Industry Sectors are Making Headway with the 5 Top Trends

In our last blog on the World Quality Report we looked at 10 New Year’s Resolutions to achieve a modern and efficient test strategy for 2017. The first 5 Resolutions were based on the 5 Key Recommendations of the Report. Here, we look at these again in more detail across various different industry sectors.

~ Written By Lara Irwin

1. Intelligent Self-learning QA and Testing Platforms

Our data collection capabilities are now so great it’s impossible for a human to attempt to properly analyse the wealth of information. New self-learning technology is driving analytics and AI to enable earlier identification of what to test and how. This intelligence-led testing brings down costs and enables faster testing at all stages of the development lifecycle. With 42% of WQR respondents saying that robotics automation and test design automation are the two top techniques for 2017, intelligence -led QA is set to be a major trend in the race for innovation and customer satisfaction.

The Energy & Utilities sector is embracing this trend with 49% anticipating using cognitive automation in 2017 and 32% expecting to use predictive analysis.  The Travel, Media and Entertainment (TME) sector is making heavy investment in a more innovative approach towards intelligent and software-defined networks. Network data is growing exponentially as customers just can’t get enough of their Smartphones. To manage this data and meet customer expectations, 39% of respondents in the TME sector are considering using predictive analytics this year. For 47% of TME businesses working in a DevOps environment, predictive analytics are already a valuable tool for determining and optimising test coverage. The figure is similarly high in Healthcare and Life Sciences with 41% using predictive analytics tools and exactly matched with 47% in the Automotive sector. The Healthcare sector as a whole is showing potentially rapid maturity in intelligence-led QA with 42% foreseeing a jump to the second stage of maturity with the use of robotics automation, and 34% working towards stage 3 maturity by utilising cognitive automation. It’s also not surprising that the Consumer Products, Retail and Distribution sector (CPRD) is a trail-blazer in intelligence-led testing and development as leaders in this sector continue to focus on understanding their customers’ behaviour and needs to develop deeper intimacy and create the ultimate user experience.

2. Shift Left & Right for DevOps & Agile

Test automation is the key enabler of successful DevOps adoption that results in hugely improved quality, throughput and speed. The best approach is an initial shift left to integrate QA as early as possible in the development lifecycle. Then, once you’ve achieved scale, a shift to the right will enable continuous testing, virtualization and the implementation of the data collected by new predictive analytics tools.

In the High Tech sector the 4 big trends are Simulation, Robotics, Big Data and Cybersecurity. Virtualized testing, enabled by simulation, allows a shift left for a truly end-to-end test strategy that integrates quality into the specification, system integration and validation phases. In this sector there are examples of, as many as 80%, of use cases being simulated and in excess of 100,000 parameters being processed, enabling earlier bug detection and affording impressive time and cost savings.

In 2017 the trend in the Healthcare sector for testing throughout the DevOps lifecycle seems likely to increase, as 39% have already achieved continuous testing and a further 54% of those who are not yet this advanced, are planning to implement it in the near future. Healthcare businesses will need to focus on their automation strategy this year, as although 27% of test cases are automated, a worryingly high 41% are concerned that their automation methods and processes are not sufficiently streamlined to produce optimum results.

3. As-a-Service Solutions for TEM, TDM and Test Execution

The World Quality Report predicts greater use of cloud-based test environments, test data management and test execution across all sectors over the next few years. For example in the Healthcare sector, 84% of applications are currently cloud-based. In a bid to achieve faster releases the CRPD sector is leveraging DevOps methodology to enable easier adoption of on-demand cloud-based solutions. Speed, however, can come at the cost of customer experience. It’s not surprising then, that in order to maintain the balance and gain a deeper understanding of their customers, 47% of DevOps players in this sector have turned to automated test data generation. In the Financial Services sector, we are seeing a trend in favour of more open source solutions and tools for test environment and test data management, which will in turn help to drive licensing costs down.

In the High Tech sector, spending on test environment automation, real time analytics and virtualisation are causing an increase in the IT budget spend on QA and Testing with a predicted rise to 40% by 2019! After this initial spike, as the benefits of the new tools and approaches take effect, this expenditure should settle down again. Some of these benefits are already evident as respondents report a reduction in test cycle times from 3-12 months down to just 1 week in some instances!

4. Internet of Things-Specific Test Strategies

A major cause for concern in the Report is that 68% of the organizations that utilise Internet of Things products or solutions don’t have an IoT-specific test strategy. Businesses across all sectors that are involved with the IoT need to start focussing on this area to mitigate the associated risks. Interestingly the Financial Services sector, usually considered conservative and held back by red tape and regulation may well lead the way in this area if health insurers decide to utilise fitness data analysis to create attractive and appropriate personalised packages and incentives for customers. This type of profiling is already being used in the Insurance world to create Telematics profiles for drivers.

In the Healthcare sector the IoT is enabling a new focus on proactive healthcare and the patient as an individual. Wearable devices are becoming more popular to track fitness and monitor health and safety in the home for elderly and less able patients. Every connected device needs to be checked for safety and performance so, of course, this has a huge impact on the QA and test function, reflected in the fact that this sector is already spending 16% of its QA budget on IoT solutions. Healthcare is pioneering data analytics solutions and forging partnerships with vendors to cope with the information from wearables and IoT devices. The knock-on effect of this is that 34% of respondents in this sector state that the major challenge is integrating local, private and public cloud services. This also impacts the Public Sector where IoT solutions for healthcare are set to be huge and currently 14% of the Testing budget is being spent on IoT solutions.

In the High Tech sector, we’ve seen a significant increase in the use of IoT in Omni-channel customer solutions with the introduction of smart-meters, smart apartment buildings and connected home appliances. Industrial networks no longer operate in isolation and the testing strategy needs to reflect these changes in order to be effective. There also needs to be a renewed focus on security testing to protect the Omni-channel data.

For a detailed account of how to test your IoT products and solutions effectively you can take a look at this blog “Isn’t it time we IoTified our Test Strategies?” and also get a copy of our book Testing in an IoT Environment here.

5. How to Manage Quality

A significant barrier to quality is a lack of visibility. To overcome this, the Report recommends that businesses manage quality with simple balanced scorecards per individual line of business, application and process.

This issue is particularly prevalent in the Telco sector where high levels of M&A and the aforementioned quad-play strategy can make it hard to gain decent visibility across the multitude of services, domains and markets. This is likely to lead to an increased spend on visibility tools in this sector in 2017 and beyond.

In all sectors the adoption of DevOps and resultant empowerment of individual teams is fragmenting insights into the quality output of the enterprise as a whole. The key here for all industries is to invest in a real-time dashboard and set key quality and performance indicators that align to the wider business, individual applications and specific processes.

Interactive Video Debate

For a more in depth look at the most important aspects of the World Quality Report join us on 26th January at 1pm for our next video webinar. In this interactive debate Sogeti UK’s CEO Brian Shea, COO Darren Coupland, and Ian Wales and Toby Marsden from Hewlett Packard Enterprise will discuss the key trends in today’s Testing market and review the top recommendations from this latest World Quality Report to determine the testing priorities for 2017 and beyond. Register here.

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