Amongst the SMAC technologies, Cloud has had the largest impact on packaged applications - Salesforce and Workday have been at the forefront of pioneering innovations in Cloud technologies. Organizations are moving away from hosting applications on-premise, to hybrid and public cloud. Today, it is very common in many of the organizations to have applications spread across several delivery models such as on-premise, hybrid and public cloud. For instance, it is very common to create purchase requisitions in Ariba (Public cloud), convert it into a Purchase Order in Oracle Purchasing (On-premise) and make payments using legacy application hosted on a Private cloud. As this trend continues to strengthen, so does the challenge in application testing.
- Running end to end business flows on applications spread across on premise and cloud for behavior driven tests
- Performance test for scalability and resource optimization
- Security testing to ensure right access to the right person
- Cross-platform compatibility is critical for multiplatform assurance.
Big Data/ Analytics:
Analytical applications enable sifting through data, identifying trends and provide real time actionable insights for better decision making. For example: A production planning application can predict, with a high degree of accuracy, the amount of goods to be produced and stocked based on the consumer buying patterns across several seasons, regions and current trends, to ensure an optimal sales season for the enterprise. Until now, these insights/dashboards have been majorly characterized by summary reports generated from data extracted from transaction processing systems. These insights are usually after-the-fact analysis with very little/close to real-time synchronization. However, with the explosion in the quantum of structured and unstructured data in recent times, Big Data taking center stage, the complexity of analytics is on the rise and require new techniques to assure these applications.
- Validation of algorithm logic
- Real time analysis of large data volumes (structured and unstructured)- 4Vs- volume, velocity, variety and value of data
- Performance test for scalability & endurance
- User experience engineering for simple, actionable insight driven analysis and recommendations
While specialty enterprise apps on handheld devices have been around for some time now (inventory stock takers, utility meter readers etc.), a typical user predominantly accesses enterprise applications through conventional devices such as desktops and laptops. However, with the global mobile and internet revolution over the past decade, mobile devices have become the preferred choice for accessing enterprise applications. Packaged application vendors are releasing content such as timecards, expenses, procurement, approvals etc. over mobile devices. Business Assurance of these applications involve ensuring that they not just ‘work right’ (functional/nonfunctional aspects) but also ‘feel right’ (look and feel, user experience).
- Omni channel/device/platform compatibility assurance
- Usability testing for simple, consistent and intuitive user experience across platforms
- Performance engineering applications under stressed network conditions
- Validating availability multi-tasking scenarios
Collaboration in enterprise applications has been achieved predominantly by workflow based messaging and through offline communications such as emails, phone calls etc. With the advent of Digital technologies such as social networking apps, all such collaboration can now be managed seamlessly within the enterprise apps. E.g. when a new marketing campaign is to be launched, the marketing manager can post the details of the campaign on a social group within the application, engage the key stakeholders across the globe very easily, elicit feedback and record all such communication within the application.
- Validating the functional integration with other applications
- performance testing for scalability and reliability
- Security assessments and compliance identity management policy
- Influence test design by using our social listening solutions
One can safely conclude that SMAC technologies has enabled faster and accurate decision making by providing relevant, actionable insight to stakeholders. These transformational changes bring with them new Business Assurance challenges. It is only through innovation and increased collaboration across several functional and non-functional testing teams, that we can overcome these challenges and Digitally Assure the next generation Enterprise Packaged Applications.