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Test Lab Modernization Trends for Financial Enterprises


Financial enterprises are pushed to test more complex systems, faster than ever, while facing multiple regulatory compliance requirements that must be fulfilled multiple times per year. For many, their current state of testing simply can’t keep up. To address these challenges, a test lab modernization and automation strategy is key to addressing objectives and requirements in the financial sector.

In widespread discussions with financial enterprises about their test labs, we hear several common themes relating to their challenges. Examples include:

  • Multiple labs/environments are segregated by technology and/or vendor

  • Siloed labs/environments reside both on customer premises and vendor facilities

  • Vendors are paid annually for a pool of resources to provide testing services (best effort testing)

  • Typical lab setup time can be weeks, requiring multiple lab techs

  • Some labs are kept static to minimize setup efforts, but constrain flexibility

  • Lab testing runs are several months each, with manual report generation

  • No integration testing is performed (cross-environment); issues are being found in production that were not tested in the lab due to silos

  • No integration testing increases production incident risk and costs

  • Minimal impairment testing is done, and none in an integrated environment

  • New features typically take 9-12 months to build test plans and perform test execution

  • Redundancies and duplication exist with multiple tools and processes

Regulatory compliance requirements for financial enterprises

Like most of Spirent’s customers, financial enterprises are being continually pushed to test more complex systems, faster than ever before, while trying to reduce costs and carbon footprint. On top of that, they all face multiple regulatory compliance requirements, many that must be fulfilled multiple times per year. For many, their current state of testing simply can’t keep up. Their unique requirements include:

Timely Compliance

  • Keep pace with new regulatory and technology requirements, often multiple times per year

  • Provide technology and expertise to deliver rapid, comprehensive, and cost-effective testing

  • Ensure in-code compliance to minimize incidents and fortify SLAs

Consumer Duty

  • Account for customer accessibility, needs, and demands

  • Foster interaction channels (i.e., socio-economic status, geography, special needs, satisfaction, etc.)

Data Integrity

  • Confirm SLAs are achievable in the lab under real-world loads

  • Identify application weaknesses and foster improvements for high performance during periods of high latency

Security Assurance

  • Fortify controls over the use of data; ensure equivalency of PII data and monetary value

  • Mitigate risk by identifying vulnerabilities and suggesting code-level remediation

  • Ensure SWIFT network architecture and web applications facilitate access and enforce procedures for transfers

Drivers for lab and test modernization in financial enterprises

Objectives voiced by a wide range of financial enterprises include the incorporation of automated Infrastructure as Code (IaC) along with these requirements:


  • In-code compliance

  • Reduced incidents

  • Regulatory certification


  • Lab setup and test savings

  • ROI analysis

  • 12-24 month payback


  • Up to 90x productivity gain

  • Task duration from weeks to hours

  • Fast feature testing


  • Cross-department and integration testing

  • 24x7x365 access

  • Global access

Prime objectives of test lab modernization

To address the drivers above, and to achieve optimal productivity in testing, a test lab modernization solution for financial enterprises should abstract physical, virtual, and hybrid lab resources (that may be geographically dispersed) with systems and processes to provide a “federated lab” with access for each test team. Through their solution interface, each test team should be able to reserve lab resources, build templates to define required test topologies, and trigger the fully automated build of any test topology. Teams should have their own lab in a designated timeslot, which can be rapidly reconfigured at will.

Sample Current State Test Lab (top) and Future State (bottom)

The interface should also provide a centralized development environment. This allows test teams to build automated test suites, and the controls to execute them, with results populated into a centralized reporting engine that tracks testing progress against their plan. Diverse global test teams from different organizations should possess a comprehensive platform to automate the testing in their CI/CD process that is fully compatible with in-house or third-party automation tools.

Learn how Spirent Network and Security Testing for Financial Services solutions can help you realize your testing objectives and requirements in the financial sector.

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Bob Dietrich

Global Head, Services Solutions Architect

Bob Dietrich is an accomplished telecom and cloud solutions architect with 30 years of experience. Focusing on OSS and network management, he has supported a wide range of solutions throughout their lifecycle, from vision, business case justification, design, test, deployment, and customer acceptance and satisfaction.