A new age is upon us: the Mobile IoT Period. Driven by the proliferation of mobile devices, and in particular the smartphone, we now face a complex and integrated infrastructure of technologies and concepts called the Internet of Things (IoT), all connected by mobile technology. The challenges we face to ensuring software quality for the myriad technologies that are being shaped by the Mobile IoT Period are daunting.

Let’s take a look at the Top 7 Challenges in the Mobile IoT Period.

Big Data

Big data would not be possible without mobile network technologies to get the data from one place to another, or without the cloud to host all that information. Big Data has opened the floodgates to sharing and analyzing massive amounts of information. But what happens if something goes wrong? When is human intervention needed? When do you insert experience and human intuition into algorithmic decisions based on big data? This is where domain knowledge will become increasingly valuable.

Stock image of hand holding mobile phone to depict mobile app usability

Interconnectivity

With Mobile IoT upon us, almost all of us use multiple devices. Integrating them so that applications keep track of where we left off leads to many issues. Updating all of them with new software and firmware updates can be complicated. When you consider the dispersion, factors in network signal quality, and variety of networks used, the complexity seems impossible to grasp.

Security/privacy

In the Mobile IoT Era, everyone wants Big Data–so much so that we’ve turned a blind eye to many of the risks of the Big Data love affair. Improved and increased access due to information naturally leads to privacy and security issues. With so much data collected, how can we be certain that what is collected is secure and private? How can we be protected from data breaches? Security and privacy are one of the biggest challenges for the quality profession.

Context

Our applications provide more value with context. Yet what are the elements of context that need to be incorporated into your app to increase its value to users? Take the wearables market. Most Mobile IoT Era apps are still struggling to add compelling value to data. But when Apple discovers how to predict heart attacks with its heart rate function on the Apple Watch, that will be the inverse of the killer app leading the way.

Integration/Access

The mobile platform ties together all the technologies enumerated above. Without it, how would you access your data? How do you control and configure your application? Our client  Mobile MedSoft provides pharmacy management systems that integrate with EHR systems, robotic interfaces and cloud enabled mobile point of care platforms. Mobile MedSoft’s customers demand perfection–anything less is unacceptable. But the challenges to ensuring that are considerable. (That’s why they love us!)

Scenario proliferation

User cases have exploded in the Mobile IoT Era as the pieces of the data puzzle are painstakingly being fit together. Some  of these have been explicitly anticipated, and the product has been designed to manage them. But others weren’t included in the planning stages of development. We thought that different combinations of operating systems and browsers was a difficult combinatorial problem? That was nothing compared to meeting the current challenges.

User Experience

The mobile platform doesn’t need to be pretty or hot, but it’s also got to be more than just functional. Today, UX is about an integrated experience enabling users to get things done across platforms in the context of the phase of the task at hand. To ensure a “smooth ride” across platforms, quality assurance needs to be an integral partner in the UX process across all related platforms.

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