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With the scope and sophistication of digital technology growing, the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing as well. Its widespread usage, be it in home appliances, office automation, smart city management, lighting, and manufacturing, among others, has brought into sharp focus the critical role of IoT testing. If statistics are to be believed, then in 2021 there will be a whopping 10 billion active IoT devices, a staggering number that is expected to cross 25.4 billion in 2030. IoT solutions are expected to generate $4 to $11 trillion in revenue by 2025, with the consumer IoT market reaching $142 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 17% (Source: IDC).

The above-mentioned statistics suggest that the Internet of Things ecosystem is going to transform the world that we see today into one that is economical, smart, efficient, and quality-driven. And internet of things QA testing is the only way to keep such devices' operations glitch-free, safe, dependable, and stable. However, not everything is hunky-dory, for there are factors that can make the testing for IoT devices a challenging exercise. Let us know about them in the below-mentioned segment:

Factors influencing IoT testing

The following factors make the IoT testing approach challenging.  

Diverse devices: A typical IoT ecosystem can comprise myriad devices, sensors, home appliances, and wearable devices, among others. In the end, the functioning of each IoT device within this ecosystem will depend on the quality of the software running it. Thus, the IoT device testing solutions need to check areas such as interfaces and integrations across all touch points. Further, the connected devices should be tested for factors such as stability, acceleration, repetition, vibration, memory, stress, and endurance.  

Real-time environments: An IoT network functions across diverse environments, which may comprise humid or dusty surroundings, high or low temperatures in a factory or home, among others. The IoT testing methodology should consider the surrounding environment to see if it affects the functionality and performance of the IoT device.

Wireless connectivity: The connectivity of IoT devices depends on the smooth functioning of several wireless standards. For instance, an IoT device might have interfaces with different wireless systems such as 4G LTE, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi. These wireless systems and the scenarios surrounding them should be tested during software testing. The questions that crop up during such times include how the data behaves or what happens when connectivity to an IoT-enabled device is dropped

Given that IoT devices and networks will have numerous devices and layers to check for interoperability, functionality, usability, performance, and security, among others, automation should play a key role. QA testers need to prioritize automation as the demand for sophisticated testing models and testing tools will grow. The extent of IoT automated testing will completely overshadow manual testing. The focus will be more on automating the testing of APIs connecting the world of the internet of things.

How does automation in the internet of things QA testing help

Automation in IoT security testing or IoT penetration testing can deliver a host of benefits as mentioned below:

Fast-tracked: By virtualizing IoT-enabled devices, the presence of bottlenecks and lack of resources in IoT testing can be managed. Automation allows the execution of parallel tests on numerous devices simultaneously. Also, it enables fast and continuous testing of IoT devices.

Comprehensive test coverage: Automation makes the testing for IoT devices, operating systems, and various app versions, affordable and fast. It can build scalable virtual labs for many tests. As UAT and production glitches are reduced, higher ROI can be derived.

Quick fixing of glitches: By implementing automation in testing IoT applications, QA testers can derive instant feedback on code changes, resolve failing conditions quickly, and simplify debugging.

Better quality and delivery: A wide range of test coverage can be achieved, leading to the delivery of a lesser number of glitches into the production environment. Also, risks are mitigated with the quick release of IoT applications validated through load and functional testing. Automation reduces the costs of managing complex test environments.

Better test productivity: Runtime analysis with live tests can help in tracing errors easily, generate repeatable and automated test scripts, and enable the conduct of regression tests.

Conclusion

The world of IoT testing involves real-time communication and intelligence to build a balance between software and hardware all along the connected network. The QA team should ensure proper IoT security testing through encryption between devices and servers, enforcing strict password rules, and closing ports when not in use. The new challenges notwithstanding, IoT devide testing solutions are going to embrace the latest technologies like AI, and Big Data testing, among others.

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Hemanth Kumar Yamjala has 10+ years of experience in IT Services, predominantly Marketing, Branding, specializing in Digital. Currently a part of the marketing for Cigniti Technologies with functions such as leveraging digital marketing channels for lead generation and promotion.

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