While consumer firms try to engage customers through mobile applications for e-commerce, marketing, and services, B2B firms use them to improve employee productivity and enhance client and supplier communications.

While consumer firms try to engage customers through mobile applications for e-commerce, marketing, and services, B2B firms use them to improve employee productivity and enhance client and supplier communications. Our findings confirm that testing mobile devices and applications presents increasing challenges.

The number of organizations claiming that they struggle to find the time to test mobile applications has increased over the last three years, from 36% in 2015 to 52% in 2017. At the same time, nearly half of the respondents do not have the right process or method (47%) nor the right tools (46%) to test mobile applications. There is a relationship between the difficulties test teams experience in mobile landscapes. Those lacking suitable testing methods will be inefficient and run out of time to test the application or service.
 
Mobile applications developers are challenged by the combinations of specific hardware, operating system, network connectivity, and performance. If the provision of back-end applications and data in the cloud are thrown in the mix, organizations face an exponential increase in testing complexity because they must ensure enhanced user-experience, performance, and security.

The shift to mobile applications is prompting organizations to increase their focus on the overall efficiency and performance of applications. This implies that testing teams are beginning to understand the impact of network performance, latency, and speed on user-experience and functionality. A better understanding of mobile environments helps them factor in those latencies or limitations.

Because time-to-market for some mobile applications is of paramount importance, organizations strive to reduce solution functionality, at least in the first release. The approach allows them to focus on testing performance and the efficiency of multiple-user scenarios. New features can be added once they understand the basic performance parameters affecting the solution.

It’s not just mobile—testing for customer experience across multiple channels is complicated. While it appears that automation can help, 32% of respondents find it challenging to automate customer-experience testing. There is a wide variety of automation tools to help with testing applications and the complexity of the multi-channel ecosystem makes it especially challenging to fully automate it all. Coupled with a lack of processes and skills, it is not surprising that many organizations still struggle with automating multi-channel testing.
 
Even if they’re are not exploiting automation, organizations can use virtual environments to make the test lifecycle more efficient. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the respondents use some form of virtualization in testing. This leaves 37% who use no virtualization of digital applications.

Monitoring and tracking real end-user experience is becoming more and more important: 97% of organizations do it in one way or the other. The survey also shows that such end-user monitoring is performed using multiple methods and sources of information such as monitoring direct feedback from users (20%), tracking usage of digital apps (20%), tracking commentary on social media (19%), or monitoring it through in-built bots in digital applications (19%).

Clearly mobile solutions are a pillar of digital transformation, but the challenges to master the actual quality and end-user value of the digital applications are the new frontiers to be conquered this year.

Source: WORLD QUALITY REPORT

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