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When it comes to innovation in an enterprise setting, the majority of attention usually goes to all the exciting things. The bold ideas, the grand technological possibilities, the potential benefits of digital and structural transformation, the trailblazing.

It’s an attractive angle, and a quite understandable one, too: the concept of innovation itself has such imaginative, ‘liberating’ connotations that it’s easy to overlook and omit the boring parts of the actual process.

Yet the boring parts are the backbone of digital innovation. Being unavoidable, they need to be addressed and anticipated. Here’s where sustainability (and we mean it literally as “can innovation be afforded in its desired state now, and is it actually worthy in the long run?”) comes into play.

What Does Testing Have to Do With It?

What does testing have to do with innovation sustainability? Considering digital innovation and innovative software development specifically, testing can be about functionality and performance checkups, overall quality assurance, polishing of UI, and more things big and small that add up and affect every aspect of the software development cycle.

The standard part of any development process, be it incremental improvements of existing software or a revolutionary, never-before-seen concept coming to life, testing is particularly important. It has long ceased being an issue of technicality, becoming a vital business priority. There’s a number of reasons for that.

1. Speed of Delivery

In today’s competitive, fast-paced business world, the success of digital innovation is directly linked to speed. While testing is still often considered a hindrance to the speed of production and release of digital products, for the most part it’s not true.

At the start of the development process, the initial test case writing is what adds to the development time, indeed. However, with QA automation and continuous testing, each new update goes much faster, in fact. Automatically ensuring that all pain points are tested, functionality and performance checked, and add-ons don’t break anything—all of that contributes to a speedy bump-free rollout.

2. User Experience and Customer Expectations

Being one step ahead of the competitors with early release dates doesn’t always mean success. If a hasty release is accompanied by a clunky UI, frequent crashes, error alerts, and ‘coming soon’ stubs, then being the first is not all it’s cracked up to be. Particularly so in consumer technology, where expectations are growing massively every year, and customers have less and less patience with half-baked prototypes.

As of now, constant quality assurance with extensive testing prior to the first beta release is a requirement, not an indulgence. To ensure your innovative digital product makes a lingering impression and retains its audience, functional and performance testers should be employed, and UI and UX quality thoroughly assured. Even marketing strategies and materials have to undergo QA checkups to align with the release schedule and not oversell on the attributes that aren’t going to be there.

The history of digital innovation in consumer tech is a history of meteoric rises, slow growers, complete failures, and comebacks. Yet it’s worth noting that the latter is now more of a rarity while a favorable initial reception becomes the prerequisite for sustained success in the future.

Prioritizing testing in your innovation strategy may be not a straightforward decision for your project stakeholders, yet it means not only better speed, user experience, and reception. It ensures efficiency, safety, and compliance, which are in direct correlation with technological sustainability in today’s world.

3. Safety and Compliance

The world of technology today is the world of previously inconceivable possibilities and interconnectivity. It is also the world of rapidly growing concerns around safety, security, and compliance, which need to be addressed in virtually any new digital product.

For digital innovation that is vying to be ethical and sustainable, there’s no other choice but to comply with safety measures, data protection laws, and industry standards.

Here’s where automated testing shines:

  • Data safety and security. Regular automated tests help discover and address bottlenecks, potential points of corruption, as well as risks of unauthorized access to sensitive data, and ensure compliance with relevant data protection laws.
  • Compliance with sector-specific standards. Ensuring compliance with industry standards, guidelines, and regulations is a crucial part of the quality management process. A continuous automated approach to software testing helps maintain regulatory compliance beyond the development and initial rollout. In particular, regression testing addresses checking for previously dealt with issues that can resurface due to changes brought in by subsequent updates.

Security and compliance assurance is the responsibility not to be shirked. Since digital innovation means not only creating and integrating brilliant new ideas but their continuous development, improvement, and protection, testing is very much the part that cannot be neglected.

Software testing isn’t something flashy. It may be boring, but it is a crucial part of the digital innovation today. Powering the development process and ensuring efficiency and speed, testing provides tools for leveling up customer experience and satisfying expectations, and is the backbone of security, safety, and compliance.

Even if not directly associated with innovations, testing lies behind every new development and needs to be taken seriously—by developers, investors, and visionaries alike.

About the author

Pavel Novik is QA Unit Manager and the Head of the Mobile Testing Center of Excellence at A1QA.

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