The COVID-19 outbreak has had major impacts both at home and in the office. Some of the disruptions have become part of businesses’ “new normal.” Remote working, digital collaboration, the accelerated migration to the cloud, and the modernization of IT ecosystems are here to stay. To ensure a speedy and efficient transformation, enterprises have emphasized quality of both the software and the process. This has forced engineering teams to exercise discipline – proper hygiene, if you will – when collaborating remotely and avoiding a clash between the two Titans of UX: go-to-market time and application behavior.
Ironically, IT hygiene habits are quite similar to the ones we are all building outside of work to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Both have one thing in common: prevention rather than detection. And in both cases, investing in good hygiene for everyday processes can eliminate the need for “testing.” Here are three examples that demonstrate how.
1) Diagnostics are the only sure-fire way to assess health
Real world: In parallel to identifying patients with symptoms and administrating available treatment, scientists across the globe also started working on the antivirus which would prevent further infection by the pathogen. A key activity for making this task successful was gathering information regarding how the virus spread to humans in the first place. The urgency of the activity has ensured that the process for antivirus development and time taken for clinical trials has been shortened by quite an extent, when compared to traditional life- cycles.
Binary world: Companies should tackle application quality anomalies with a two-pronged approach that ensures end-to-end traceability for requirements, scenarios, and Lines of Code (LoC). Defect patterns and symptoms can be analyzed from a business-process perspective (top-down) and a LoC perspective (bottom-up) using advanced analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML). This helps engineering teams to identify and isolate potential faulty code and accelerates defect Root Cause Analysis, enabling engineers to not only prevent but also predict potential functionality or performance anomalies during development. In addition, virtual personas driven by AI/ML can help design or auto-heal existing scripts within a few minutes without engineer intervention, can spin-up virtual machines at will, and can execute across virtual grids for exhaustive and airtight coverage. This approach has proven extremely effective in large-scale mainframe modernization programs and migrations to custom development stacks.
2) Preventive measures are most effective when implemented consistently and by everyone
Real world: Many countries have enforced strict preventive measures to slow the virus’ spread. While reaction times varied from region to region, countries have begun adopting similar measures aligned to global health institutes’ guidelines, providing a sense of hope that the virus will eventually be contained.
Binary world: Instilling a culture of quality-driven engineering that’s technology- and persona-agnostic ensures a unified view of application ecosystem quality. To ensure “pull” for this culture rather than “push,” AI-powered automation can augment and make life easier for development, DevSecOps, operations and test-engineer personas. Having a consistent quality-engineering culture helps connect release quality to business-level decisions and metrics, aiding strategic decisions with actionable and easily understood insights. This has been a major success factor for companies as they journey toward becoming a cloud-native enterprise.
3) Process Hygiene dictates individual hygiene
Real world: Air travelers are screened from their departure airport until their exit from the destination airport. These checks are exhaustive and have no exceptions. Such rigor ensures that everyone in a traveler’s proximity is subject to the same scrutiny and, presumably, is personally healthy enough to travel, thus containing the spread.
Binary world: Similarly, enterprise-wide quality guardrails for DevSecOps pipelines can provide an accurate measure of application health across all product and technology portfolios. Policy-driven quality gates at the cusp of every production environment help monitor and control build progression across the pipeline. These policies combine structural code quality, non-functional quality (security and performance), dynamic code quality (test coverage), and business-impact risk-driven test coverage. A 360-degree policy such as this ensures that all “quality risks” are identified and tested as soon as possible at various stages of the SDLC. This proves extremely effective in (DevSecOps) QE-powered enterprises where multiple pipelines eventually consolidate.
Much as patients prefer to visit a healthcare center with all the required equipment and expertise, enterprises often seek partners that offer a comprehensive suite of engineering solutions. Wipro’s consultative engineering expertise, anchored by the intelliassure intelligent quality platform, integrates out-of-the-box with diverse partner offerings and addresses all the quality needs of an enterprise from a single solution.
Prevention is better than cure
COVID-19 has forced humanity into a new way of life, compelling us all to prepare for whatever the future holds. Though the adjustment has been difficult, the opportunity cost is extremely high: one’s health. Much like preventative hygiene practices have become a discipline in the real world, enterprises must approach application and process quality engineering with the same rigor if they want to thrive in the new normal. These practices can help future-proof organizations along their business transformation journey, and application ecosystems can remain healthy only when all of the preventive quality engineering measures are implemented collectively.