How SMACS will transform test trades?

SMACS is one of the major trends confirmed at the biannual report of November 2014 of the digital Syntec! This acronym (Social – Mobile – Analytics – Cloud – Security) hides and means all projects impacting the enterprise digital transformation.

SMACS represent a technological watershed

SMACS pull up the relative optimism of digital actors for 2015, and spending forecast on new projects are up for 56% of them; be sure some of them are “SMACS” projects! They were the ones who fired the sector’s growth in 2014, with an 18% increase

For several months on, Search institutes announced this turn of SMACS: IDC (je n’ai pas traduit l’acronyme car je ne le connais pas) called them the “third platform,” Forrester “business technologies”, Gartner “Nexus of force.” Several obstacles must be overcome to make these projects successful and this requires a new testing philosophy.

Drivers of digital processing, SMACS impact the business directions

The first major trend of SMACS projects is that they are more often supported by business directions than the IT directions, and 20% of them will come to an end without any intervention of the IT department … This introduces positive factors in bringing end users closer to the project but generates a major risk: how to develop a common language and high-quality procedures in this new ecosystem?

In other words, will business directions have sufficient maturity, methodological and technical expertise or resources to simply receive the new digital tool that will be delivered to them? Testing is expected here to play a major role: traditionally interface between information system and business, the role of translator and smuggler becomes paramount to the success of the project.

Culture “lean” accelerated test phases and allows an initial customer feedback

The second trend at work is that the new “lean” environment in which SMACS projects unfold (même en français la phrase a un problème : La deuxième tendance à l’œuvre est que le nouvel environnement « lean » dans lequel les projets SMACS se déploient.). Stemming from the start-up culture “Test fast, fail fast”, new project management methods are designed to quickly deliver a first product, an imperfect “beta” version to confront with market and thus be able to learn from this first feedback of the end user.

Testing becomes the managerial and marketing heart of digital products deployment. It no longer only ensures the quality of a product, but it also transmits back the information from customers and users in order to improve the product. This requires the tester to master both technical and marketing issues.

Complex tools to test, bringing methodology into question

The third trend is the SMACS “multiplatform”: if testing has become a specialist activity, according to most experts’ opinion, SMACS Testing is a continuous work of research and development … Test an application, that’s fair enough, but what does it mean to test a CSR (Corporate Social Network) for example?

Which strategy to adopt to choose between user and director multiple scenarios? How to constitute relevant sample sets? How to size the acceptance testing platform? Moreover how to effectively organize a Mobile application test campaign, given the diversity of media and the rapid development of apps? Even though Analytics are not entirely new, the introduction of Big Data dimension complicates the testing phase … As for the Cloud: how to test in the clouds?

Human factor at the heart of security issues

The fourth big issue, due to become increasingly critical, is safety. This major topic – transverse to all others – must of course be paid special attention during testing phases of such projects. It is a good example of the need for testing to be considered from different points of view: software, systemic, organizational.

It is indeed in a security environment that risk must be identified. But the focus must also be placed on human factors, since current “advanced persistent threats” use human weaknesses to challenge safety devices.

Human, responsiveness, multiplatform and different scales of analysis. Areas of concern are numerous to ensure the quality of SMACS projects!

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