The New Imperative for Digital Assurance – Let’s welcome 5G to the dance

Listen on the go!

Welcome back and here we are…at the finish line of this blog series highlighting 5G and all-things assurance that will surround its’ critical mass adoption. So, before we get into it, let’s take a moment to review where we have been so far…. 

  • Leap or lead…don’t be the laggard. I get it – it is still early days regarding the eventual transformation that 5G will drive. But if you are reading the tea leaves and paying attention to the momentum (and no, I am not talking about the omnipresent – and sometimes annoying – commercials and ads from our favorite telecom providers), more and more enterprises are starting to ask questions about what 5G will mean to them. So, while there is still plenty of time to plan your 5G strategy, it is not so long that you can avoid thinking about it. Is there a company in existence that would make the claim, “We wish we would have waited longer to start planning our digital transformation”, or “We should have delayed the start of our mobile strategy”?  
  • Quality of experience…get used to this new set of metrics. With 5G, our networks are becoming application aware, and hence, with 5G, the customer experience will become entwined between the application and the network. For product managers, or application architects, or even marketing leaders, will they be able to delineate the difference between poor app performance and poor network performance? There is no single measurement or series of measurements to capture the aggregate. And this will be the crux of the puzzle to be solved in the evolution of QoE as it relates to the critical mass adoption of 5G.  
  • Driving the innovation loop…faster and faster. Digital Assurance is a factor of many moving parts – platforms, technology, data, processes – all of which must be considered and validated in coordination with one another. And let us not forget about a major factor underpinning all of this – the network! With the emergence of 5G, we can expect a new horizon of transformation and innovation as organizations evolve from delivering applications on top of the network to delivering applications that inherently leverage the vast capabilities of the network (as will be the case with 5G). 

And for the final chapter, we are going to bring it all together as the topics of the first three blogs all fold into what will become the new imperative for Digital Assurance – let’s welcome 5G to the dance! 

The promise of 5G, or the hype as it may be, is understandable. 5G presents a new horizon – one that is not necessarily tangible to many of us as it stretches the inherent “boundaries of possible” that we have formed in our minds. Make no mistake, 5G is indeed coming and it stands to be a major catalyst across all the digital transformation initiatives. While the technology is still emerging, it will unlock the prowess of the latest technologies such as IoT, AI/ML, and hyper automation to an altogether different level. 

5G network adoption will be a critical enabler for digital transformation that goes beyond the potential of providing a competitive advantage; it stands to become a mandate for all enterprises to stay competitive in this digital transformation race, or better put, this digital transformation marathon. And hence, the absolute imperative for an evolved Digital Assurance strategy will take hold. Just consider the standard elements of a software test lifecycle and how they stand to be affected: 

  • Test data. Test data is already a challenge for every organization; what will happen when we need to include more video and AR/VR elements into the mix? I don’t think anyone has an answer for this one yet, but I’m sure it will become a major pain point. 
  • Test environments. Oh boy, this is going to be a problem. Environments for testing are already a mess. Let’s now incorporate what will be required for emulating a realistic 5G environment, including edge computing. What is that going to look like and what infrastructure will be necessary? 
  • Performance. Performance testing will need to go to the next level and will have to factor in new dimensions such as AR/VR and content-rich video. Not to mention the continued proliferation of devices that will need to be tested for. Oh, and let’s not forget that we will need to factor in edge computing into the performance testing strategy. 
  • Security. 5G will bring with it a tighter integration of inherent security, but that will not change the necessity for a morphed and evolved level of security testing. Especially as organizations look to leverage 5G in new ways, everything from IoT to AR/VR presents new security use cases that are not currently being thought of. 
  • UI/UX. We typically think of UI/UX testing as the gauge and validation of how user-friendly software is. With organizations taking full advantage of the features, bandwidth, and speed of 5G, UI/UX will evolve into a multi-dimensional practice that becomes so much more than just layout and functional flows – it will cut across the entirety of the user experience. 
  • Etc, etc. I could keep going, but I think you get the point. 5G is going to necessitate a change to every single element of your Digital Assurance strategy. 

I am just scratching the surface of the elements of Digital Assurance that will need to be addressed (or re-addressed) in anticipation of, and preparation for, the critical mass adoption of 5G. And to repeat a recurring theme in this blog series, it is not too early to start the socialization of these changes in-line with your organization’s 5G strategy. 

Conclusion 

Digital Assurance is a factor of many moving parts – platforms, technology, data, processes – all of which must be considered and validated in coordination with one another. And let us not forget about a major factor underpinning all of this – the network! With the emergence of 5G, we can expect a new horizon of transformation as organizations evolve from delivering applications on top of the network to delivering applications that inherently leverage the vast capabilities of the network (as will be the case with 5G). 

Cigniti has incorporated 5G Assurance into our overall Digital Assurance strategy, and as part of this, has established a capability that provides 5G automated testing, monitoring, measurements, and analytics. We support a broad range of applications that can be live-monitored and tested: 

  • End Device Applications 
  • Edge Compute Applications 
  • Distributed Applications 
  • Special Hardware Applications 
  • Network Applications 

Organizations now have an easy and cost-effective platform to test on a 5G network – whether that be the much-needed validation of how your current apps will work on 5G or building out your next generation apps that will take advantage of the promise of 5G. Paired with our Digital Experience Monitoring solution (InCight), they also now have the real-time visibility and predictability of the end-user experience to round out their digital assurance strategy. 

While we’ve covered how 5G will drive the innovation loop at breakneck speeds, stay tuned for the upcoming blog series that will explore the new imperative for Digital Assurance – Let’s welcome 5G to the dance.  

Get in touch with our 5G testing experts. They will help you provide a solution for your business and will demonstrate how to scale the quality of experience for 5G services. 

Author

  • Chris leads Cigniti’s Digital GTM focused on customer success in Digital Transformation and Assurance. He is an accomplished IT Services & Solutions executive with over 25 years of experience formulating IT strategy, providing advisory and consulting and “roll up the sleeves” delivery. Chris has worked with many Fortunate 500 organizations – including 15 of the Fortunate 100 – across multiple industry verticals including Retail, CPG, Travel & Hospitality, and BFSI. He has an innate passion for helping organizations transform by leveraging digital, IT operation modernization, new agile ways of working and deploying software.

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