StarBase Blog


The overload of cinema websites ahead of the launch of “Spectre”, the new James Bond movie, and next month’s launch of the new Star Wars film hit the newspaper headlines and made the national news. A public relations nightmare, with irate customers resorting to social media to lambast those responsible, whilst others claimed that they had had money withdrawn from their bank accounts, but were without tickets or ticket confirmation.

The cinema chains will ride out the PR, still show the film, and make money from the experience.  Indeed, it actually made people like me realise that tickets were now available!  But can your business turn such a performance disaster to your advantage in the same way? Probably not. Don't Let Poor Performance be Your Downfall 

For a retailer, an unresponsive, slow or crashed website will drive customers to find another on-line vendor and their confidence in your brand and market place will be lowered for some time into the future. For those with retail stores too, that frustration can cost you high street sales too.

These peaks, which could include a ‘black Friday’, promotional offers or a product launch, are not always predictable.  The cost of covering every demand eventuality is also likely to be uneconomic. 

Thus businesses need to adopt coping strategies, which could include:
•    Shutting down access to new connections once a user threshold is reached
•    Setting up a queuing system, similar to the above, but at least keeping customers informed
•    Throwing more hardware at the problem, whether hardware or cloud capacity
•    Just let it happen

You still need to understand the limits of your solutions to set such thresholds. You will need to prove that any scalable solution works or take a chance on perfect implementation. Yet for large scale customer or user driven solutions, performance testing can be costly in terms of resources, time and money.

If you think you should take another look at the limitations of your systems, here’s a short StarBase Insight guide to what you need to consider, helping to keep the costs under control. You should also take a look at our Test&Go: Performance Evaluation service - fast to deploy, fixed price and fixed duration. 

Posted by:mark
Head of Operations, StarBase
Mark Adamson has responsibility for planning and driving continuous improvement in the operation of the business overall, focusing in particular on quality of service and solution delivery to clients. He enjoys working with smart people on interesting, challenging projects which can make a real difference to the success of our clients businesses. He also derives great satisfaction from helping graduate trainees develop into highly effective consultants.

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