Why is it Critical to Ensure Optimum Quality in the Era of IoT and Wearables?

Why is it Critical to Ensure Optimum Quality in the Era of IoT and Wearables?

Apples, for quite some time now, are no more just eatables – as much as Jawbone is not just a physical structure, nor is a Pebble just another stone.

There are wearables – and many other smarter, interconnected devices that use the very complicated mesh known as the Internet of Things (IoT). With the demand rising in unthought-of numbers earlier, and a very huge impact visible across organizations – these smart devices are well on the way to change the course of the IT world.

With machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies joining in the foray to support communication in businesses related to transportation, green-buildings, and manufacturers of instruments that control quality with use of embedded sensors, tags, and actuators, we can now see, hear, and feel, the world in a very different manner than earlier.

Per one of the reports from HP, the number of connected devices has increased from a meagre 0.3 million devices in 1990 to almost 9 billion in 2013. The number is set to touch 1 trillion devices by the year 2025. To add on to this, here’s a sample of the volume of data that can be generated – while the radio telescope ensemble, Square Kilometer Array (SKA), can alone produce several exabytes per day, as it senses the changes and behaviors of objects in the universe, a single Boeing aircraft can generate 20 TB of data per hour!

But why is Quality so Critical?

While the above statistics go on to prove beyond doubt that ours is a world that uses smart apps to perform all and any kind of activities – be they related to work, play, shopping, entertainment, knowledge exploration, and communication – on the flip side, this also means that a big chunk of all our personal data and information is shared in a manner which, if not secured properly, will lead to a big crises the world over.

In this blended physical and digital world having intelligent household items such as cars, washing machines, microwaves, security locks, smart street lights etc., unless complete care is taken of Quality in terms of performance, security, reliability, scalability, functionality, etc. – everything around us can pose a potential hazard whether in form of identity theft to a more physical accidental hazard. The data for all such so-called smart devices must be collected and analyzed for all sort of advancements and testing.

With IoT all set to transform the world of business and aide revenue generation, it becomes imperative that the quality of these devices is given utmost business-critical like importance for further improving customer relationship – and database.

With Credit Suisse expecting the total market value of wearables to increase ten-fold – from $3.0-5.0 billion to $30.0-50.0 billion – over the next three to five years – it is just not personal assets and information at stake here, but even a small dent in the quality of these devices may create a huge hole in the pockets of the related organizations as well.

IoT is not just making our personal lives easy – it is also providing new, disruptive models that businesses can use to ideate and generate new lines of revenue, as also thinking out of the box solutions for reducing costs and increasing savings that may be even up to the tune of $ 1 Billion – if the industry happens to be Airlines, or $ 8 million pa, in case of the mining industry.

According to Cisco, IoT growth will generate $14.4 trillion in value – across all industries – over the next decade. McKinsey sums it up well that the IoT is one of the most disruptive technology trends of the next decade, with comprehensive ramifications for businesses and policymakers.

In essence, not paying complete attention to quality in the world of IoT and wearables is to ensure that you are treading a path of losses and failure.

To cover all the bases and ensure that Quality is no more a concern, a third-party organization with the right expertise can prove to be your best bet. At Gallop, Quality is at the heart of everything we do. Our focus is to keep your app secure and your customers happy. Our tool agnostic test automation frameworks ensure accelerated testing so that you get higher productivity and an enviable time to market. Reach out to us today!

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Testing IoT for Performance

Testing IoT for Performance

Over the last few years, the Internet of Things [IoT] has spread its coverage area and become inclusive covering even everyday objects and appliances in its sphere. Software testers, however, can only cope with the swiftly changing IoT environment by training on the fly. To a performance tester, the IoT might seem daunting, but it is similar to testing web/mobile applications. IoT devices are those that that are constantly connected to a server. Therefore, the overall usage pattern is quite different from that of mobile devices, and performance testing the IoT essentially boils down to thoroughly testing the internal computation between devices and the network infrastructure.

IoT introduces a host of new challenges for performance testers to tackle.

Performance Testing the IoT: Challenges

  • The biggest challenge that testers are bound to face is greater complexity. All the new devices involved in the network need to be accounted for (smartphones, refrigerators, ACs, etc.) Consequently, determining a method of recording messages between the various connected objects throws up another challenge. A performance and load tester may be familiar with recording traffic from web browsers, mobile devices, etc., but testing new objects that do not allow a change of settings might prove inconvenient.
  • Similar to testing web/mobile applications, testers must account for factors such as latency, packet loss, network bandwidth, load, etc. The effect of such factors in the IoT can be far more serious. Simply put, instead of a web site/mobile app crash, a device such as a car might fail to respond to a command, resulting in serious consequences.
  • Diverse usage conditions become another obstacle altogether. While assessing the performance of an app, the stability of the end user’s internet connection plays a significant role in determining test results. Therefore, it’s necessary to ensure that data is detected and properly stored during a disruption in service.

A well thought-out testing strategy is necessary to account for the different challenges faced.

Performance Testing IoT: How to approach it?

A smart approach to dealing with the aforementioned challenges is by prioritizing test cases. Since testers are not required to test everything from the get-go, it is best to identify key areas that are expected to take the longest testing time. Issues of performance in some business operations are not likely to damage a brand’s reputation or revenue, but in others they might have devastating consequences. This can be illustrated by examining two different scenarios.

Take the case of an electric heater. An application could be built into the heater to constantly provide the server with information on its various characteristics (that is, heating performance, temperature, power consumption, etc.) to provide a brief insight of its service life and performance over time. If at some point, the server fails to receive bits of data, it does not affect your business in any form. But, if you take the case of an assembly line for a major industry where each machine is communicating with the other, loss of data at any point could cause massive delays in the production line and therefore directly affect the businesses revenue stream negatively.

For the latter case, performance testing is crucial. Ensuring machines can handle any given load and messages are passed across in real time should be the primary focus of the testers. One should also be able to measure response times between different network layers and track device system statistics.

Concluding thoughts

A careful and strategic approach to developing and implementing an IoT testing plan is the most efficient way of ensuring an application’s performance. Once the objectives of your application have been set, it is best to determine factors such as peak loads faced at any given point in time. Test cases can be generated by defining typical and atypical use cases of the objects. Also, in case the application requires the use of unique protocols, an appropriate testing tool needs to be used to test performance in a timely and efficient manner.

Performance testing the internet of things is slowly becoming commonplace. With the use of the approach described above while performance testing, integrating IoT in your business processes will surely allow your enterprise to thrive.

Get in touch with Gallop’s Test Specialists who can guide you and help you achieve maximum benefits. Contact us today to know more about our wide range of testing services.

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The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.