Testing the Quality of Logistics-Critical Applications
Deploying applications quickly and affordably, and ensuring those systems perform as promised, will be a key to success in tomorrow's freight and logistics sector. You no doubt recognize the need for robust apps testing. Often the challenge is finding the tools and capacity to break the testing logjam—and to accelerate your time to innovation.
Software applications, perhaps as much as trucks or ships or other traditional assets, are driving competitive advantages in the freight and logistics industry. Will your apps be ready for a changing transportation environment?
Ongoing economic uncertainty translates to wide fluctuations in shipping demand. Consolidation continues, supply chains grow more complex, and labor and equipment costs mean tighter profit margins. Uber-like crowd-sourced alternatives and other disruptive developments may be complicating your "last mile" calculations.
Hybrid and cloud-based infrastructures are increasingly common. Digital technologies promise greater speed and visibility, but also pose very real hosting, integration, and apps-related challenges. Sophisticated applications are needed to manage crucial pickup and delivery functions, as well as transportation and warehouse management, pricing and rating, and customer relationship management.
Commercial off the shelf (COTS) solutions are often preferred for many basic freight and logistics requirements. Other tasks, such as managing less than truckload (LTL) activities, are frequently handled using proprietary applications. Even when firms deploy COTS, those solutions must be integrated and often heavily customized. Applications security is a growing issue, as logistics firms add and integrate systems and as they plug into global value chains that span hundreds of partners and customers.
The Testing Quality Imperative
All of these changes suggest the need for robust applications testing and quality assurance. Leaders in the freight and logistics sector recognize this imperative, and research confirms it. In a 2016 Market Trends analysis, Gartner cites the need for applications testing to evolve as organizations across all sectors move to digital business models.
The question is not whether to test, but how best to acquire the needed testing tools, capabilities, and capacity.
The fact is: Testing backlogs are often the single greatest issue that prevents organizations from quickly and efficiently deploying innovative applications. Some address these needs with internal staff, others with outsourced partnerships, and many with a hybrid mix of resources.
To break the logjam, freight and logistics firms can deploy from a more comprehensive, modern approach to applications quality.
Testing Your Future
The outlines of that future-oriented model are clear. Freight and logistics organizations can leverage modern testing and quality assurance solutions to deliver mission-critical applications more quickly, more affordably, and with higher quality. A robust approach to quality assurance should address all key types of testing: functional, performance and regression, automation, mobility and security testing.
A comprehensive model may also include initial test planning, assessments, test and defect management, and expert consulting. For freight and logistics firms that seek greater flexibility and economies, testing-as-a-service and other consumption-based models may be appropriate.
Advanced testing enables transport-oriented organizations to identify and eliminate defects in application development and management processes. So they can address those issues before they cause serious operational, economic, or reputational damage.
Strong quality controls can also reduce post-release defects and reworks, and therefore the total cost of applications ownership. Standardized testing tools and processes translate into higher overall quality for mission-crucial apps. Better testing helps validate risk mitigation and application security in more challenging hybrid landscapes.
Innovative testing methods can greatly reduce the chronic "backlog" issue—shortening cycle times and accelerating time-to-innovation. Astute leaders know: that's the key to success in tomorrow's freight and logistics marketplace.
HPE's consultants can take you through the entire process; helping you determine a testing approach and strategy, implementation, and providing testing services operationally to help you deliver the quality and time to market your business requires. Please contact Andre Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.