Modern businesses are dealing with a distinctive change in digital culture at the moment, brought about by the growing ubiquity of smartphones in the consumer market. Employees now have access to powerful, connected and most importantly portable gadgets that they are seeking to use for both personal and work purposes. And clearly this presents a number of challenges that need to be overcome.
The hardware itself benefits from being better able to handle enterprise-oriented tasks than ever before. And while touchscreen-only handsets are prevalent, new models like the BlackBerry Passport still retain physical keypads for those who prefer this approach for typing.
The rise of BYOD (bring your own device) means that companies are no longer lumbered with the costs of procuring mobiles for members of staff. But the task of managing these personal handsets in an enterprise environment can be daunting, not only as a result of the security implications involved, but also because these phones can suffer from innate usability and compatibility issues.
There are four mainstream mobile operating systems vying for market share at the moment, and hundreds more platforms in use globally, which results in interoperability dilemmas within any company that encourages employees to embrace BYOD. At a fundamental level there are also issues with trust, according to new study from Ovum.
For these reasons the deployment of software testing from expert bug finders can help to weed out issues early on in the adoption process, ensuring they do not develop problematically over time.
Modern enterprises may well need to come at this problem from more than one angle, because BYOD is only half of the picture. The other area in which testing becomes essential is the customer-facing side of the operation.
Developing software for smartphones and tablets is something that can be outsourced or handled internally, depending on the resources that are available. But when it comes to sniffing out bugs in the software, it may be useful to rely on an organisation that has access to a higher volume of testing staff than might be available in-house.
There are even firms that have managed to crowdsource this, leveraging the power of a large number of testers to help identify errors and pinpoint the circumstances in which they occur, which should make it simple to iron them out before a mobile solution is launched.
The might of the crowdsourced approach to detection combined with comprehensive reporting and analysis means that the chances of anything being missed are minimised. So while the mobile world may not be without its perils, better levels of preparedness are able to allow businesses to overcome the biggest obstacles to usability.
The economies of scale make this form of outsourcing especially affordable, with larger enterprises being ideal candidates to have their mobile testing handled by experts from a third party organisation. This can be achieved without having to relinquish control of projects, meaning that cost effectiveness is improved without the need for making painful compromises, which should convince sceptics that this approach has its merits.