Automation Testing in IoT: Challenges and Benefits
Test Automation
Silpa Sasidharan May 30, 2023

Today, from manufacturing and healthcare to banking services, automation testing in the Internet of Things (IoT) enhances its use cases. IoT devices have been revolutionizing every realm, making it impossible to live without this innovative technology.

Despite the popularity and adoption of IoT technology, it is more interesting that most IoT devices in the market do not receive proper automation testing before it reaches the end users. As we all know, IoT services revolve around connected integration, and any vulnerability due to untested devices disrupts millions of devices in the network.

There is only one solution to this challenge. You can use IoT testing to keep the devices secure and safe. How does an IoT device differ from other devices and systems? What challenges does the Quality Assurance (QA) department encounter while adopting IoT testing?

In this blog, we shall discuss the answers to these questions and how IoT automation testing becomes beneficial.

Automation Testing: A Perfect Fit for IoT

Every IoT device and system makes use of the Internet to send data. Therefore, verifying IoT devices can convey sensitive data is necessary. IoT testing is used to conduct quality assurance tests to check IoT devices’ and systems’ performance and security. Top brands use IoT test automation tools to identify issues before reaching the hands of end consumers.

IoT testing encompasses the entire device and systems, regardless of its nature, size or shape. For example, IoT testing gets implemented on all of these, from the smart appliances in your home, security systems, and smartwatches to heavy equipment in the manufacturing industry and many more.

Why Is Automation Important?

Automation is one of the most important elements in IoT, which necessitates the testing methods to be precise. Reduced labour and human intervention mitigate costs to a great extent. Therefore, there arises the need for improving the software services delivery, which further aims at improving testing methods. Also, considering the subtle, complex nature of the IoT landscape, the IT testing team should confirm if the device is working properly and is secure in normal and unusual circumstances.

How does an IoT device differ from a conventional software device?

Unlike conventional software businesses, IoT enterprises face issues during the development and testing phases. The former has to find solutions for integrating edge devices into the IoT platform and IoT platforms to the applications and services. Since integration is at the heart of IoT, the device in IoT needs advanced integration skills, performance, functionality and security testing. Unlike traditional software devices, IoT devices are designed to perform a special task assigned to them. Indeed, the software and hardware in IoT devices are used to perform that specific task only, while conventional software devices are intended to perform several tasks.

Test Automation for IoT

Some Common Challenges in IoT Automation Testing

The ideal testing strategies consider the hindrances that can harm the efforts of developers, the QA team and the end users’ experience.

Challenges in IoT

We shall investigate a few common challenges in IoT testing and their possible fixes.

 1. Security Issues

Even now, it is a hard fact; more than half of IoT devices and systems are prone to security risks. Hackers accessing the IoT device can also access the sensitive data stored inside and within the network.

However,  to prevent such vulnerabilities, the IoT test automation tools must emphasize identifying such security loopholes. Starting with password protection and verifying if it gets implemented would help. Testing using IoT test automation tools would help verify the password prompts within the IoT device.

2. Vast Number of IoT Devices

There are several devices in the IoT network, and each device’s software and hardware integrate with other IoT devices. It implies that IoT testing encompasses several test cases for each type of IoT device within the network. And that is, indeed, complex. Under such a situation, it is difficult for IoT testing tools to go through every software and hardware version in IoT devices. Therefore, to make testing result-oriented, the focus should be on developing test cases for the most useful combinations of integrations before the commercial launch.

3. Network Configuration

More network configurations can be needed to ensure the effective testing of IoT devices and systems. Connected IoT devices need quick communication in real-time, and if there are network inconsistencies, it directly affects device performance and eventually interferes with the end-user experience. IoT devices and systems should be tested against several conditions to ensure better performance. Ensuring network stability and reliable network hardware is a must. IoT testing tools look into this by reviewing unstable network situations. However, QA testers can perform network virtualization to emulate several network conditions.

4. Connectivity Issues

The accuracy of data (both structured and unstructured) collected from IoT devices should be verified. The functionality of IoT devices is based on the connectivity with several cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and so on. IoT testing demands IoT devices to be tested across these platforms on the cloud. In this way, QA engineers ensure data accuracy from IoT systems. Nevertheless, testing every device running on several cloud versions is not practical. Verifying that your IoT device works flawlessly becomes easy if you run IoT devices on all cloud platforms, browsers and operating systems.

Also read: IoT Services Powered by Data Science | Your Gateway To Business Success

Potential Benefits of IoT Testing

With an effective testing plan, your QA team can access the results in real-time through IoT testing.

Benefits of IoT

Here are some exclusive benefits derived from IoT testing.

1. Improved Interoperability

IoT testing helps ensure that several IoT devices work together without issues, regardless of the manufacturers or different technologies used. It also identifies and addresses problems when several systems interact and improve reliability. It further ensures data integrity and enhanced user experience, reducing development costs.

2. Handles Varying Connectivity Conditions

In manual testing, it is impossible to understand how IoT devices handle varying connectivity conditions. However, IoT test automation can manage all potential cases with the help of running automated test cases using IoT testing tools.

3. Improves Test Coverage

IoT testing automation tools allow many app versions, operating systems and mobile devices. The IoT testing tools perform test cases very fast. Furthermore, any errors can be identified at the beginning phase of the project. Test automation in IoT allows additional test coverage and enables testing in user interfaces, servers and databases. Also, these tools allow the QA team to enhance the application performance without harming the functionality. When there are hardly any issues during deployment, the customer experience is better, and as a result, businesses can also expect better returns on investment.

4. Enhanced Security

Automation testing in IoT cuts costs in managing and maintaining large and complex environments for performing tests. The fast release of IoT applications via functional testing helps reduce risks. Furthermore, the wide test coverage implies that there would be less number of issues and snags in the production scenario.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is IoT testing automation?

The very purpose of automating IoT testing is to simplify planning and implementing agile software development. In agile development, you can create specifications in the initial phase to integrate the rework.

2. What are the benefits of automation and control in IOT?

IoT helps automate routine tasks without human intervention and maintains transparency in the entire process. Additionally, it helps maintain quality and mitigates any instances of glitches. Eventually, it leads to better service delivery.

Future of Automation in IoT

Including automation in the IoT, landscape brings many more advancements in future. It opens new opportunities to develop gadgets with enhanced accuracy and intelligence to reduce human labour and automate tasks. IoT testing focuses on communication in real-time to create a balance between hardware and software components along a connected network by using smart technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and many more.

Test Automation in IoT


Author Bio

Silpa Sasidharan is a content writer and social media copywriting expert working at ThinkPalm Technologies, who aspires to create marketing texts for topics spanning from technology, automation and digital business solutions.