Automated IoT Interoperability Testing: The Huge Opportunities You Could Be Missing Out On

By: Nextgen | On: Sep 07, 2020 | In: Blog Posts

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As the driving force behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a boom in consumer electronics, IoT growth is surging.

The figures are remarkable. McKinsey estimates that 43 billion IoT devices will be in circulation by 2023. That’s more than five connected devices for every person on the planet.

By the same year, Cisco expects that 50% of all connected devices will be machine to machine (M2M). By the end of 2021, Microsoft assesses that 94% of businesses will be using IoT in their processes.

The proliferation of so many devices will test QA departments to their limits. Those who operate entirely through manual testing are unlikely to be able to manage the workload. The pressure of ensuring interoperability with a huge range of devices, while maintaining or accelerating speed to market, will simply be too great.

Automated IoT interoperability testing will be the only feasible way forward – and one that delivers significant benefits to all concerned. 

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Here are 14 powerful opportunities it unlocks.

Financial Opportunities

  1. Automation delivers significantly reduced costs per test. After an initial investment period, where funds are needed to secure an automation platform and staff training, the lower test costs soon accelerate into view.

  2. When products are subject to the more robust testing offered by automation, they are less likely to result in customer churn and more likely to increase end-user satisfaction levels. With brand equity intact, the cost of keeping existing customers is lowered.

  3. Automated interoperability testing gives manufacturers the chance to significantly reduce HR costs. Test engineers command healthy salaries. Because it is scalable, automation avoids the need to have to recruit extra staff when testing demands increase.

  4. Manufacturers using automated testing experience fewer customer service issues. This saves on the resources needed to manage, process and resolve issues from unsatisfied consumers.

  5. Products released to market with inherent flaws can have a costly reputational impact. As well as making it harder to retain existing customers, it can become difficult to attract new users to your brand. Share prices and company valuations can also be directly affected. Automation lowers these risks.

Process Opportunities

  1. Faster cycle times are a considerable benefit of automated interoperability testing. Automation helps to ensure you meet production deadlines and prevents you from being outpaced by competitors in an increasingly tough market.

  2. Automated testing tools provide much more precision in their defect analyses. They deliver direct reporting of faults, making disputes over bug accountability a distant memory. Instead of battling with third-party suppliers over what element is at fault, you can reach resolutions sooner and continue your product’s development.

  3. Guaranteed consistency is another significant advantage. Setting up an automated test involves the test being incredibly tightly defined. It also eliminates human error, so every test is conducted in exactly the same manner and all results can be compared and analysed with confidence.

  4. With manual testing, each test requires the attention of at least one test engineer – and often more. This means a testing programme can only ever be linear. Automated testing, meanwhile, can deliver simultaneous tests without the need for extra staffing. This rapidly expands the capabilities of the QA function and helps them hit their testing targets.

Testing Opportunities

  1. Complexity is a significant challenge for manual testers. When devices are capable of doing several things at once, it becomes difficult for a human to confidently determine exactly where a fault lies. That’s why manual tester processes try to eliminate all but one variable wherever possible. Automation enables much more complex testing scenarios to be completed with ease, providing a greater diversity of testing and increased test coverage.

  2. Products will often face different interoperability demands depending on the region in which they are being released. Phones and car infotainment systems are two major areas where exclusive releases are made in markets such as Japan, Korea, China, India, Latin America and North America. So local product compatibility has to be assured, and automated IoT testing is the quickest and most effective way to do so.

  3. Automated testing is ideal for testing over-the-air updates by quickly testing all product features and capabilities. It is critical these are robustly examined before being released, because the consequences of problematic over-the-air-updates being delivered to existing users are both challenging and hugely damaging.

  4. If you have several QA teams operating around the world, automated testing is the best way to ensure consistency in the work each team completes. This delivers genuine value, because it is another important contribution to maintaining speed to market.

  5. Automated testing allows for manufacturers to access a considerable device library during their testing programmes. This gives the widest possible coverage to your testing results, finding bugs quickly and – crucially – before a product is released.

Automated Testing Is the Only Option Fit for the Future

Smart cities, smart home, smart factories: every aspect of our lives is being touched by technology in ways unimaginable only decades ago.

It is now unquestionable that the demand for connected devices is going to grow, especially as 5G moves from future promise to day-to-day reality. Somehow, manufacturers must find a way to keep up – and automation will be critical.

Automated testing offers significant benefits across all areas of the testing cycle. It maintains your competitive advantage, delivers increased product confidence and allows for testing to be scaled as and when it is needed. It also positively impacts your financial outlook.

Of course, manual testing will maintain some level of importance. But wherever possible, automated testing is the forward-looking solution because the opportunities it provides are so evident and measurably beneficial.

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