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April 4, 2017

In my previous post, I shared that Quality Assurance (QA) & Testing can ensure a level playing field in the publishing industry, and enable new traditional big names to compete with the new age publishers. Let me take that discussion forward in this post.

Much has been written about QAs pivotal role in ensuring the success of digital transformation initiatives. In an earlier blog we discussed that Digital Reimagination is not only about digital. To ride the digital wave, businesses must not only provision budgets for digital innovations, but should also focus on transforming their IT organizations and Quality Assurance strategies that will assure outcomes. This also applies to the digital publishing industry, and I would like to list three QA essentials that can unlock success for digital publishing businesses.

First, in addition to deploying digital publishing tools, companies must also digitize the test value chain. The digital experiments approach, discussed in my previous post, must be complemented with end to end test automation. The test automation approach must go beyond test execution, and extend to automated test design, test data management, reporting and continuous validation of production diagnostics. This, in my opinion, is the most important pre-requisite for a digitized test value chain. Major technology companies have adopted this approach, and its only a matter of time, before newspaper publishers also take to test value chain digitization. For instance, with its test value chain digitized, Amazon deploys releases every 11.6 seconds, with utmost confidence on production quality. It is possible because Amazons digitized test value chain imbibes quality across the engineering lifecycle, delivers first time right, and most importantly, increases responsiveness to change.

Next, companies must assure not just products and solutions, but also customer experiences, through a unified assurance strategy. Besides processes and check points, the strategy, at a minimum, must also define a robust metrics and measures program, which defines customized parameters for measuring customer experience in the digital publishing context. While digital presents a huge opportunity to increase user penetration, it also demands presence across multiple digital channels, including websites and social media channels. A unified QA strategy helps assure consistent, secure, scalable and real-time reading experience across multiple digital channels and a diverse user base.

Finally, to address ever-evolving user requirements from diverse user base and digital channels, digital publishers must adopt adaptive assurance. Adaptive assurance takes into account aspects such as news relevancy, consumption avenues, content form and time preference, across reader categories, locations and channels. When subjected to robust analytics, this data serves as input for feedback and customer-connect mechanisms, enabling digital publishers to draw reader attention, remain relevant, and pre-empt fierce competition. Artificial intelligence too has a role to play in maximizing business value from digital investments. It not just ensuring precision and accuracy of the analytics, but assuring effectiveness of data to facilitate right-time implementation of measures and insights.

The digital wave has clearly reincarnated the newspaper publishing domain, and these three QA imperatives – test value chain digitization, superior customer experience and adaptive assurance are clearly the main drivers to unlock digital publishing rewards. Its time for QA units of publishing companies to gear up for competition from new age, digital publishers. With QA as your digital deployment chef, serving a unified assurance strategy to your business, you could have your cake, and eat it too!

Vimal Anand V is a Quality Engineering Practitioner associated with TCS' Quality Engineering and Transformation Practice. With 15+ years of experience, he has worked with customers to architect Quality Engineering strategies, implement Quality Services for Customer Experience Initiatives, expertise with test engineering and automation solutions. He has been a career assurance professional performing roles from test engineer to Quality consultant rendering services related to Quality. He has been instrumental in building solutions focusing on Customer Experience Quality enabling with impact on business outcomes.



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