For the last few months, I was going through artifacts looking at the future testing scope for new technologies. Being a tester, my primary focus is always on the testing. While we all know that automation is on the top of list, I think digital mesh is another emerging technology which requires extensive testing. In Gartner 2017 report, Gartner called this as “The Intelligent Digital Mesh.”
Digital mesh is nothing but connecting people, devices, content and services together to support digital business. First of all, it is digitally matured, then it is intelligent due to artificial intelligence driven, lastly it is mesh using analytics, IoTs, clouds, big data, blockchain etc.
Digital mesh is based on top of device mesh. The device mesh is an expanding set of endpoints like mobile, wearable, consumer, home electronics, automotive and environmental devices, including sensors in the internet of things. If you think about the scope for QA & testing on digital mesh, it will be very wide as validation & verification will be applicable in each interfaces & as and when mesh grows. Firstly, as a standalone perspective like cloud testing, IoT testing, individual device testing, big data testing and digital assurance as a whole. Later, as an integrated testing perspective as and when it will be added to the digital mesh.
My understanding is standalone testing perspective, organizations are already started doing this. Either vertically or horizontally, say for example cloud testing or IoT testing or digital assurance or blockchain testing or big data testing. From integration testing perspective specially for mesh, functional test is absolutely required for verifying all the devices or services are working fine while integration, all the components or interfaces are working as expected while integration, later regression test to ensure that existing devices or services are properly working even after mesh is growing, overall seamless user experiences irrespective of the devices, browsers, geographic locations, different types performance testing like load, stress, endurance, spike, failover in terms of devices, networks, content, services are also required as it is a mesh. More importantly security testing is very significant looking at the data & devices perspective.
Overall, E2E comprehensive testing while & after integration is absolutely required which covers all the components or interfaces. In addition to that, compatible testing (different browsers, OS, devices), protocol testing (like network, IP testing), compliance testing for ensuring with software quality standards, lastly extensive digital quality assurance will be required before production.
Digital experience monitoring (both real user monitoring and synthetic monitoring) in production will also play a major role for proactively identifying the issues and resolve immediately to confirm enhanced customer experience. Overall objective will be providing a continuous digital experience (which includes ambient user experience) and testing will be ensuring that. Also, it will be very tough to test every combination/permutation of browsers, devices, network providers, OS, geographic locations looking at the accelerated delivery . On that cases, digital experience monitoring – real user monitoring strategy will assist us.
The evolution of the intelligent digital mesh means that security must become fluid and adaptive (Gartner Report). Organizations must leverage the benefits of adaptive security architecture and that needs to be verified via testing. With an adaptive security architecture, an organization can continuously assess & monitors security risk and try to resolve by automatic measures with preventive, detective, retrospective and predictive methods. So, adaptive security testing will be another requirement in digital mesh and that absolutely requires testing.
One more thing, as mesh started to grow or even connected IoT devices started to grow, implementing blockchain technologies became a necessary for building trust with enhanced security, reduce cost by removing overhead and accelerate transactions by doing instantly. So, this needs to be thoroughly tested. Scope will be standalone IoT testing, blockchain with IoT testing and lastly digital mesh with blockchain testing.
Another thing, augmented reality uses digital technology to overlay information in video, text or image format onto everyday objects in the real world. The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) make the virtual world look as much like the real one as possible. It mainly assists in improved customer experience & bringing digital to the real world. This is beneficial in digital marketing and it requires proper testing to avoid any potential issues.
The intelligent digital mesh will require changes to the architecture, technology, and tools used to develop solutions. The mesh app and service architecture (MASA) is a multi-channel solution architecture that leverages cloud and serverless computing, containers and microservices as well as APIs and events to deliver modular, flexible and dynamic solutions. This solution ultimately supports multiple users in multiple roles using multiple devices and communicating over multiple networks (Gartner Report). We need to have a proper testing strategy (E2E) to ensure all the components for MASA architecture is working properly both functionally & nonfunctionally to avoid any potential surprise in Production. Lastly, the mesh network works with minimal infrastructure and can therefore be deployed faster at a lower cost than traditional infrastructure. Also, mesh networks are having lower maintenance cost than a traditional network. Another positive part of mesh networks are selfhealing, means that if there is any disruption to the connectivity of a certain device, the network just connects to other devices and the network is not dropped. In addition to that mesh networks can continue to scale almost endlessly, maintaining signal strength and the ability to send and receive data. There are few disadvantages too like market & regulatory forces, battery life or sometimes in troubleshooting large networks. Proper network testing strategy will be very helpful.
So, over all testing scope in digital mesh is enormous both as a standalone perspective due to several components, different technologies, applications, networks and as an integrated perspective due to ensuring enhanced customer experiences. Good thing is that lot of organizations are already started doing it.
BIO: Arun earned a degree in Computer science from Govt. Engineering College, India (college topper). He is having 13+ years of managing E2E performance testing delivery experience in different types of applications. He has a keen interest in reading and writing different technical papers. He was selected in multiple international conferences, global webinars and his papers have been published in multiple forums. Currently, he is working as a Senior Test Manager in Atos-NAO & Global subdomain leader for Atos Expert: Application-Testing