In a recent Forbes interview on the retail customer experience, Harley Manning, VP and research director of Forrester’s customer experience team, said; “Customer expectations are rising slowly—but faster than brands are making improvements.” He further elaborated that the average score in the firm’s CX Index™ for US digital retailers decreased from the prior year, with no retailer breaking through the 85th percentile to make it into the “excellent” category.
Today’s complex, digital world relies on computer systems and software and downtime is more than an inconvenience—in many industries, it’s a critical failure that can have a lasting, negative impact on customer experience, the corporate brand and the bottom line.
Wikipedia will tell you that “software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the software product or service under test.” While technically accurate, this definition does not encapsulate all that testing does and how critical the function is in our complex, hyperconnected world.
A recent Bloomberg headline proclaimed, “Human Spaceflight Could be a $23 Billion Industry by 2030.” The article examined a UBS report on space travel, which predicts that “spaceflight” will compete with long-distance airline flights in the not-too-distant future.
It’s a fascinating prospect, and one that underscores how critical it is for software to perform optimally in mission critical environments. Eggplant’s Antony Edwards recently explored this theme in detail in a DigitalisationWorld article, highlighting some of the key technology challenges facing space exploration.
A recent SD Times article suggested that AI is not delivering tangible testing improvements, cautioning “…customers need to realize there’s probably more hype than reality in most of what test solution vendors are saying.” This sentiment reminds us of the unhelpfully polarized “manual-vs-automated test execution” debate that held back testing for 10 years and we’ve only recently moved on from with the realization that there’s a place for both in testing. It would be catastrophic for the testing industry if we went into another 10 year debate of “AI-vs-non-AI” only to realize that there are strong benefits to AI, but it probably doesn’t solve everything.
These sentiments are unhelpful and dangerous to the testing community. Sure, there are exaggerated claims about the use and impact of AI in some products, but there are also fantastic products that demonstrate that the technology can deliver real improvements today. Below are just a few examples of how AI can help testing now—not several years down the road:
A recent Forbes Insights survey confirmed that there is strong C-Suite interest in artificial intelligence, with eighty percent of CEOs and eighty-five percent of IT leaders pointing to AI as a core component of their digital transformation efforts. While the technology is sometimes—and mistakenly—associated with job loss, AI’s true power actually lies in its ability to augment human decision-making.