First published on MSDN on Sep 26, 2017

Authored by Gunjan Jain

Digital Transformation Scenario
World is moving from relying on paper to cloud storage, physical stores to online store, from being physically connected to becoming wireless. Due to constant changes in technology and competition, businesses are eventually forced to undergo a digital transformation to stay relevant in a dynamic marketplace.

Any organization which is undergoing a transformation, is going to consume a lot of time and resources, but the sacrifices made are crucial to secure customer retention eventually.

We are living in an era of "SMACT” and our lives are highly impacted by Social, Mobile, Analytic, Cloud, and the Internet of Things. Every business is involved in these five basic technologies in one way or another. Customers are changing their behavior in response and companies are keen to find out how they need to transform to survive this change. Many companies, irrespective of the industry, are facing similar challenges like how to stay on top of these new technologies and how to respond to the changing needs of the customers.

Organizations are radically altering their business processes and operating models. They do this to assure superior customer experience. They realize that to achieve this, large-scale transformation programs are necessary. Currently, organizations are investing a lot of money in implementing such Digital Transformation programs.

Is it a good idea to invest in testing during Digital Transformation?
Currently we are living in an era of a digital world and organizations are investing significantly in transforming their business/processes in the Digital world. Now, the question arises: At the end of the day, do these Digital Transformation programs lead to the expected results? In fact, to realize the desired outcomes, it’s very important to find a way to detect the issues that cause unexpected results, as early as possible, in the life-cycle and in the transformation journey. Quality assurance and testing is the answer to predict and decide the actual outcome of a digital transformation.

Key Challenges in Digital Transformation and how testing provides a solution
Every change brings associated inherited challenges which makes it hard for successfully adopting the change. To be a successful organization, one must find a way to overcome those challenges. Similarly, Digital Transformation also comes with some key challenges. Below is a list of key challenges which organizations face while transforming their business along with facts about why organizations should invest in Quality Assurance:

Digital is Complex:
The most difficult challenge comes from the complexities arising from the nexus of forces – Social-Mobile-Analytics-Cloud, to ensure that they work in synchronization with organizational goals. Adapting to new and latest technologies demands higher process maturity. In this scenario, Quality Assurance becomes an important function for organizations who are effectively embracing the digital transformation, and they help here by coming up with the best processes, tools and techniques to test the complexity of the system.

Digital makes an organization vulnerable to security threats:
Security is of paramount importance specifically in an interconnected world. The smart interconnected ecosystems enable an unimaginable world of possibilities. At the same time, it makes the entire system highly vulnerable to security threats, if not properly configured and tested. Testing teams proactively test the vulnerability and security gaps in the system at a very early stage. This enables development teams to address these issues simultaneously.

Digital needs to leverage your legacy infrastructure:
This is the next important challenge, specifically with those enterprises who are not born digital. They need to change their organizational DNA both from a cultural perspective and from a legacy IT infrastructure standpoint. Testing ensures their core functionalities are not impacted as they chart their path towards digital infrastructure.

Digital can make or break your customer experience:
Delivering enhanced customer experience while leveraging the components of a digital ecosystem becomes challenging. Ensuring each component delivers optimum performance leading to customer delight is difficult as an organization becomes more digitally matured.
Changes in customer behavior, elevated global competition, adoption of social media channels and emerging trends such as cloud and mobile are a few market driven challenges that organizations must deal with during their digital transformation journey. Quality assurance/testing plays a crucial role in responding to these challenges. It’s essential for organizations that are dealing with a digital transformation to have an appropriate digital assurance strategy, with the right tools, methodologies, and measures to assure customer experience.

Digital demands agility:
In a digital transformation world, applications are expected to be delivered quicker than ever. No one has the time to wait for the long-term release cycles. It is regarded as the thrusting force for agile and DevOps based delivery processes. Being Agile through continuous quality assurance initiatives, and automating processes to ensure shorter delivery cycles becomes highly critical in a dynamic digital landscape.

Getting a true state of development:
An inherited aspect of testing is the test report. Test reporting is a good way to help stake holders provide the actual health of the system. The following aspects help stake holders proactively make key decisions:

· Quality of the product/component(s).
· Provide a holistic view of performance
· Assess - Vulnerability, reliability and availability.
· Bottlenecks in the system.
· Trends across different components in the system.

Quality assurance and testing is crucial and plays a critical role in any digital transformation journey. It’s essential for organizations that are dealing with a digital transformation to have an appropriate digital assurance strategy by identifying the right tools, methodologies and measures to assure customer experience and make the organization future ready.