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  • Wouter van Loon

Elusive clouds and smart software robots

Quality and IT have been crossing paths for decades. IT has made things possible that were unimaginable 40 years ago. For Quality, IT has always proven to be elusive and volatile. Whenever technology is under control, a new hype emerges. Yet, the challenges are not diminished. IT is now a pillar of our organization; everything is intimately intertwined and connected. The cloud is now more widely embraced, not only because it is cheap or easy, but because it paves the way to the future. Organizations do not have the luxury of ignoring this: the cloud is necessary to remain competitive. What should we do with this from a Quality perspective? Simply move with the trend of the moment? That would be an underestimation of the impact current developments have on our organizations, our way of working and the way in which we want to be in control.


Applications in the cloud

In the foreseeable future, the majority of application landscapes will move to the cloud, and application providers will offer their services on a pay-per-use basis. The reason being that consistency in service and connecting the right business drivers leave no other option. This movement is so powerful that industrial application will also become available. The introduction of 5G will speed up this process.


Robots

It is misleading to only view IT developments from an infrastructural or application perspective. Much more is happening. Our way of working will radically change as the far-reaching automatization and robotization of tasks and procedures become possible through artificial intelligence made easily available through the cloud. Smart chatbots are conquering the world, and this is just the beginning. The field of Quality will also change radically. Tasks that require human intelligence will be replaced by smart software robots. Among other things, checks for consistency and coherence in data and documents will be taken over by smart systems.


Quality and IT

Our world of Quality is aimed at realizing predictability and controllability. We want to organize reliability, consistency, peace of mind and even dullness. But, we can forget about that. We are only at the beginning of an incredible wave of changes and exciting developments. The question is: how will Quality play a role in this? Business cannot afford to wait. The most flexible and agile organization is tomorrow’s winner. The cloud plays a leading role in this.


The only way to find valid answers to these issues, is by addressing the intimate relationship, or partial merger, between Quality and IT. The intersecting paths are increasingly becoming one path. After all, the field of Quality is increasingly being dominated by IT and is increasingly more about IT. Quality is about the organization of control, and that is something that will not change. It is the method and the means that will make the difference.


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