

  • Event calendaring is an efficient way to streamline testing activities
  • Runbooks can be leveraged to have a precise understanding of roles and responsibilities

Establishing and preparing several test environments can be extremely expensive. However, sharing the test assets can be cost-effective. This is only possible when you maintain an effective communication channel.

Set Standards And Implement Automation

Defining standards for an IT test environment depending on the consumer requirements can provide you with a benchmark for quality assessment.

Once you’ve established the standards, implementing automation across the release management process can save time and improve quality. Automation in TEM can be achieved by using tools for CI/CD, workload automation, and configuration management.

Data Encryption

Data breaches and the rising cyberattacks are the greatest enemy for any business venturing into the It industry. And therefore, compliance standards are getting more stringent. Thus, an organization needs to follow data encryption processes for masking sensitive data.

Integrating The Infrastructure-As-Code Ideology

With Infrastructure-as-code, you can facilitate unsupervised provisioning, configuration, and decommissioning for the operations environment within your organization. Automate continuous monitoring and infrastructural maintenance.

Through automation of the mundane supervision and configurational processes, IAC eradicates the requirement for written documentation.

Benefits Of It Test Environment Management

  • Enhances environment utilization
  • Accelerates time-to-market
  • Allows proactive monitoring, thus minimizing outages
  • Enhances service productivity
  • Improves bug detection, thus minimizing the time taken to fix bugs

Checklist For Test Environment Management

To ensure smooth IT test environment management, you can use this checklist.

Hardware Requirements

  • Are the required hardware available with the organization?
  • What hardware components do you need to procure?
  • What is the time frame and cost required in their procurement?
  • What, when and how will be the installation process?
  • How and when will the testing be done?
  • Is there any requirement for peripheral devices?

Software Requirements

  • Is the required software available within your organization?
  • Is the existing software compatible with the testing environment?
  • Do you need to purchase any additional software?
  • What will be the time and cost required for their procurement?
  • When and what will be the installation and testing process?

Data Requirements

  • Do you or your team have the necessary standard test data?
  • Do you need to import data from the production site or create it from scratch?
  • In which phase the data will be required?

Tools Requirement

  • What are the standards?
  • Are the drafted strategies compatible for their execution in the test environment?
  • Identifying and developing the required libraries.
  • What is the schedule for the test process?

Conclusion

IT Test Environment management can improve your test process and help deliver high-performing products. Collaborate with the IT management service for optimal outcomes.

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