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ROI in mobile app automation testing

Calculation of ROI in Mobile App Automation Testing

March 28, 2022
Edward KumarEdward Kumar
Edward Kumar

Automation testing is an integral part of QA pipelines. While stakeholders do not question this, financial and human resource uncertainties can cause them to hesitate from implementing automation.

Helping stakeholders estimate the ROI from implementing automation can convince them to invest in it. Listed below are some benefits of automated mobile app testing.

Automation Testing Benefits

Open-source testing frameworks like Appium have made mobile app automation testing much more accessible to developers. Automation testing works with manual testing to improve app development and product quality. 

Improved Test Speed And Efficiency With Automation

Mobile app testing is made powerful through automation. Automation helps increase the testing speed and improves the efficiency of the tests. Automation tools help developers run multiple tests simultaneously while maintaining the quality.

Manually running regression tests is time-consuming and tedious - which results in mistakes. With Appium for automated mobile app testing, developers can focus on validating failed tests instead of running regression tests numerous times.

Automation further enables developers to save test cases for future use, integrating additional app features without affecting time and cost. Appium also lets developers test each codebase simultaneously. Using its standard API, developers need not, repeatedly, rewrite the test code and test each platform separately.

Reduced Cost of Project Development

Automation can help reduce the cost of project development. Developers identify bugs early in the development process, which helps avoid negative reviews and the cost of fixing the code post-launch.

When the mobile app requires an update or feature, developers can use saved test cases as a basis for continued regression testing - saving the cost it would take to start from scratch. Additionally, mobile app testing tools, like Appium, come with the ability to schedule tests, meaning that developers can have test cases running overnight.

Automation for Faster App Deployment

Mobile app automation helps reduce the development life cycle. It integrates seamlessly into CI/CD workflows enabling functional and performance testing pre and post-release.

The HeadSpin platform does this and more. It delivers actionable regression and aggregation insights throughout the digital experience lifecycle, from planning and development to trouble ticketing and operations.

According to Gartner, by 2023, 40% of product and platform teams will reduce unplanned downtime by 20% by using AIops in their DevOps pipelines for automated change risk analysis. 

If you're looking to adopt an automation testing process, it is essential to build an automation strategy - which you start by calculating the ROI.

What is ROI in automation testing?

ROI in automated mobile app testing is a metric that helps you understand the return you will get when implementing automation into your QA workflows.

Why calculate automated mobile app testing ROI? Understanding this will help you determine the benefits and risks involved with automation and help you make an informed decision.

Also See: Things Every CEO Must Know About Testing

How to calculate test automation ROI

Here is the formula to calculate the test automation ROI:

ROI = Saving-Investment



In the equation, savings represent the difference between the cost involved in running a test manually versus using automation to run the same test. The 'number' of tests is an average over a specific duration of time. 

The investment represents the sum of ongoing and fixed expenses for test automation, including the money spent setting up the automation framework and the time it takes to write and maintain tests. 

Measuring ROI While Automating New Tests

While automating new test cases, it is essential to consider the time it will take to develop, execute, and maintain an automated test. To get the correct cost, you will need to decide which tests to automate and keep for manual testing. Additionally, analyzing the hourly cost of team members executing tests will benefit you.

Points to remember

  1. Automation complements manual testing.
  2. Automate minor and repetitive tests first.
  3. Automating complex test cases will take longer to implement.
  4. Take into account the time your team spends creating and executing manual and automation tests.

Measuring ROI While Automating Regression Test

Regression tests help ensure that updates to your mobile app don't re-introduce bugs and that they stay dead - ensuring product features continue to function correctly. Automation will ensure you can perform regression tests faster and get desired results.

Points to Remember

  1. Calculate your ROI by assuming each new test will become a regression test.
  2. Account for maintenance and development of new test cases - keeping this in mind will give you an accurate view of your ROI.
Also Check: What is Regression Mobile App Testing and Why Do You Need to Outsource It?

What may affect the accuracy of your ROI calculations?

Calculating ROI for automation comes with its own set of challenges:

  1. It is impossible to assign a monetary value to things like the cost of bugs, product quality, and measuring automation success.
  2. The cost of running new test suits continually cannot be predicted.
  3. Not keeping track of the onboarding or training costs when building an in-house mobile app automation testing team can affect accuracy. 
  4. Keep an account of software defects that automation testing may not detect.
  5. Ensuring your QA team has testers for both manual and automated testing. If not, you could face problems calculating ROI.

The Role of Real Devices

Testing is best done on real devices and not on simulators - this is an essential factor to consider while calculating ROI for test automation. Since the apps you develop will operate on different devices, browsers, and OS, developers need to optimize all software for different viewports, screen resolutions, and configurations.

The HeadSpin platform enables businesses to test websites from different locations and connect to thousands of real mobile and browser testing devices. With thousands of metrics and APIs for data import & export, the HeadSpin AI helps developers with actionable insights to improve performance and functionality.

HeadSpin also allows you to 'Create Your Own Lab' (CYOL), where you get uninterrupted local access to remote devices with HeadSpin's reverse bridge technology. It provides an easy way to organize and utilize your existing device investment so you can remotely test and debug key workflows for your app as if the device were in the palm of your hand. Infact, Gartner predicts that  by 2023, CIPS will see a 40% increase of all enterprise workloads deployments in CIPS by 2023, an increase from 20% in 2020.


Test automation is an ongoing investment. The more you use it, the more ROI it brings in. Implementing regression testing into your holistic automation strategy will undoubtedly bring gains.

However, relying on manual testing will fail to realize these gains, especially as the product grows. It will also put the product and the organization at risk as the cost of testing grows with each update, eventually affecting time to market, product quality, and overall cost. 

This approach to calculating the ROI helps decision-makers take a holistic view and easily understand the value automation will bring to their organization. The decision-makers, the QA teams, and developers can work together to make informed decisions, creating an agile work environment and leading to higher quality products in the market.


Q1. Is 100% automation testing possible?

A1: Automation testing complements manual testing. It gives the QA team more time to focus on improving the SDLC, run manual tests on those cases that are not automated, and focus on user experience - which is one of the things you cannot automate.

Q2. What features to look for when selecting an automation tool?


  1. Ease of use
  2. Enable parallel testing
  3. Enable real device testing
  4. Support multiple frameworks
  5. Debugging features

Q3. What are some of the common mobile test automation tools?


  1. Appium - Open-source test automation tool for native, hybrid, and mobile web applications.
  2. QTP - Commonly used for web, mobile, & desktop applications, QTP offers functional & regression testing.
  3. Selenium - Allows users to write scripts in various languages – from Java, C#, and Python to Perl and Ruby. It is also compatible with multiple OS and browsers.
  4. TestComplete - Offers web, mobile, and desktop testing, popularly chosen by JavaScript, VBScript, Python, or C++Script users.
  5. Testim - Testim lets users write, execute, and maintain automated tests while learning from every execution.
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Calculation of ROI in Mobile App Automation Testing

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