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Our views on digital transformation, IOT and regulatory issues which are driving IT change and the need for end-to-end business quality assurance. 

Protecting the roads from autonomous vehicles

January 2017

2017 kicked off with Dik Vos, CEO, being interviewed live on BBC World News – Business Live on January 4th, discussing how we can protect our roads from autonomous vehicles. Check out the discussion below

 
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Dear Santa

January 2017

I am writing this letter to tell you that I’m really unhappy with what you gave me for Christmas this year. I wanted a Ferrari and I made same request last year. I’ve been really good now for 2 years running and I’m still confused as to why you haven’t given me my car…. 

 
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Dik Vos, CEO, predicts…

December 2016

2016 has truly been a year of the digitalisation of many sectors, of industry, and our lives.  It has been a year where the number of “Things” connected to the internet has outnumbered the numbers of Smartphones and PC’s.  Innovation in the Smart Cities, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Mobility, etc. is accelerating at pace.  Alongside this acceleration, are the numbers of attacks on or utilising these innovations, with attackers ready to exploit every possible vulnerability exposed by these “Things”.

 
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Robotic Process Automation is going through a revolution

November 2016

Robotic Process Automation (“RPA”) is an often misunderstood term. Those age-old images some may have of cumbersome hardware robots executing manual everyday tasks must instead be replaced by software ‘Bots’ running automated tasks over the Internet. For businesses, these Bots automate manually executed processes through a software platform, saving time and money, whilst also improving the customer experience and increasing efficiency.  

 
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The Automation Dilemma

November 2016

I read an interesting piece by Andy Mukherjee recently in Bloomberg’s Gadfly about the sad demise of the Indian software services industry and couldn’t agree more.  At the turn of the millennium, Indian technicians were working around the clock, frenetically writing code as they sought to fix the looming – and potentially fatal – Millennium Bug.  What a difference a decade and a half have made to this industry which reached a reported $600 billion at its peak.  Now, in 2016, the much hyped – and arguably very successful – Indian integrator model, using low cost staff based in India to solve our global software needs, has reached a standstill.

 
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Do you need to consider network connectivity when testing Mobile Apps or Mobile Sites?

November 2016

Sometimes being a Tester, you accept that areas must be tested because by our nature we are extremely risk adverse. When considering mobile app or mobile site testing it always made sense to me to include some element of network connectivity testing. It was obvious to assume that consumers would be experiencing different network conditions as they travel to and from work, for example, and therefore it had to be tested.

 
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Continuous, Continuous, Continuous Quality!

November 2016

Agile adoption gathers pace and is becoming the new norm for software delivery projects in support of major market trends such as digital transformation, which we are seeing penetrate deep into leading blue chip companies and their verticals.  These organisations typically aspire to leveraging Agile methodologies for speed and quality for first-mover advantage within their marketplace.  Cost efficiency also plays a key role although Return on Investment has taken a back seat over velocity.  Unfortunately achieving speed, quality and cost savings in the delivery of software solutions presents a significant challenge for most.

 
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Black Friday is coming... Are your web and mobile Apps ready?

October 2016

Pick a number between say 30 and 60, pick another number between 1 and 3. The former is the percentage of internet/mobile users that won’t wait for the latter (in seconds) to elapse before ditching a site or app and moving on to a competitor. In most cases resulting in a loss of revenue. 

 
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Insights from data – Information, Knowledge and Wisdom

October 2016

The World Quality Report 2015 indicates that the average spend on application quality as a share of the IT budget has increased from 18% in 2012 to 26% in 2014. According to the CIOs, IT Directors and VPs of the applications, they predict this will rise to 29% in 2017.

 
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Automation requires humanity

October 2016

Automation is becoming ubiquitous across most industries. In manufacturing, global sales of industrial robots are expected to almost double in volume by 2018, reaching 400,000 units. In the home, revenue from the home automation segment is expected to hit over $6 million this year and show an annual growth rate of CAGR 28.19%.

 
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Mobile OS and Device Roadmap 2016/2017 – September Update

September 2016

With the recent mobile OS releases, Apple’s iOS 10 and Google’s Android 7.0 alias "Nougat", Test Team’s should revisit their Mobile Test Strategy, to ensure it covers the new OS versions and phones if applicable to their projects.

 
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PayThink Banks Need More Detailed ATM Tests to Ensure EMV Compliance

September 2016

With the first chip card deadline for ATMs coming up in a few weeks, banks need to quickly gain an upper hand on potential risks. This starts with a more complete understanding of the complex changes at the ATM terminal.

 
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Comprehensive testing approach for Random Number Generators: Chi-square test

September 2016

The i-gaming sector is growing and transforming at a rapid pace. One of the biggest challenges in online gambling games is its fairness. To help overcome this challenge, regulatory bodies are constantly reviewing global regulations to ensure responsible gambling and protect players and their funds. Many independent testing facilities are emerging to help support these requirement. 

