Why Quality Assurance is at the Forefront of Industry 4.0
Why Quality Assurance is at the Forefront of Industry 4.0
The increased speed with which product is pushed to market makes quality assurance a higher priority than ever before.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
The history of the Industrial Revolution began back in late 1700s, simultaneously marking the onset of an era that thrived upon efficiency and mass production abilities.
The wave of industrialization transformed the manufacturing industry as a whole. The technological revolution succeeded the first industrial revolution and introduced the industry to electrification and production lines. With the expansion of railroad networks and the invention of the telephone, transportation became cheaper and communication became easier. Marked by the rise of computers, the digital revolution became the third stage of industrialization. It became possible to control machinery through programming.
While all these stages seem to be applicable to the manufacturing industry only, their impact extends way beyond. From a time when hydro-electric equipment was awe-inspiring, the telephone was an out-of-this world invention, and the computer was a digital devil, we sure have come a long way — not only in terms of technology and innovation, but also in terms of scope and acceptance.
The Fourth-Gen Revolution — Industry 4.0
All four generations of industrialization have focused primarily on making the existing processes faster and delivering the end product to the customer as quickly as possible. Speed is still the central goal with Industry 4.0. However, there is a significant differentiator that makes it stand out from the rest — the emphasis on building quality products.
From the age of computerization to the present age of digitalization, there has been a colossal shift in the mindset of both consumers as well as businesses. The modern consumers deem quality to be a prerequisite for making a purchase. Business-owners have understood that they cannot succeed only on the basis of mass production and quick delivery. Realizing that there is no way around a quality service or product, they are taking the required measures to yield assured quality through their offerings.
The Physical in Digital and the Digital in Physical
There are four broad aspects that encompass the fourth industrial revolution: cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, cognitive computing, and cloud computing. Internet of Things is empowering real-time connectivity between humans and machines. The interconnectivity generates heaps of data that becomes the fuel for cognitive computers, whereas the cloud becomes a warehouse for the output generated by cognitive computing.
By bridging the gap between physical and digital elements and systems, Industry 4.0 takes a holistic approach toward transforming the world as we know it. Digital transformation, one of the key derivatives of Industry 4.0, is evolving every industry from a mass production hub to a powerhouse of quality experiences.
The Age of Autonomy
Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, writes in his book, "The fourth industrial revolution, is not only about smart and connected machines and systems. Its scope is much wider. Occurring simultaneously are waves of further breakthroughs in areas ranging from gene sequencing to nanotechnology, from renewables to quantum computing. It is the fusion of these technologies and their interaction across the physical, digital and biological domains that make the fourth industrial revolution fundamentally different from previous revolutions."
Machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, self-driving cars, smart devices, smart homes, smart cities — there are myriad examples of innovative, state-of-the-art technology in use today. Even with so much development, the fourth industrial revolution is still in its infancy. This is when over 2.5 quintillion data is generated every day. Imagine the amount of data that will be generated when the revolution would have attained maturity.
Data-driven Quality Assurance
Data is the digital currency in this age of automation. It is the foundation on which "intelligence" of modern machines is developed. The increasing dependency on machines is mainly attributed to this growing intelligence. As per Prof. Schwab, "An estimated 90% of the world's data has been created in the past two years, and the amount of information created by businesses is doubling every 1-2 years." Leveraging this data can allow businesses to understand the expectations of their quality-oriented consumers.
While data helps businesses gather insights on customers' needs and wants, quality assurance practices empower them to impart great experience and derive greater satisfaction. The fourth industrial revolution has put software at the heart of production methodologies, marking a shift from hardware-based processes. This transition has consequently emphasized the criticality of software testing in guaranteeing delivery of the expected quality.
Quality Assurance Leading the Revolution
Industry 4.0, also known as the automation revolution, is all about higher efficiency, better quality, and a lot of data. As Prof. Schwab says, "there has never been a time of greater promise, or greater peril." The impact of this revolution is not limited to factories only — its impact outspreads to our economic, cultural, and social environment.
In order to derive the promised benefits of Industry 4.0 — improved productivity, reduced risks, growing revenue — software quality assurance is the way.
The software-enabled processes that lead this stage of industrialization need comprehensive testing and quality assurance to guarantee desired results. There is an imminent requirement for integrating quality into every service and product that is presented to the customers. This is important to ensure a seamless experience to them and to ascertain maximum retention.
Cigniti's Quality Assurance and testing expertise helps organizations in their digital transformation initiatives. We have developed checklists, frameworks, processes, testlets, methodologies and best practices to ensure effective and efficient validations of text, images, and videos of applications across devices. Our methodologies, techniques, and specialists ensure that the apps are thoroughly validated for User Experience (UX) and cover responsive web design patterns, screen resolutions, accessibility, usability, content, navigation, etc. Connect with us today.
Published at DZone with permission of Hiren Tanna , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.