Converging Technology creates the real opportunities.
Lighting made a difference with distribution networks. Petrol cars only made it with a large network of suppliers and stations; electric cars need to solve the same problem.
Similarly, autonomous cars can emerge by combining artificial intelligence, sensors, and distributed connectivity while ensuring security, privacy, and other requirements.
The combination of technology within a globalized economy is the driving force of acceleration. In that context, only actors with fast adaptation can compete.
This article shares the six impacts of converging technology on Quality Engineering, starting with a summary of the innovation landscape.
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The emerging landscape of converging technology
Since the 2000s, Cloud, Big Data, APIs, and emerging IoT have changed our ecosystem with social media, smartphones, and new devices in our homes, cars, etc.
Powered by these forces, the current landscape of emerging technology has accelerated in 3 areas of computing, devices, and interactions.
Massive, intelligent, connected computing
We produce about 2.5 exabytes of data every day and continue to increase this number with the explosion of network access, user-generated content, and even more devices.
These technologies will enable us to store and process that amount of data:
- Quantum computing aims to solve complex problems on large data sets, approximately 100 million times faster than traditional computing.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate complex decision-matrix at scale better than multiple brains, in the Cloud and on the Edge.
- Connected computing to support the collaboration of humans and devices through evolving networks with 5G, balloons, and satellites.
Distributed, generated, embedded devices
IoT – for “Internet of things” – represents the fleet of connected devices with sensors, processing and communication abilities. They are projected to grow from 11 billion to 30 billion by 2025 (versus 8 billion humans).
Our internal and external ecosystem will drastically change:
- IoT & Robots will be present in most objects we interact with in our personal and professional lives powered by data processing.
- 3D Printing and Material sense will bring new materials with much less intermediaries and distribution requirements.
- Nanotechnology & Biotech will disrupt how we approach health and organisms embedding or crafting living ecosystems using technology.
Immersive, decentralized, virtual interactions
These evolutions in computing, devices and materials set the ground for creating new experiences. The frontier between the physical and virtual world will fade while the need for security, privacy and trust will increase.
New capabilities will appear in our daily life through different prisms (a.k.a. Web3):
- Virtual & Augmented Reality (VR, AR) will be much more realistic than visiting a remote museum (VR) or playing Pokemon GO (AR).
- Virtual worlds & Avatars is the evolution of blogs, chat rooms and gaming to let you interact in digital worlds to work, meet, play (e.g. “Metaverse”).
- Blockchain & Smart contracts expand rapidly after the incubation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to decentralize objects, virtual money and trust.
These technologies will impact every industry depending on their own forces. Quality Engineering is a specific one, at the heart of the software industry.
Converging technology opportunities in Quality Engineering
Quality Engineering is the paradigm constraining the software lifecycle to continuous value delivery, from digital ideation to operations.
These converging evolutions create new experiences with an increased criticality and complexity, directly impacting the end-to-end software practices.
Building such a digital platform of connected backbones requires the optimization of these two flows for continuous value delivery :
- From Customer to Code to translate hypotheses and ideas into actionable software requirements, powered by Lean Design Thinking.
- From Code to Customer to design, deliver and operate code at the high-standard meeting the quality requirements, with Lean Software Factories.
Our dynamic ecosystem will only keep the most reactive actors. By performing faster iterations, an actor can learn, capture, and grow a valuable proposition faster.
Converging technology aims to accelerate even more these iteration cycles:
- More functions will be performed thanks to quantum computing, cloud, AI in much broader networks.
- More data will be available with the increasing number of devices, materials, and interactions with the capability to store it.
- More flows bring more opportunities resulting from the faster integration and collaboration of the numerous digital agents.
Let’s now see how Quality Engineering can leverage converging technology to accelerate continuous value delivery.
Leveraging converging technology in Quality Engineering
The actual software ecosystem suffers from degrading performance due to limiting factors across the value-chain: lack of communication between peers, difficulties to integrate technologies, inherent complexity of systems.
Converging technology will help us to streamline software activities.
We can project to benefit from the following chronological opportunities:
- QE foundations availability with more mature computing, automation and integration to ease the delivery of deployment pipelines, environment, data, etc.
- Collaboration acceleration leveraging the new interactions available with increased network, experiences, and collaboration automation.
- Quality requirements automation such as security, availability, reliability leveraging data, AI and automation like conformance checking, monitoring.
- Increased observability capability powered by large-scale processing of complex datasets to provide value-stream, feature & user insights.
- Individual productivity gains with AI-assistant start with specific use-cases for coding or testing that will gradually correlate more data.
- Autonomous systems able to process data much faster than any team in a fully automated way, like defining tests & monitoring from requirements.
Like all evolutions, the changes will be mainly incremental, gradually replacing less valuable activities for the actor’s with proper foundations.
These converging forces are more likely to push for the appearance of:
- Quality Engineering platforms with native integrations with your main products, hyper-automation with intelligent suggestions and assistants.
- Unified development environment with pipelines, testing gates, deployments mechanisms and built-in observability on cloud & edge.
- Next-generation low-code with an increased maturity to meet the requirements for industrialization, scalability, and portability over-time.
The future of Quality Engineering is therefore challenging.
Quality Engineering to capture the value of technology
Converging technology will profoundly change our digital landscape in the coming years. Identifying the possible scenario is a prerequisite to planning.
Organizations will need to adapt at an ever faster rate. New ventures will directly leverage the new capabilities, and the others will have to change fast.
A continuous investment in Quality Engineering will enable you to streamline the software value-chain for Quality at Speed.
There is no time to lose. While you hesitate, Terabytes of data are generated, ready to be captured and used by other actors.
By the way, converging technology also impacts you.
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Peter H. Diamantis, Steven Kotler, The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives. Simon & Schuster.
Mauro F. Guillen, 2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything. St. Martin’s Press
Marco Iansiti, Karim R. Lakhani, Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World. Harvard Business Review Press.
Yves Caseau, The Lean Approach to Digital Transformation: From Customer to Code and from Code to Customer. Productivity Pr.