 
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How DevOps can turbocharge your time-to-market

August 2016

Software updates. As consumers they can seem like the bane of our lives sometimes. When we shut down our PC at work, when we boot up our laptop at home, when our phones get on WiFi and now even our TVs and thermostats when we sleep - everything is getting updated.

 
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Why using virtualisation for testing is better than the real-world - in virtually every way

August 2016

Anyone who has spent much time in an IT environment has doubtlessly heard of virtualisation or virtual machines. For the unfamiliar, in essence this just means building a virtual computer inside another computer. The traditional system most businesses employ are individual terminals which are all standalone PCs (or Macs, laptops, tablets, etc.) that share files held on servers with other machines on the network.

 
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“RATOR” for enhanced price testing and QA for error free insurance product rollouts

August 2016

Major transformation projects today are driven by the business need and the primary drivers are First-to-Market and Faster-to-Market. 

 
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Sparks are set to fly, as pay-as-you-go ignites the utilities market

August 2016

With the advent of smart metering set to level the playing field for the utilities industry, a cultural shift is also on the horizon around how users not only consume, but pay for their energy. With direct debit agreements seen as the most effective way to pay for utilities, smart metering opens up the options to both suppliers and consumers by paving the way for pre-payment methods to become mainstream. But whilst this is certainly great news for the consumer, experience in smart pre-pay in the UK is low, with only a few suppliers having made the switch successfully. Unless the upgrade challenge is tackled in the right way energy suppliers could find themselves in hot water with unresolved data issues and holes in their underlying IT infrastructure coming to light fast.

 
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From legacy to longevity: embracing the insurance IT evolution

July 2016

Instead of just adding value to the insurance sector, technology underpins its very growth and evolution. In the last few years alone, the use of mobile devices, GPS, social media and CCTV footage have all impacted hugely upon the way claims are processed and policies assessed. The analysis and value of “big data” gleaned through customer interactions has become more important than ever, as insurers look to maximise efficiencies and profits whilst keeping customers happy.

 
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The Algo Economy: The secret weapon to a successful business

July 2016

With an expected 20.8 billion connected things to be in existence by 2020 these devices are producing data at an astonishing rate here in the UK. The Internet of Things (IoT) is having an increasing impact upon our ever-evolving lives. However, what many take for granted is the fact that algorithms are at the heart of the devices generating this data. Algorithms are essential to the running of everyday products, from the brakes in your car to trades on the stock exchange, creating our economy’s secret weapon of success and mass destruction in equal measure if risks aren’t mitigated for.

 
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Change Management, facing up to the realities

July 2016

Particular focus is needed in considering Change Management as a critical skillset within an organisation. This focus in itself may be construed as an acknowledgement of previous limitations, however it must be accepted that change does not always go “absolutely to plan”. 

 
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Safeguarding your business in today’s digital world

July 2016

The Digital Revolution began sometime in the 1950s, and the evolution continues to be as dramatic today as it was when we witnessed the embryonic ideas that would lead to the Internet after the first message was sent over the ARPANET in 1969. We now live in an age where the world’s largest taxi company owns no taxis; the largest accommodation provider owns no real estate; and the most valuable retailer on the planet has no inventory. The meteoric rise of the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Alibaba is a direct result of digitalisation within this digital revolution. The change has created new opportunities and revenue streams for old enterprises and start-ups alike, as well as transforming the way we, as consumers, consume. You are probably reading this article on your smartphone right now while listening to Spotify and being unwittingly geo-located by the majority of your apps.  

 
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Your organisation needs Quality Goals. Here’s how to define and measure them.

June 2016

Customer expectation has been increasing since the dawn of the customer and that pressure will only continue meaning businesses around the globe are re-thinking the received wisdom of the infamous ‘Time-Cost-Quality Triangle’.

 
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M-Payments might be the latest ‘dot com bubble’, but when will it burst?

June 2016

The story of money is in many ways a story of convenience, spanning from coins to promissory notes, cheques, then credit cards, ATMs, online banking to today, where we live in a world of contactless payments and NFC-enabled smartphones that let us pay with our thumbprints and even selfies!

 
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Testing times ahead for the water industry; who will sink and who will swim?

June 2016

The water industry is going through a period of unprecedented change. Having been static for two and a half decades, the structure of the retail market is about to be turned on its head. This is set to open the flood gates for new entrants and competition from existing suppliers. Previously a regionally-allocated utility, from April 2017, the Open Water Act will mean businesses can choose their water retailer, no matter where they are based in the UK.

