Are Mobile Apps Leaving Quality Assurance Practices Behind?
Consumerization of IT and BYOD have increasingly put IT organizations on the hook to deliver continuous access to employees and customers. But despite the focus on mobility, quality assurance of mobile apps is being left behind.
Mon, October 22, 2012
This issue has influenced how organizations select external partners to assist with mobile testing, Li says. The number one criterion (62 percent) cited by firms when selecting an external partner was the capacity to test across several networks.
Li explains that organizations that do conduct mobile testing appear to have a different set of quality standards for mobile testing than they do for traditional testing. In traditional testing, functionality and security tend to top the list of priorities, but efficiency of performance was the focus of mobile testing activity for 64 percent of firms. Functionality was only a priority for 48 percent of firms and security was only a priority for 18 percent of organizations.
"This does not mean that companies are no longer concerned with security, but rather that the perspective on security has changed with the bring-your-own-device culture and method of disseminating apps," the report said. "Unlike with traditional desktops, companies cannot control what apps are installed on personal devices, so the concept of security is shifting from a denial of access to the protection of sensitive data and ability to wipe clean apps or data."
Mobile Testing Needs to Be an Integrated Element of QA
But organizations need to take it further, Li says. Mobile testing needs to become a fully integrated element of the QA discipline so the enterprise's mobile strategy takes testing into account from the start of any development project.
"The strategy should consider the objectives of the business owner, how the mobile app is delivered, and the target user for the app whether that be customers, suppliers or employees," the report said. "Organizations need to accept the paradigm shift brought about by mobility and embrace the new notion of quality for mobile apps, which is a departure from traditional standards applied to desktop applications."
"No doubt, the standardization of devices will ease the complexity over time, but in the short term, proliferation of smartphone and mobile devices, the roll-out of 4G, and use of social media will only continue to exacerbate the situation. As will the need to focus on the user experience and functionality testing as well as performance. If organizations are to turn the mobile opportunity into a business advantage, some will need to "skill up" or "skill out."
Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for CIO.com. Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Thor at firstname.lastname@example.org