Mounting demand for smartphones and its fast adoption in B2B and B2C markets has laid a new road map for improving service quality and market share of many enterprises using mobility.
This booming mobile market is playing catalyst to mounting demand for mobile testing services. According to IDC survey, more than 500 million smartphone shipments are expected by 2014 which will lead to the development of an altogether new potential market to validate mobility apps across different platforms (e.g., Android, Symbian, iPhone, Windows).
While on one end, mobile app developers or ISVs are launching newer versions of apps to support various platforms and mobile handsets, on the other, non-ISVs like airlines, retail, healthcare, social media, entertainment, etc., are building mobile apps so as to increase their market size and better serve their existing customers. In short – mobility is becoming a successful business strategy to increase customer wallet share and experience, and acquire new customers.
Leading the mobility curve and mobile testing thereof are the following industries:
1) Airline/Travel/Hospitality: Vendors have reported increased traction towards development of mobility apps like online portal for booking tickets, mobile scanner for scanning passenger’s baggage, generating boarding passes, etc. which helps in speeding up the respective process. Such utilization necessitates validation of all the required apps as a minor bug can result in disaster. Testing services often used for this industry include performance testing, load testing, UI/UX testing & security testing.
2) Media and Entertainment: Media & Entertainment industry played a vital role in rewriting the rules of using a mobile device. More than 70% of buyers use iPad, smartphones, and tablets for their entertainment purpose such as watching movies, listening to music, playing games, browsing social media sites, etc. In fact, media companies are now trying to convert the entire content they have on their website in the format supported by mobile handsets. All such apps require validation testing for navigation, broken links, and performance testing on handheld devices.
3) Retail: British Retail Consortium (BRC) report says that 1 out of every 10 retail searches are done using mobile handsets and the ratio is further rising. Retail sector sees mobility as a tool to increase their productivity and profit margins. Tools like inventory management, order management, etc. have now been implemented as mobile apps which provide them the portability benefits and reduce the response time. For such apps developed for retail sector, performance testing, security testing, compliance testing is recommended.
4) BFSI: Mobile banking is becoming a buzz word in the BFSI industry. Every bank is interested in developing mobile apps which will help their customer make online transactions, raise service requests, file complaints, make bill payments, etc. Security testing is of utmost importance to such firms involving online transactions.
5) Energy/Utilities: Apps such as billing system, supply chain, legacy systems are gaining increased traction. These apps are mostly linked to backend systems such Salesforce, SugarCRM, or databases like SQL or DB2, etc. Embedding such apps into mobile demands high level integration and configuration with the device. Hence, in order to ensure the desired functionality, the testing has to be done for integration, security and performance.
6) Healthcare: This is one sector which is still under development phase. Though not fully utilizing the power of mobility, it has begun to understand its importance by which the patients can be monitored in a better way. Apps like mobile-embedded device monitoring solutions (e.g., remote heart monitoring, automatic pace maker- defibrillator management) are gaining interest which will help take preventive care of the patients. Such apps need to go through a critical testing and certification process as wrong data or symptoms captured by mobile device may lead to loss of life.
The scope for mobility doesn’t end here with industries like education, business services aggressively considering this route for increased business. The lack of expertise on mobile technology accelerates the need to test all the features available within an app and get it validated before being cut into production.