Why AI Offers Brands a Bridge over the IT Skills Gap

By Candice Arnold | 10/24/19

In a recent Eggplant survey on retail trends it was apparent that companies are facing some common challenges in delivering a high-quality digital experience. Nearly every retailer we surveyed recognizes the importance of evaluating how the user experience impacts business outcomes, yet 30% have a drop off rate of 50% or more on online properties.

The issues behind this churn?

· Half of the companies we surveyed cite site navigation

· 47% point to functionality challenges

· And another 47% blame performance problems

These criteria are things that could easily be addressed by testing and DevOps, however, retailers are struggling to find talent to fill these roles. When asked about the most critical function needed to deliver a high-quality customer experience that simultaneously drives business outcomes, nearly 20% said testers. Performance engineers (17%), front-end developers (14%) and DevOps engineers (13%) also factored prominently on the list.

So, what can organizations do to overcome this skills gap and deliver the engaging online experience users demand? In a recent TechBeacon article Michael Giacometti, Eggplant’s director of product marketing, outlined why the answer is two-fold: shift-up in the approach to testing and embrace AI and other technological innovations to do this effectively.

As Michael wrote, “The premise behind shift-up is simple: listen, advocate, and account for your customer. By shifting up, you ensure that your software and apps truly meet customer and business expectations, and avoid production failures.”

Given the vast number of user journey permutations and technologies present in any given company, it’s impossible to truly shift-up without integrating AI into the testing environment. To quote Michael again, “AI in QA is like a test manager on steroids who can analyze internal and external factors, choose the test cases that are the most relevant to those factors, and execute them exponentially faster than any human.”

Eggplant’s intelligent AI-assisted test automation delivers these capabilities and numerous other benefits, including:

  • The ability to test across any platform, browser or technology and ensure a seamless end-to-end testing experience
  • The ability to simulate real user interactions, behaviors and emotions—ensuring that the technology functions as intended for all user groups and in various environments and emotional states
  • The ability to determine how technical factors are affecting business outcomes and also predict the impact of new releases on the customer experience

Highly-skilled human testers will always play a critical role and, as digital transformation initiatives mature, it’s likely this will continue to be a highly sought after skill. But shifting-up in the testing approach and availing of the unparalleled precision afforded by AI can help organizations provide a high-quality user experience at every interaction while simultaneously driving positive business outcomes. This in turn will open up new opportunities for human testers, DevOps engineers and developers.

Click here to read more of Michael’s thoughts on shift-up and you can learn more about Eggplant’s unique approach to AI-driven testing here.

Topics: Customer Experience, DevOps, AI, QA, Retail

Candice Arnold

Written by Candice Arnold

Named as one of the Top 50 most Influential Women in the UK Channel and shortlisted as CRN's marketeer of year 2018, Candice firmly believes that Marketing breathes life into brands and services, and loves helping clients make their workforce more productive with technology. Candice is a Fellow of the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (UK).

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