According to Gartner, there are more than 4.9 billion connected devices in existence today, up 30% since 2014. The number is expected to reach a staggering 30 billion by 2020. As data is being pooled from different sources and gadgets like wearable devices, smartphones and connected televisions, the SMAC model is expected to gain more credibility and testing SMAC applications will become even more vital.
SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) is a model which has four technologies under its canopy that is driving the marketing world presently. SMAC allows the understanding of customer behaviour better than other elements. The social media elements have provided companies to reach and interact with customers, smart mobility has breached communication channels and brought the business world closer enough to interact at will; analytics now allows businesses to devise strategies to make content consumption to the intended audience while cloud technology has provided newer ways to access technology systems anywhere-anytime.
With emergence of applications built on SMAC, the importance of testing has become even more crucial. The approach of testing has changed to more business-centric rather than technology-centric. The need for better testing algorithms is more than ever before, especially to secure SMAC data and applications in spite of widespread accessibility.
Today, many organizations promote their products and services by leveraging the reach provided by social networks like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and many other social marketing channels. Multiple releases on different platforms and browsers raise the need for security revisions and hence a robust strategy for security testing does come in handy. A typical social media application requires to be tested on the parameters of Security, Localization, Load & Performance, Functionality and Usability. Integration testing of social media applications is important to assess the seamlessness of the integration of social media applications with other systems. In case of mobile devices, it is important for testers to design their testing strategy around multi-device and multi-platform environment. Testers need to make sure that the mobile applications run well irrespective of platform (iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry), manufacturer or network. Also, with increased use of mobile devices, it is crucial to perform functional testing on operating systems, networks and device platforms while performing non-functional testing in terms of its usability, security and performance. Mobility solutions should be tested for all possible vulnerabilities so that the apps and mobile solution are secure, robust and reliable.
To better understand customer behaviour, more organizations are analysing structure and unstructured data available from various sources. More data is captured and stored in business applications and the optimum utilization of data and its analysis through BI and Analytics applications is integral to better decision-making. The most used testing techniques for analytics platforms are security, performance and usability testing. These techniques are helpful in validating functional and non-functional requirements, and help in solving issues with application performance and code review.
IT departments are increasingly adopting cloud computing solutions to save on costs, have more control and self-service experience. It is necessary to test cloud solutions for stress, latency, fail-over, compatibility, load, performance and capacity. The key benefits involved include faster setup and go-to-market strategy, reduced cost of ownership, secured location-independent access and high scalability.
With these four technologies, automated processes have acquired a new-found importance and testing each of the technologies in terms of data generation, validation and security will help companies to achieve quicker time to market. Simply aggregating various testing tools and technologies is not effective in a SMAC environment. A strategic testing approach with a robust test management plan is an essential factor for testing Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud elements individually and as a single unit. Higher ROI, reduced test cases, effort optimization and robustness of the solution are a few benefits that one can derive from integrated testing of SMAC applications.