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Five steps toward making smart IoT testing a reality

Our hyper-connected world has created a complex and ever-changing landscape that many IT teams are struggling to navigate. With continuous everything becoming the new norm, every aspect of application development needs a rethink. This includes testing, which needs a complete overhaul in order to avoid delays in deployment, updates and user acceptance.

IoT has helped accelerate the complexity of systems with many now consisting of an array of data systems, devices and apps. It is clear that testing in its current state is not ready for this “smart new world.”

Below are five steps that DevOps teams need to take to deliver smart IoT testing today:

Automate testing
Manual testing can’t be the foundation of test strategies with IoT due to the complexity and variation of products and services. Automation of test execution doesn’t suffice as the entire testing process from creation through to analysis needs to be automated. This requires intelligent models to auto-generate tests, with AI, machine learning and analytics allowing DevOps teams to analyze data from testing and to identify the patterns with bugs.

Test the product, not the code
Teams need to re-orientate from focusing on the code to the product and the actual user experience. With IoT, products and services are composed of multiple technologies from an array of vendors, and user experiences are therefore based on products from an array of vendors. Testing is no longer a compliance function; thus, you have to move from testing the code as smart IoT only magnifies the gap between testing code and testing the product.

Test channel consistency
Products and services are now accessed through a range of interfaces including mobile, web and voice interface, or an on-device screen. The system also could be interacting with other products via APIs. For example, if different information about where an item is located is provided depending on the interface, this will create confusion and result in errors. DevOps teams testing IoT systems need to ensure users receive a consistent view of the service independent of the interface used. So, it’s essential with smart IoT systems to test for channel consistency.

Converge testing and monitoring
By converging testing and monitoring, DevOps teams bring the user into the automated testing process, so testing is not just product-focused, it’s really user-focused.

Teams observe what users actually care about, what impacts their productivity, what impacts their effectiveness and what impacts their sentiment. They can then use this to determine whether the test was a pass or failure for a smart IoT product. IoT is often about bringing technology deeper into our lives, and user acceptance is critical; therefore bringing the user into testing is even more critical in IoT than elsewhere.

Get ready for load testing
As IoT continues to gather steam, DevOps teams need to start thinking about load testing. Many companies add IoT technologies to their existing IT infrastructure, but very few are ensuring their infrastructure can handle the resulting surge in data. Load testing is an essential preventative measure that DevOps teams must undertake to ensure their network can cope with the explosion in data volumes without impacting the product or user experience.

By adopting these five steps, DevOps teams will be able to deliver smart IoT testing, ensuring that the digital experience delights.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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