How to gain speed, scalability and stability through performance testing
Optimizing business performance and mitigating risks with continuous software testing
May 6, 2020 | By: James Pulley and Brian Copeland
We’re living in a world where instant gratification isn’t a new phenomenon. The modern-day consumer looks to their mobile device as a source of instant feedback and satisfaction—and software applications and websites are no different. In order to remain in the game, companies have to ensure they’re giving consumers fast, reliable and secure experiences with minimal errors.
That’s why avoiding software system failures is vital to an organization’s reputation and bottom line. By performance testing for speed, scalability and stability, you’ll eliminate those bottlenecks and meet user expectations.
Speed: Time is money
Speed is one of the most important attributes of any software or website application. According to research by Google, 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take longer than three seconds to load. Knowing that consumers aren’t willing to wait means every second counts because another purchasing opportunity is only a click or tap away.
That’s where continuous performance testing comes in to help. Testing before going to market helps ensure that your application or website delivers fast enough to satisfy end users. And we’re not just talking about a single performance test. Continuous testing ensures that the findings are consistent and helps the business be better equipped and secure for high-traffic times—like running a product sale, when you could find a rushing influx of customers flocking to your website.
If you don’t properly test, you run the risk of losing potential customers. Instead, take an agile approach—test early, and often.
Scalability: Can you handle it?
Continuous testing is not just about how many users an application can support—but how much volume of data the application is able to contain and process, which also contributes to the impact on overall performance. Even in peak load circumstances, customers still expect an application or website to work as it should and within a reasonable speed threshold.
Prioritizing and integrating a comprehensive testing strategy that includes load testing and is incorporated across your development life cycle can help mitigate any negative impacts during expected peaks—like Cyber Monday for retailers or open enrollment for healthcare benefits—and unexpected peaks—like power outages for energy companies.
Think of it as catching any issues and improving them before going to market. Without performance testing, applications are likely to suffer from issues that can later impact the durability and life of a product—and possibly customer satisfaction.
Stability: In it for the long haul
Reliability, uptime and recoverability all factor into whether your software system is stable—or not. Avoiding downtime is critical to your bottom line.
It’s an election year—if you’re a candidate coming off a great event, you can’t afford for your website to crash. Here’s where preemptive performance testing could’ve helped—with a proper continuous testing strategy in place to minimize risks related to the stability and robustness of the system. Skipping performance testing could leave your software slowing down or ultimately crashing, resulting in a negative end-user experience and perhaps irreversible damage to brand reputation.
Performance test, from the start
Users look for reliable and fast experiences—and if you’re not producing that, then you’re failing to meet your customers’ expectations. As software systems continue to evolve, investing in performance testing will be paramount for the success of any business. Not only testing right before releasing your application or website, but continuously testing throughout the development process to help ensure a smooth delivery—without interruptions that could adversely affect usability, brand image and sales goals. Satisfying the customer, while also protecting your investment against failure.
James Pulley is the practice manager of performance engineering and testing for TEKsystems. He has spent the last 20 years helping customers with software application performance and scalability as a performance tester and engineer.
Brian Copeland is a solutions and sales enablement director for TEKsystems. With over 30 years of software development and leadership experience, he specializes in solution architecture and continuous testing.