Biggest IoT testing challenges
Content Contributors: Ranvitha Rao & Pooja B K
overcome IoT Testing Challenges
The term “Internet of Things” was first coined by Kevin Ashton, a British Technology Pioneer, in 1999 in one of his presentations. His concept was mostly based on RFID (radio frequency identification) technology to connect devices. This concept has slowly evolved since then, and today’s IoT has become massively popular. Moreover, this has become a reality with the growth of the Cloud.
What is IoT? Why is this one of the top tech buzzing words?
Well, the Internet of Things has been transforming the world completely. It is a network through which all the physical devices are integrated with software and also connected to the internet to exchange information or data. Through this, We can control any device without human interaction. The use of the internet is increasing day by day. Therefore, the concept of using the internet of things has a higher weight than others. Moreover, any physical device gets converted to an IoT device if it is connected to the internet for controlling. It also helps to manage your tasks smoothly and reduces the human workload.
Now, in this blog post, we give you a few examples of such devices in the present world.
Smart Phones, Smart Home devices like smart kitchen appliances to advanced surveillance cameras, Wearable health monitors like smartwatches, continuous glucose monitors, Smart factory equipment like driver-less transport vehicles, Smart retail, etc., are few examples of smart devices.
IoT technology is growing exponentially. According to experts, by the year 2025, there will be around 41.6 billion connected IoT devices.
IoT Testing Challenges
With the scaling-up demand for IoT devices in the market, the need for efficient testing services also increased. It is vital to test the quality of a device before it enters the market, as any minor defect in the product could cause significant damage to the users and the business. With a whole new level of approach for IoT devices, the testing team should focus on the key areas to curtail the complexities.
With the increase in the number of devices, along comes Challenges. Testing has its challenges. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1) Security Issues
Security and data privacy is the first and main aspect of any product in the market. As IoT simplifies the lives of many, the number of security risks is prone to increase exponentially. The time to market pressure might lead to more vulnerabilities. So, the tester should think earlier and perform security testing for all the components involved in the system. The testing should focus on multi-factor authentication, authorization, security patches, security of connected devices, data security, strong password management policy, etc.,
As we know, vast amounts of data transmit between connected devices. So it is imperative to test in-depth to avert and shut out attacks and risks.
2) Network Issues
It is required to have a robust network infrastructure and high-speed data transfer techniques for the emerging needs of IoT devices. Testing different network protocols & mechanisms for the device to server connections such as MQTT, HTTP, COAP, and WebSockets is next to impossible. Therefore, it is important to have in-depth knowledge of end-use scenarios, domain knowledge, and automated test suite.
Also, ensuring the reliability of these networks is crucial. The QA should test these devices across different network conditions with the help of network virtualization. Measuring performance by various metrics such as battery and memory consumption, CPU usage, dropped connections, long waits, etc., is crucial.
3) Expensive Test environment setup
Setting up the entire ecosystem for the IoT is another costly and challenging task. The QA should focus on the cloud and virtualization solutions to create a perfect test environment. A comprehensive test strategy should be built to validate the humongous number of things, software, hardware, etc.,
4) Software & hardware Integration:
IoT testing is not only about the testing of the software part, but also ensuring the integration with the hardware components. Multiple devices and several Softwares are well- integrated to form a complete IoT system. So, Interoperability testing is a must due to its complicated architecture. The QA should ensure that all the components work together according to the requirements and ensure the combination of products and networks enables seamless communication.
5) Lack of Standardization of IoT system
It is challenging to test IoT devices when there is a lack of uniform standardization of IoT systems as most IoT device manufacturing companies build devices as they want. In turn, this makes it difficult to use the devices and creates problems for the users as they may have to compete and often conflicting standards. The common standardization problems occur in an IoT system at four levels, namely, platforms, connectivity, Business Models, and the applications.
In general, testers conduct the testing based on the use case and the device system’s intended use. There will be a lack of standard testing procedures at all levels, and that is why it is the major IoT testing challenge.
6) IoT Device Diversity
There are different types of IoT devices available in the market today. These diverse IoT devices and applications demand in-depth knowledge of testing techniques and strong testing capabilities.
It is necessary to maintain consistency in the performance of the applications across all devices simultaneously to achieve better user experience. Testers must develop the best test strategy by understanding architecture. In case, the system depends on a third-party service, there is a possibility of test failure due to the changes in third-party services. But those failures can be detected through automated tests.
IoT Testing Challenges
The Internet of Things has the potential to connect different devices, making human life much more comfortable. Also, the testers can not move ahead with the traditional testing process and they have to develop new skills in the relevant domain. Creating conventional test methodologies, executing the right practices, automation, and overall knowledge of software, hardware, networking, protocols, security, etc., are essential for the testing team to check this connected world.