In our increasingly digital world, consumers expect an online experience that is seamless across multiple devices, browsers and apps.
This can prove particularly challenging for businesses that are eager to bring new products to market but don’t want to compromise on the quality of their service. This is where digital testing comes into play. It is a crucial lynchpin of the modern business process, but how many organizations are ready for this key transformation journey?
The digital testing industry has changed significantly over the past ten years thanks to an evolution in technology and a shift in business requirements. To keep up with changing consumer demands, businesses need a testing approach that is agile and tailored to their needs, and causes minimal disruption across the company. Yet despite a growing awareness of what is required, according to the analyst house PAC only 18 percent of European firms have a robust digital testing strategy. In fact, the speed of change is so quick that many businesses are struggling to implement the latest technologies into their legacy systems.
The key advances driving this change revolve around connectivity. As a result of the Internet of Things, billions of devices are now connected, which means more testing is needed than ever before. Luckily, thanks to innovations like cloud computing and automation it is now possible to test hundreds of applications simultaneously. Facebook recently opened a purpose-built data centre in Oregon, housing over 2,000 smartphones for application testing. This data centre contains 60 racks, each holding 32 smartphones of varying quality, so that the company can test its applications on as many different devices as possible, to deliver a consistent standard of security and customer experience. For a company like Facebook, which is expanding rapidly across the globe, this type of agility is vital in ensuring widespread adoption.
As testing becomes increasingly sophisticated, businesses will be able to predict problems before they happen, shifting away from a reactive, ‘find and repair’ model towards a preventative strategy where constant testing is a core function. This can only serve to improve the bottom line, as companies will be able to deploy new products and services at increasing speed, helping their business to continually evolve with market demands.
But this is just the start. Robotic capabilities are continuing to advance and will soon be able to control vast segments of the testing process. Other innovations will help improve areas like security, particularly for the financial services industry where banks including HSBC and Bank of America are already testing blockchain technology to simplify trade finance processes.
Of course, the real question is whether organizations will be able to integrate these techniques into their legacy systems in a timely and cost efficient way. That challenge can only be solved by investing properly in education, training employees to not only understand, but to be experts in the latest technology. An important starting point is to understand that testing transformation is a journey that an organization needs to view in terms of a change program, first of the testing function itself and then more widely within the IT function. To do this, companies must not only break down siloes between departments, but centralize their IT team, so that technology becomes an enabler rather than a hindrance.
By Julian Clarke, Apps2 Sales Lead for Testing at Capgemini
Read the August 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.