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Why Is Quality Engineering The Key In Achieving Digital Transformation?
Digital technology has emerged as a disruptor for enterprises, governments, organizations, and entities the world over. It is no longer the ‘add on’ but the much needed ‘core’ to remain visible, responsive, successful, and competitive. If earlier, customers used to be at the wrong end of the stick for businesses, today, digital has given them a user-friendly interface to get their point across. Further, with digital technologies giving customers the power to be choosy with their brands, products, or services, businesses are in a bind. They can no longer ignore the voice of the customer and have to design their products or services as per their customers’ preferences. In the whole scheme of things, quality has become the differentiator for businesses to remain competitive. It is the quality of products or services that ultimately determines whether customers stick with the specific product or service or move onto others.
Digital technologies have led businesses to go for a paradigm shift in their strategies. So, they not only have to deliver superior quality products at a faster rate but need to keep them updated as per the changing times and/or technologies. No wonder, they rely on Agile and DevOps methodologies to deliver superior quality products in double-quick time. To meet the fast-changing customer expectations, businesses adopt digital transformation with digital quality engineering at the core. To understand more about software quality engineering, one needs to know about customers’ changing preferences. Yes, today’s customers are no longer satisfied with a particular brand or product unlike the ones in the earlier generation. Armed with a plethora of choices, the customers of today want high-quality apps that can be used across devices and platforms. Here high-quality apps would mean fast-loading, feature-rich, secure, scalable, responsive, functional, and navigable. Thus, instead of testing apps or builds on a range of devices and platforms post development, it makes sense to incorporate quality in the app development lifecycle.
If digital transformation is about optimizing the value chain, improving productivity, reducing defects, enhancing efficiency and security, and ensuring the quick release of builds, then digital quality engineering is the enabler. It allows organizations to streamline their value chain and ensure the development of a functional product.
Role of quality engineering in advancing the cause of digital transformation
With quality no longer remaining an ‘afterthought’ in the production cycle, it needs to be integrated with every phase of development. This ensures early identification and fixing of glitches in the build before passing it to the next stage.
# Better integration: QE services call for better collaboration and integration between teams, especially development and operations, in releasing quality builds within faster turnarounds.
# Better test automation: A quality engineering approach involves the use of test automation to validate voluminous lines of code as per their expectations. The QE specialists should be able to write pieces of code for better integration with tools and frameworks. However, QE driven test automation is not a silver bullet to ‘correct’ every flaw in the code but needs a better choice of test cases and test areas. These include the following:
• Repetitive tests that are susceptible to manual errors
• Optimizing test cases and improving test automation by incorporating AI
• Tests that need virtualization of data sets due to the latter’s unavailability. The unavailability could be due to the challenges of geography, demography, or complexity
• Tests to be conducted across multiple devices, platforms, and networks
• Frequently used features or functionalities that may be risky
• Tests that are difficult to be performed manually
# Test Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior Driven Development (BDD): The two approaches envisage the conduct of unit test for the code before initiating any further tests. Both TDD and BDD approaches call for better collaboration among quality engineering services, developers, and business stakeholders. This commonality of approach is to ensure the final outcome is in line with the avowed business objectives. The software quality engineering team ensures quality through API validation when pitted against UI-driven test cases.
# Performance metrics aligned to customer experience: Digital quality engineering ensures the customer experience to be top-notch across device platforms. It does so by setting up and measuring the performance metrics as per expectations. This enforces trust, increases accessibility and responsiveness, improves the omnichannel experience, and enhances brand image.
The highly competitive world of online business requires enterprises to come up with quality products delivering great customer experiences in short turnarounds. It is only through a quality engineering approach that glitches can be fixed early, testing can be conducted across device platforms, and the final deliverable is made to align with customer preferences and business objectives.
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