Mobile is everywhere today — there is no denying it. And just as enterprises are catching up to the trend, another twist is coming into play: wearables. But these new technology advancements aren’t totally revolutionary; they are simply an extension of mobile. In fact, everything is starting to mobilize. 2014 will truly rewrite the rules of mobile engagement between enterprises and customers, employees and each other. But how will enterprises cope with another addition?
Preparing for wearables
Enterprises still need to properly test, deploy and monitor mobile applications. And the standard will be no different for wearables — application quality must remain a priority regardless of the avenue. To get ready for the next Google Glass or other wearables trend, companies must begin to rethink the ways they develop mobile apps and build their mobile brands to meet the needs of consumers. Wearables will change the way that brands interact with their customers — and they need to prepare for it quickly.
From consumer electronics, mobile health, industrial equipment to military applications, all areas will have use cases for comparable mobile functionality and this new wearable technology. Of course, this will have a profound effect on the entire IT structure, forcing mobile enterprises to bridge the gap between business strategy and IT, define mobile governance policies and implement the right tools for mobile application development and quality assurance.
Regardless of the industry, consumers will expect the flawless user experience that they are accustomed to, and testers will have to devise more complex testing strategies to ensure they meet consumer demands.
From a quality standpoint, this new wave of extended mobility mandates that application developers and testers, already hard-pressed to cover a mobile market with hundreds of devices and screen resolutions, now need to find ways to test a new set of unique use cases that involve different means of communication with various devices in different locations, low battery tests, and more.
Developers need to adjust alongside this mobilized world. Today developers can leverage their desktops to develop and test mobile apps using cloud-based mobile solutions, local devices and emulators. For the third wave of mobile devices, new software technologies and desktop connectivity solutions will be required to support an extended software development life cycle (SDLC).
And in order to have an effective mobile strategy, enterprises and developers will need to be more agile. The increase of development velocity will continue, as will the necessity of automation to balance requirements of increased speed of delivery and quality. Wearables are opening the floodgates to a variety of new applications and benefits, so enterprises should adjust their structure to allow for faster content creation (i.e., less offshoring, more focused teams).
In addition, the role of the mobile developer will grow and become more central to the entire SDLC chain, due to the increasing complexity of technologies used by these devices. Agile development techniques to test and issue updates in real-time and place will place additional pressure on these roles, but they will be key players in the overall wearables strategy.
Enterprises in today’s mobile world need to be more agile than ever. Wearable devices are the wave of the future — but this extension to mobile will come faster than expected. So brands need to prepare now for the new demands on developers and the mobile testing process.
Eran Kinsbruner is director of product marketing at Perfecto Mobile, a cloud-based mobile application testing and automation company. Formerly CTO for mobile testing at Texas Instruments and project manager at Matrix, Eran’s testing experience includes managing teams at Qulicke & Soffa, Sun Microsystems, GE and NeuStar. He co-invented a test exclusion automated mechanism for mobile J2ME testing at Sun Microsystems. Find Eran on Twitter, LinkedIn, his professional mobile testing blog or Perfecto Mobile blog.