Passing the Mobility Test

See Also: IT Needs a Bigger Role in Mobile Strategy

How does testing properly meet the varying needs of a mobile environment? Solutions to this challenge are being developed and are evolving in the market today, but there is still much need for a framework and a common set of principles to determine how to most effectively test mobile applications. To develop an effective mobility testing framework, an enterprise needs to consider current trends and technologies.

When it comes to trends, the protection of personal data (whether it?s an employee?s Social Security number or a winning proposal) is arguably one of the most sensitive mobility topics. Our survey shows that most firms use a combination of layers of security technology and, surprisingly, governance and policy initiatives?a nontechnology approach.

The implication for a mobility testing framework is that there will be a requirement to ensure that policy and governance enforcement are easily accommodated. This trend is nontraditional in the IT sense, but it?s still important and well worth considering.

In terms of technologies, the survey reveals that when developing a testing framework, companies must consider the variability that exists in mobile technology platforms. Our results show no uniform adoption of one technology platform, with most firms not willing to say that more than 60 percent of their users will ultimately have one of numerous 3G or high-speed options. However, 31 percent of respondents don?t think mobile solutions can be sufficiently assessed using a test environment that accommodates only the most popular platforms.

So, variability in technology creates the need for control in testing. A successful testing framework will provide testers with the ability to organize test plans, data and scripts. As with any testing initiative, having good organization and traceability is crucial. However, with the high degree of options and variables in the mobile environment, organized testing and reporting will be a requirement.

David Kapfhammer, a global director at services firm Keane, covers quality-assurance and testing services.