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Locking (and unlocking) the digital keyhole

All across the country, people who we’ve been sitting next to, opposite, or simply sharing square footage with, have had the opportunity to see inside our homes without even knocking on the door. When previously, conversations circled around what you’ve done at the weekend, for the last five months, they’ve been about your choice of wall hanging.

While some of us are gradually making a return to office-based working, the continued need to socially distance, along with the introduction of ‘safety bubbles’, means the demand for remote technologies is unlikely to drop any time soon.

The shift poses two interesting questions. How secure are these technologies, and do businesses have the right digital skills to not only implement and maintain remote technologies, but simply just to use it?

There has been increased scrutiny of platforms over recent weeks as customer bases grow for software-based business functions. This has been in relation to anything from software security, accessibility, or continued stability of service with high volumes of traffic.

One platform that’s increased significantly in usage in recent months is the videoconferencing platform, Zoom. As business sensitive and confidential meetings began to take place, questions were raised around the security of the software in place of face-to-face meetings that would normally take place physically behind closed doors. One such element was around end to end (E2E) encryption and how private these meetings actually are.

It’ll be down to Software Testers to ensure the robustness of these platforms and test every possible outcome. But with 72% of large companies and 49% of SME’s* reporting suffering technical skills gaps within their workforce, will the country need to go through a period of learning, training and upskilling before remote is truly the new normal?

And it’s not just the backend technical skills that need to be considered. In order for us to expect individuals to engage positively with remote technology and remote working, usability, stability and sound Graphical User Interface (GUI) is essential. One way this can be achieved is through a robust design, development and testing process ensuring that all areas of the Software Development lifecycle are touched upon. Again, testing is key in this process to ensure that the product is not only fit for purpose, but also creates the necessary seamless and efficient experience that the end user will both expect and need.

It is expected that in a post Covid-19 world the way in which individuals and businesses interact with digital technologies will have changed forever. What role will your organisation play in this change?

*Digital Skills for the UK Economy – 2016 report

Amy Smith

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