The pandemic has disrupted the way people live and there’s been a rapid pivot to digital technologies to embrace a contactless future. For IoT, this has spurred significant growth in the demand for connected applications, technologies and solutions. This trend shows no sign of slowing down in 2021 as organization push to support connected healthcare, remote workers, location services and asset monitoring. This will be powered by a growing diversity of networking technologies and the increased availability of 5G.
5G has long been touted as a game changer for IoT because it enables connected devices to interact in real time with more machines and with lower latency. These benefits will be transformative and enable an array of innovations to come to fruition. For example, in retail 5G RFID tags will be everywhere, making the cashier-less store a reality.
In addition, autonomous cars will become safer through real-time data transfer, which can improve navigation and vehicle response times. Smart factories will also see every step of the manufacturing process fully connected and automated through a mix of AI, augmented reality and robotics underpinned by 5G.
IoT systems will become increasingly smarter and more complex with the convergence of the digital and physical worlds, which can be accomplished through integrating multiple sensors, platforms, mobile apps, web interfaces and devices. As a result, testing must evolve to focus on ensuring that these complex systems meet user expectations.
End-to-end and real-time testing is essential
Testing will be in the spotlight because organizations must test each connected system’s end-to-end experience. Rather than testing one component of an IoT system, organizations must evaluate the entire experience. For example, car manufacturers must simulate traffic at a radio-wave level to test a self-driving car or even just a connected dashboard.
This takes end-to-end testing to a new level. To date, testing connected systems is predominantly done with a system supported by a solution designed for testing monolithic software. This will not suffice in a 5G-enabled world where the speed, lack of latency and sheer volume of connected devices will overwhelm this approach.
5G will unleash a plethora of real-time scenarios, such as factory automation, smart homes, agriculture and smart cities. A majority of test teams have never thought about how to test real-time constraints, including whether systems behave correctly when a signal arrives too late.
Continuous security testing will be mandatory
IoT and 5G will deliver a vast array of innovations that will push development teams to prioritize security testing so that it happens continuously rather than as an afterthought. The security implications of failing to do this are significant. Just imagine the implications if a connected system delivering lifesaving medical services suffers a breach.
Improved speeds, increased capacity and lower latency provided through 5G will herald a new industrial and technological revolution. If organizations want to tap into the potential of 5G, they must retire outdated testing approaches and focus on intelligent end-to-end testing. This is the only way to ensure that user experiences are delivered, secure and meet expectations.
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