The function of Quality Assurance has changed significantly over the last few years. Let’s look at the technological trends that will shape the landscape of QA and software testing next year.
1. Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is the use of digital technologies to deliver products and services to consumers faster, cheaper, and better than competitors. Streamlining digital transformation requires the change in every part of the organization’s ecosystem such as business models, organization frameworks, employee skill set. Generally, today there are three steps to do it successfully: adopt business-aligned approaches (Agile and DevOps), make efficient use of ever-increasing data, use all technologies (cloud, automation, analytics, etc.) appropriately.
Digital transformation creates a higher demand on QA and software testing approaches. Among the most crucial challenges that have to be overcome are not enough time for testing, lack of effective tools, testing process or method. Very often these challenges arise in organizations that apply a traditional waterfall approach to software development.
Fortunately, most organizations still move to the digital transformation despite the existing challenges.
2. API Economy
Moving ahead on the path to digital transformation, numerous organizations start using robotics automation, which has become possible due to the growth of the API economy and microservices. Putting it simply, this is an approach where large applications are cut down into smaller and easier to manage pieces (microservices).
Of course, it simplifies development, testing, and release processes. But on the other hand, splitting one application into small parts creates the need to monitor the quality of every component. It simplifies testing of every single component but makes testing of the integrated system more difficult.
Rigorous API and integrations testing is required to make sure they provide the expected result.
3. Internet of Things (IoT)
Doesn’t it seem that it has been around forever? The adoption of the Internet of Things has been rising across industries during the last years. Among the domains that are adopting IoT technologies faster than others are Energy and Utilities, Public Sector, Transport, and Financial Services.
And of course, it introduces new challenges related to the effective usage of the large amounts of data it generates. Many companies whose products have IoT functionality still do not have a specific test strategy.
The upcoming year is likely to see an increase in adopting IoT end-to-end test strategies and their proper implementation.
4. Artificial Intelligence
The AI and testing may be related in two different ways: testing of AI solutions and application of AI in testing. While AI solutions testing certainly requires a well-structured strategy, in terms of upcoming trends we focus on AI technologies implementation in testing activities.
The goal is clear: to build a smart AI-driven test approach and make tests launch and adapt to the changes in the software. However, AI is an emerging technology and many companies still lack enough knowledge and expertise to make proper use of it.
The crucial step towards this direction will be to make important testing decisions based on smart analytics: when, what, and how many tests to run.
Today high-quality analytics solutions can help to choose and prioritize test cases. Whether companies can make a step forward will depend on their ability to mine data from application lifecycle management tools, e.g. test case coverage, defect data, etc. It will require a new set of skills from QA talents. Alongside with knowledge in testing, they’ll have to demonstrate their skills in development, data science, maths, machine learning.
It goes without saying, the importance of AI will only grow in 2019.
5. Cloud Computing
Implementation of Agile and DevOps practices have been driving cloud adoption. A large percentage of applications is now based in cloud, either private or hybrid. Cloud computing offers scalability and greater functionality for the software development process.
However, the increased adoption of cloud has its own challenges. Organizations who opt for using cloud-based or third-party SaaS services, should make sure that their software testing engineers will pay special attention to security and performance risks and requirements.
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With all the emerging technologies like IoT and AI, there is a growing concern over the user data privacy and security. As of now, there is a lack of clear standards and security protocols for these new technologies.
Want to find out more regarding password protection and techniques for improving security? Follow this link to keep up with the topic.
Enhancing security should be a top priority of any IT strategy and QA should be able to offer a helping hand in this area.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR came into force in May 2018 and became applicable to every organization that operates on the territory of the EU. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty about its impact on the IT sector.
No doubt, blockchain is one of the hottest trends in IT today. At the very beginning of its history it was used by the FinTech companies to work with cryptocurrencies, while now the organizations from different domains report using blockchain or plan to do so in the upcoming future.
Being an emerging technology, blockchain also gives birth to concerns. Building an effective test strategy that will help to mitigate security-related risks and ensure high-quality integration with the rest of the ecosystem is one of them. Read about specifics of testing blockchain-based apps here.
8. Application of Bots
Chatbots are widely expected to reshape completely the way we interact with business. Today there is a lot of conversation about chatbots and their potential application. However, it’s still a challenge to build a well-performing chatbot that will make a prospective client talk to the brand.
The professional QA team should be able to build a strategy to address each of its components and consider the infrastructure, connectivity, and voice communication.
9. Mobile Solutions
The demand for high-quality mobile solutions will become even higher in 2019. Users won’t put up with low speed, bad interfaces, and crashes because of the wide choice available in the market. Therefore, the importance of robust testing will increase.
10. Increased Customer Centricity
For the third year in a row, the World Quality Report survey confirmed the importance of end-user experience as the goal of the Quality Assurance and Software Testing strategy.
Great customer experience doesn’t happen by accident. Development, design, and QA — everyone’s role on the project impacts the customer experience and users’ perception of the product. Focusing your QA function on UX is a crucial part to preserve or build your organization’s standing among the most demanding tech users.
The IT industry is going through a period of fast changes and all of them have implications for testing and QA. Taken together, all the trends mentioned above will demand faster and more collaborative QA processes.