Six IoT Testing Challenges for Testing Experts

Introduction

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to physical objects embedded with sensors and software that can exchange and collect data over a wireless network. The Internet of Things brings many consumer benefits, like simple remote control, automation, etc. It also brings added software complexity and security risks that require significantly more testing than in the past.

IoT devices have evolved to look more like traditional cloud applications, with code that runs in the device itself, as well as an array of dependencies that interact with the outside sources of data such as time or weather. These dependencies can make devices expensive, difficult, and time-consuming to test as it involves real-time sharing of data and collaboration.

A study says that more than 6.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices were in use by 2016, and that number will grow to more than 20 billion by 2026, which means that our planet will soon have more connected devices than the human population. Testing these IoT devices becomes quite challenging because of the variety and volume of data this system generates, the heterogeneity of the working environment, and the complexity of the number of working components involved.

Challenges in IoT Testing

One of the tough challenges for manufacturers and integrators is testing these devices. Let us discuss some challenges associated with the testing of IoT devices:

  • Communication Protocol: IoT devices use various communication protocols such as MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport), XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol), etc. These protocols aid in the establishment of a connection between devices and servers. Tools/Tech that the testing team is planning to use should support these communication protocols so that APIs written on top of these protocols can be effectively validated which interacts with these devices.
  • Multiple IoT cloud platforms – Azure IoT, IBM Watson, and AWS are the most used cloud IoT platforms that help connect different components of IoT devices. These devices need to be tested across the cloud platforms to ensure their effective usability. In a cloud platform, we have different IoT devices with different capabilities, these devices generate data that can be structured or unstructured and will be sent to a cloud platform.When more devices are deployed on the cloud platform, it becomes difficult to replicate a real-time environment for testing, since there can be a lot of devices that need to be tested on different platforms.
  • IoT security and privacy threats – IoT devices are the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Most users think that it’s a manufacturer’s responsibility to secure their devices and, therefore, do nothing to protect them. Cyber-attacks are very common across IoT devices, and security is an important aspect today. Wired systems are much less accessible than non-wired systems. Therefore, one challenge to moving into IoT solutions is that companies open themselves potentially to more risks unless they have a perfect security strategy in place. Beside functional and performance testing, special attention should be paid to the device password policy, data protection, data encryption, regular firmware, or software upgrade testing.
  • Device Diversity –  With so many brands, models, versions of the OS, Screen size, etc., it is a challenge to test an IoT application that works perfectly across all devices for all possible combinations that are not practical.  Each IoT device has unique capabilities and may perform better in some environments and platforms than others. As a result, they must be tested across platforms for effective usage, and it is critical that we have good test coverage across dozens of devices. There is also a challenge with the version upgrade for the IoT devices along with their software and firmware updates. It becomes critical to test the devices across the IoT platforms with their latest software to ensure all the components are working efficiently after the update.
  • Network Availability (Always online) – Network configuration essentially affects the performance of an IoT device because IoT is all about rapid communication and that too consistently all the time. Though, at times devices experience troubles with network configurations like unreliable internet connections, hindering channels, etc., which poses a challenge of how to test it in all possible network conditions.
  • Data Volume, Data Variety, and Data Velocity (Real-time data testing) – Sensors on all devices simultaneously generate massive data (this data is significantly intricate and unstructured that involves appropriate cleaning of it for the end processing). IoT will be dealing with that data and different varieties of data that cause significant challenges. Gathering, organizing, and evaluating this disintegrated data is not easy as the volume of data can be boosted at any time.

Conclusion:

There are numerous other challenges to consider in addition to the ones mentioned above. Hardware quality and safety concerns are among other challenges that the testing team faces while testing IoT applications. Building stable and quality IOT applications might seem overpowering and a huge task, but it can be made simpler by proper planning, splitting it down into separate sub-tasks, and setting up a rock-solid test environment to manage cloud and virtualization strategies.

Tags :

Related insights

  • All Posts
  • Article
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Blog
  • Brochures
  • Case Studies
  • Fintech
  • Insights
  • News
  • Stories
  • Testimonials
  • Uncategorized
  • Whitepaper
  • All Posts
  • Article
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Blog
  • Brochures
  • Case Studies
  • Fintech
  • Insights
  • News
  • Stories
  • Testimonials
  • Uncategorized
  • Whitepaper

Let’s create new possibilities with technology