The rise of IoT Testing

In a world that is always looking for the next technological advancement, the Internet of Things (IoT) is slowly becoming the key to digital transformation.

With more consumers using connected devices in their homes, they have gained immense popularity, which is constantly growing. This has then led to a rise in innovative and connected technologies and a relatively quick adoption of IoT and IoT testing.

Thus, we have asked experts in the industry to shed light on the future of IoT Testing.

 

What is IoT Testing?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term used to describe devices that connect with the help of the internet and then collect and share data with other devices. It enables people to have real-time communication between different devices as well as provides them with a new level of digital intelligence and helps process information quickly.

However, it was found out that traditional software testing does not work for IoT. Indeed, testers must be careful to user-centric testing and prevent issues before they happen as well as gain in-depth domain knowledge and have experience in testing embedded systems or hardware. Hence, QA engineers hold a key role in the operational and development process.

Hitesh Khodani, QA Leader, defines Testing IoT (internet of things) as a compromise of end-to-end testing of the entire ecosystem including devices, protocols, apps. End-to-end testing includes functionality, performance, and security of the platform.

Like any other testing, he emphasizes, IoT testing involves the following types of testing:

  • Usability
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Compatibility/Interoperability

Moreover, George Ukkuru, Head of Quality Engineering at UST, adds that we see various IoT devices in our day-to-day life at the home, office, manufacturing plants, etc.

Indeed, he continues, they offer a wide range of functionalities and have their own complexities. The dependency on IoT devices is growing day by day, and failures can have a big impact.

Hence, George highlights that a well-defined IoT testing strategy will focus on the different layers of the application, including endpoints, the communication layer, validating the data collected from devices, etc.

 

IoT tools

According to Hitesh, along with existing performance tools like JMeter, LoadRunner, etc., there are specific tools used for IoT testing, such as:

  • IBM Watson IoT Platform
  • Bevywise IoT simulator
  • Wireshark
  • Tcpdump
  • JTAG Dongle
  • POSTMAN

For George, tools like Eggplant offer support to test IoT devices’ functionality, complemented by Robotic Arms.

Moreover, he says, PCloudy offers support for hosting some of the IoT devices remotely and enabling them over the cloud, and Bevywise and Genrocket offer support for generating data that might be useful for simulation

 

Achieve the best IoT testing

Like any other testing, Hitesh highlights, it is of great importance that IoT testing is done as per the best practices.

Indeed, since IoT involves many critical industries like healthcare, home, automotive, personal fitness, etc. There is then very little room for bugs in the system as the impact can be catastrophic. Hence, a solid testing strategy that considers all the factors is required in order to achieve a quality product.

George reinforces that point by saying that a good strategy for IoT testing will help improve the overall experience of the end consumer and improve the solution’s reliability. IoT testing will also ensure that devices can communicate securely.

Although the surge in popularity of IoT testing is not new, it has led to improved business operations and higher Return of Investment (ROI). Hence, implementing the best IoT testing practices will only benefit your organizations in the long term.

 

But what are the challenges?

Traditional testing strategies may not fully be suited for IoT Testing, George tells us. An organization should create digital twins of IoT devices that can be used to model and simulate real-world conditions.

There is a wide range of vendors providing IoT devices. One should validate several integrations, like the integration between endpoint and gateway or gateway and edge platforms.

Hitesh also emphasizes that a badly implemented IoT testing strategy can have a large-scale impact and have the potential to impact humans badly.

Moreover,  new technology such as IoT is likely to face attacks, which IoT entrepreneurs and technologists will have to learn to protect against. Besides, creativity tools will probably be security-light making threat assessment even more important. Security will need to be looked at carefully in order to avoid cyberattacks and threats that could damage the technology and data.

IoT and software testing

For the Software Testing industry, Hitesh points out, IoT testing will require teams to think of innovative solutions to test the IoT device solutions. Hence, this will include recruiting skilled individuals, simulating real-world conditions, hardware and software aspects including security, performance, and scalability.

Moreover, George adds that IoT Testing is definitely a focus area for the organization across all domains.

Without a robust testing strategy for IoT, he continues, organizations will not be able to deliver scalable and reliable solutions to business and end consumers. There will be more focus on device-data simulations, modeling production behavior, and automating IoT testing.

 

The future of IoT Testing

According to Hitesh, with the implementation of technologies like 5G, IoT adoption is only going to increase many folds in the coming years.

Indeed, he believes that there will be more demand to test connected devices in a variety of industries, and hence the demand for skilled IoT testers will increase.

All said and done, general testing and troubleshooting during the development of any product, including IoT, follows a similar pattern, and hence testing (IoT or non-IoT) will be a key focus area for all quality-focused organizations.

George also thinks that there are many technology enablers like 5G and Edge that will increase the demand for testing. A testing approach that can fuse API testing, human-centric testing, and code-centric testing, combined with network simulation and the ability to take control of heterogeneous devices to drive a range of test scenarios.

‘These requirements are inspiring a new generation of IoT-enabled test automation platforms’.

It is very likely that IoT is here to stay. IoT testing will allow faster initiatives with lesser risks, which enabled the advancement of technology into mobility and diversity alongside test integration and automation.  Although IoT testing will face a number of new challenges, it will bring various opportunities for better testing practices in the near future.

 

Special thanks to Hitesh Khodani and George Ukkuru for their insights on the topic.

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