A global survey of 1,600 chief information officers and IT executives by consulting and outsourcing company Capgemini said that although 85% of people see the Internet of Things as core part of their business operations, over 68% of organizations do not have a specific testing strategy in place.
According to Capgemini’s World Quality Report 2016, companies that acknowledge a need for specific Internet of Things testing strategy across individual business sectors. Only a minority of companies have implemented so-called “mature” strategies.
“This year’s World Quality Report shows an increasing need for businesses to take a mature, strategic approach when it comes to quality assurance and testing,” said Capgemini’s testing global service line leader Hans van Waayenburg, in a press release. “Digital transformation provides a huge opportunity for growth, but this can only be realized if customer and other stakeholder engagement is actively enhanced.”
The eighth edition of the annual World Quality Report covered a number of business sectors that claimed an interest in assimilating Internet of Things functionality their operations. Industries that are looking at IoT include (but are not limited to): consumer products, retail, telecommunications, media, manufacturing and financial services. The report was published in conjunction with Hewlett Packard and spanned 32 countries.
Business sectors that need to improve Internet of Things testing are telecommunications, media, financial services, consumer products and retail. Companies in these industries claim that they do have an actual Internet of Things testing strategy.
The highest percentage of companies planning for the future are in the tech sector, with 46% of people citing testing as a part of their business operations plans. Transportation (41%) and healthcare (40%) also ranked high in terms of potential Internet of Things testing. At the other end of the scale, 29% of those involved in manufacturing said that specific Internet of Things testing will be introduced in the near future.
The number of people in those business sectors who said that their organization had a “mature” Internet of Things test strategy ranged from a high of 21% (automotive) to a low of 14% (consumer products, retail), the report said. The companies with a mature attitude to testing are likely to have introduced Internet of Things-centered testing techniques into their business practices such as crowdtesting, interoperability testing and structural IT testing in virtualized environments among others, said the report.
Commenting on the degree of maturity within individual sectors, the authors of the report said that an Internet of Things test strategy is important, even if it requires the introduction of new skills and an extended test environment.
While 68% without a test strategy for the Internet of Things functionality is high, in fact 38% concede that they have plans for one in the near future. It is a concern that 30% of respondents with functionality claim to have no specific test strategy and no plains for one. It is possible that these companies are confident their existing testing is adequate. Alternatively, they might be simply content to rely on the device manufacturer. Worryingly, they may not realize the huge potential for risk if they don’t have a comprehensive Internet of Things test strategy.
People were asked to rate on a scale of one to seven (seven was the highest) the key challenges that come with testing products for the Internet of Things. At the top of the list was a familiar item: security.
Capgemini said that security testing got an average score of 4.70 from executives in the survey.
“Although the secure by design approach is the right one to adopt, it is currently rarely adopted in the Internet of Things development process,” said the report. “This is due to a number of reasons including a lack of expertise, rush to market and low security maturity compared to traditional IT. However, if security is not taken into account in the design planning and process, there is little chance it can be taken into account in the testing process.”
Capegemini cited the creation of a test environment with virtualized end products, devices or test data as another element in which companies were struggling to come to terms with, ranking it as highly as security. The challenge is down to a need to switch from a physical environment to a digital one, with the report noting that it can be difficult to connect all the required aspects for the first time.