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Harnessing the power of the crowd for the mob

 

A guide to crowdsourced mobility testing for BYOD enabled enterprises


With millions of mobile phones and apps across the globe, large organizations struggle to keep abreast of testing product reliability and app stability. Critical failures in device functionality can lead to alarming disruptions in business.

Robust testing of mobile features, localization, platforms and versions is thus imperative.

Crowdsourced testing or ‘crowdtesting’ offers a simple, easily manageable and cost-effective method of testing device-OS-app combinations across geographies. It typically involves a large team of software testing experts and consultants in different geographies who run the devices, operating system (OS) versions, browsers, applications and human languages under test in different real-world scenarios at varying loads.

In crowdtesting, the testing team first carries out a functional analysis of the app, OS or platform under test, logging bugs and vulnerabilities or defects, based on generic guidelines and test cases.

The testers uncover defects deep within the software, which is particularly advantageous for user-centric applications with a large user base, as crowdtesting can mimic scenarios typical in large multinational organizations.

Pluses and pitfalls of crowdtesting
Such well-distributed pools of experienced testers and testing resources, configurations, contexts and data can be difficult to access in-house. Thus, crowdtesting raises test reliability levels, shortens development and deployment time-frames and delivers bug-free apps for full-fledged deployment. The elapsed time for testing is relatively short. Productivity is thus higher for, both, the client and the service provider.

Crowdtesting inducts external testers as well. This has the advantage of enhancing professional neutrality regarding shortfalls in software quality.

Team communication and management could be hampered if the service provider doesn’t have a well-established, proactive culture. Moreover, unless the client engages with a multi-geography service provider with mature onsite/offshore systems and processes, management overheads could escalate.

Win-win enterprise crowdtesting
The challenges associated with crowdtesting have therefore led to a mature crowdsourced testing approach called ‘enterprise crowdtesting’. This approach uses assets by service provider organizations and its resources to replicate a quasi-cloud environment. It introduces the governance measures necessary for secure and accountable crowdsourced testing.

The actions that can be taken, as part of a mature enterprise crowdtesting methodology cover these phases in which a number of points musts be considered:

  • Requirements
  • Execution
  • Device and Test Management

A crowd of benefits
Enterprise crowdtesting offers many benefits and can provide maximum test coverage at a minimum cost with a high level of security:

  • Reduced defect leakage into production
  • Wide coverage in major devices and OS’
  • High performance under strategic geographical conditions
  • Multi-level intra-enterprise store app security
  • Authentication monitoring during test execution
  • Extensibility to incorporate the latest devices
  • Minimal device procurement and high device utilization

Conclusion
The benefits of crowdsourcing are immense, be it for software development, film production or, as in this case, mobility testing. Crowdsourcing leverages the common agenda among disparate stakeholder groups and creates innovations that can yield significant returns.

Related:
Blog:
Tapping the Crowd. To Stand Out from the Crowd.