A Journey to the IoT World-III

This is a three part series

Managing the IoT Storm- Probable Solutions to the Testing Ordeals

In our last blog, we highlighted the testing challenges that IoT brings along, and even though, it’s not easy to overcome these, yet if managed efficiently, IoT can offer enormous benefits to organizations and societies.

By 2020, IoT-enabled service models could save a trillion dollars a year in maintenance and service costs, as per Gartner. Moreover, McKinsey’s Global Institute predicts that IoT is set to have an economic impact of between $4 trillion and $11 trillion by 2025.

This definitely indicates that IoT will transform our lives beyond imagination. Hence, a rational approach is to recognize and understand its impacts and get prepared, in advance, to deal with this disruptive technology, which poses huge challenges to the testing world.

As per the World Quality Report 2016, key opportunities for solutions for IoT Testing includes:

Source: Capgemini

Keeping these answers in mind, let’s make an attempt to offer some probable solutions to the testing world ordeals we underscored in our last blog.

Dealing with an Avalanche of Internet-Enabled Devices

To leverage the real benefits of IoT, testing companies will be required to create an end-to-end QA testing strategy covering the diverse set of embedded devices, applications, testing methodologies, and environments, along with continuously remaining updated with the latest testing tools and their intended uses. Real device testing will not completely lose its relevance but shall be used prudently and selectively.

Surprisingly, a  number of organizations with IoT as part of their business still do not have a test strategy for IoT as per WQR2016.

Source: Capgemini

Ensuring Hyper-connectivity Across Multi-Layered IoT architecture

Given the increasing number of devices, OSs, traffic patterns, varied UI, and diverse networks, testing on the cloud with emulators and simulators can offer a plausible solution for seamless hardware-software integration in the real time, unfailing device interoperability, and perfect user interaction.

Hence, the future focus will be on cloud testing and virtualization solutions, but this implies that a single hole in security can become a major threat.

Dealing with Security Concerns

The solution lies in adopting ‘multi-channel’ and ‘behavior driven’ testing models and approaches along with intensive platform migration testing.

Companies deploying controller devices will be compelled to consider the type of data they are handling, and implications of data leakage. Organically building high levels of security into the IoT devices and software along with regular security updates may offer a plausible but complex solution to ensure data security.

This implies that elaborate testing with lengthy test cycles will be required and sensitive information will be encrypted, but not at the cost of sacrificing the speed to market.

Applicability of Agile without exception

Agility will be the face of the future. Organizations still with traditional models should now adopt fast and responsive QA and testing solutions with an agile mindset. This necessitates the need to go via DevOps platform.

Adopting DevOps

DevOps implies a cultural shift, and though not easy, the benefits will overweigh the traditional testing approaches which shall become, more or less, dysfunctional over time. But for DevOps, organizations need to be ready with a plan that clearly streamlines how developers and ops teams shall be working together to reap the real benefits. Clearly delineating responsibilities by making people accountable will make the transition smooth.

The companies will be required to implement contemporary technologies essential to IoT and cross all the key gaps towards implementing agility. Adopting Open Source frameworks will be a step in the right direction.

Open Source Frameworks

With countless sensors, millions of routers, gateways, and data servers, the scalability requirements will only be met via open source frameworks.

Moreover, these frameworks will assist testers in not getting stuck with a particular tool thus mitigating the risk of a potential ‘lock-in’, and organizations will be free to switch solutions as and when required.

Undoubtedly, future testing will need more innovative and smart open source frameworks and testing companies will be required to run longer test cycles for ensuring security and reliability of the app. Besides, continuous training of the staff and swift adoption of the agile framework will stretch the budget.

Managing the Budget

Budgets will definitely soar, and the only way out would be to remain well-prepared. Companies still with the Waterfall Models should begin the transition process, and those with Agile should get involved in more research and understanding of the implications and challenges of IoT.

A separate budget should be set aside to train the testers on latest tools and technologies to avoid costly mistakes. Moreover, carefully planning and setting up Agile and scalable TCoE’s with contemporary test service delivery models can be a good step.

TCoE

To promote an IoT ecosystem, setting up an Agile TCoE can be a good initiative for companies in their preparedness for the disruptive technology. This could help with enhanced quality and cost efficiency, along with instilling agility and clarity in the software development process and bringing the required cultural shift for organizations to deal with the changes needed in the IoT world.

Conclusion

To put it briefly, with IoT, QA testing will be a complex task with innumerable testing scenarios. The possible solutions to these testing challenges can be as follows:

  • For testing diverse highly connected devices, testing companies will be required to create a blueprint of an end-to-end QA strategy. Cloud and virtualization solutions will be the way forward.
  • Multi-channel and behavior driven testing models, with information encryption and intensive platform migration testing, will assist in dealing with possible security threats. And, organically building high levels of security within the devices will be a good solution.
  • Agility and DevOps will become an integral part of the testing process and hence companies should be well-prepared for that.
  • With increased reliance on open source frameworks, companies will be able to manage their budgets along with getting access to a highly scalable cloud platform for testing purposes. Additionally, training the testing team on the latest tools can help in getting a competitive edge.
  • Finally, setting up a TCoE and investing, if possible, in future research will be a major step in enabling the testing companies to remain ahead of the game.

Therefore, testing companies can follow these guidelines and initiate the organizational shift required to deal with the looming IoT storm.