 
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Prospering in Payment Processing – Towards Payments Hubs

June 2016

Global payments growth is accompanied by a need for transformation in the payments infrastructure. Emerging payment types and convergence of channels (physical, electronic and mobile) add to the pressure on the banks to provide innovative products and better customer experience and consistency across channels. With the new channels, the lines between payment types and methods are getting blurred. For example, as the vast majority of mobile payments flow over card rails, there is increasingly no difference between a mobile payment and a plastic card payment at point-of-sale. Mobile wallets bury the details of the cards they contain once the payment credentials have been loaded. Further complicating the environment is the rise of virtual payments.

 
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Made in Britain: Booming UK automotive industry must re-shore IT to future proof supply chain

June 2016

The UK automotive industry is back on track after years of decline, with many pointing to the important role it plays in improving the economy. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) UK car plants last year produced more than 1.5 million vehicles, the highest number since 2007. By 2017 that number is expected to rise to more than two million vehicles per annum.

 
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Staying Current – ATMs in the Era of Non-cash Payments

June 2016

In 2017 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ATM. With many countries envisioning a cashless society, we find ourselves asking what is the future of ATM. The World Payment Report 2015 indicated that global non-cash payments grew at a rate of 7.6% in 2013, with emerging Asia at 21.6%. The non-cash payments consistently grew across all markets.

 
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Automation – progress but same old problems?

June 2016

In the past 5 – 10 years, Test Automation has evolved considerably. Open Source tools such as Selenium have largely overtaken commercial based tools for Web Automation. Commercial tools, however, still dominate E2E integration testing involving non-web based technologies (e.g. SAP, Oracle CC+B, and Mainframe).

 
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No gain without pain? How to be agile without pulling a muscle

May 2016

Like watching a yoga expert balance on their head, being agile might look simple to the untrained eye. However, if you try to achieve that move gracefully for the first time, without the necessary preparation, you are sure to fall flat on your face. There are certainly a few IT professionals that have suffered this fate after assuming that following an Agile philosophy would be easy. Far from it. In order to do Agile, you need to be Agile, which can only be achieved by a change in mind set and cultural approach that spans the entire organisation – not just those tasked with working in this way.

 
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Transforming Payment Systems – Trends, Challenges and Lessons Learned

May 2016

The payment infrastructure is undergoing a transformation. As the legacy payments systems struggle to cope, huge investments are being made to build newer and faster payment systems. Central banks, governments and payments associations are currently focusing on the modernisation of payment systems, decreasing the use of cash for payments and promoting competition within financial services. 

 
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Is loyalty to legacy IT holding organisations back?

May 2016

Look under the surface of any successful business today and you can guarantee that technology has played an integral part in helping them reach the top of their industry. However, for many businesses the IT department can be a barrier to innovation and technology change, with loyalty to legacy IT having a huge impact upon their ability to keep up with consumer and market demand.

 
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Maintaining quality and gambler loyalty in an omni-channel world

April 2016

Gambling is big business. It’s no longer just the domain of the high street or about keeping the social and occasional gambler happy. It’s about providing more choice and ways for people to access the games they enjoy, anywhere and at any time. Recent advances in online and mobile technology have made gambling more accessible than ever. As well as appealing to those who already like a flutter, it has also opened up a whole new captive audience and world of opportunities for traditional gambling companies, platform providers and game developers. Recent figures suggest that almost half (44 per cent) of European gambling operators intend to spend more than £3m on online initiatives.

 
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Omni-channel and beyond - are supermarkets ready for the next wave of IT change?

March 2016

From farm to fork, there is no doubting that technology plays an integral role in the way supermarket chains interact with their suppliers, partners and customers. Since the first, secure, online purchase 20 years ago, retailers have come a long way in their use of technology to provide an efficient service and meet the ever increasing demands and expectations of their customers.

 
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How thinking like a supermarket will transform the automotive supply chain

January 2016

After years of decline, the UK vehicle manufacturing industry is undergoing a welcome resurgence. By 2017 it is expected to be turning out more than two million vehicles per year, a new record according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

 
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Have we lost the art of “Agile”?

December 2015

Very much the buzzword of the IT industry 15 years ago, today “agile” has become one of the most overused terms in business. In recent years, the word has come to supersede almost every business process to suggest a more efficient way of doing things - whether you’re being offered a new agile way of managing your finances, implementing an agile cloud solution, or developing an agile work environment.

 
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Digital transformation is a game-changer for the insurance industry

October 2015

The pace of IT change today is moving faster than ever before; new technological advancements are being made every day. For the insurance industry, instead of just adding value, technology now underpins its very growth and evolution meaning digital transformation is more important than ever before.

 
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Don’t let information ignorance turn your data dream into a nightmare

August 2015

With the impending EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the horizon, are you aware of the impact this will have on your current data management policies, processes and systems? For many businesses the realistic answer to this question is “I don’t know” and for most it will be “no”. No matter what industry you are in, if you handle other people’s data you are responsible for keeping it safe and bound by law to comply with data protection regulations. 

 
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