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Top three reasons to Performance Test

Many businesses up and down the country are still in the very early stages of an economic recovery. Our conversations with clients show many are still indicating a strong aversion to risk, a desire to maximize return on existing investments and a need to do ‘more with less’.

Businesses, quite rightly, want to squeeze as much as they can from existing budgets and systems, whilst still offering the best level of service to their customers.

Three Reasons to Performance Test

In this post I look at why performance testing is a vital component in this approach. Specifically, I’ll look at the three top reasons performance testing really can help businesses protect their reputations, reduce costs and plan future spend.

Surprisingly we often hear the comment “We don’t need to worry about performance testing”

Having operated for over 20 years, and successfully delivered projects across many different sectors, we know more than most that performance testing can deliver significant value to a business. Yet it’s easy to think performance testing is a luxury when faced with economic pressures, stretched workforces and new technology like the Cloud. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Here are some common misconceptions.

“It’s in the Cloud so of course it will cope with demand”

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday proved,

Three Reasons to Performance Test

No Entry to the website

some major websites weren’t able to cope with the additional demand, even if they were in the Cloud. A website still needs testing, no matter how it is served or hosted. Knowing your systems’ limitations enables you to plan more effectively for peak of peak events.

“We don’t have enough budget or time, we’ll take the risk”

The truth is money spent on new or existing business applications is effectively wasted if the website crashes or the application fails, time to market shouldn’t take precedence over damage to brand and customer trust.

“It can’t be tested or doesn’t need to be tested”

In over 20 years we’ve never failed to find a performance testing solution for any application – ask us, we love a challenge.

Some may think that because they’ve bought a commercial off the shelf solution (COTS) it won’t need performance testing. In our experience it’s a rare COTS implementation that hasn’t had some client configuration, and even if it’s a vanilla implementation failing to test how it will perform with the systems it’s connected to can lead to some very nasty surprises.

Top three reasons to Performance Test

In discussions with many clients these are the top three reasons they performance test, I think they make a persuasive argument.

1. Protect your brand

Steve Jobs once said “to me a brand is one simple thing… trust”. Your brand is a key asset and trust is vital for success. Ensuring users can trust the tools and websites you provide, and that they work first time, every time, is vital.

Poor customer experience and website crashes almost instantly escalate in the world of social media resulting in brands being damaged – some long term.

2. Protect your finances….and your career

With finance departments and business heads casting a closer eye than ever on resources and budgets, return on investment (ROI) has never been more important. New websites, or business application upgrades, are right in the firing line. Such is the expense of these projects that they simply have to deliver consistently. Failure to go live with a fully tested system can be a career limiting decision.

Performance testing can help deliver this ROI. As I touched on earlier, Black Friday caused chaos for many website owners who should know better. Performance testing provides crucial information to help inform go live decisions.

Failing to identify problems before go live inevitably pushes any issues into the live environment. Not only does this risk the integrity and performance of the solution, but it also makes the necessary fixes much more expensive and potentially problematic – are you out of warranty, are the original development team still available? The service must be suspended, links to external data sources changed and adequate communication given to customers or users – often involving using expensive call centres to meet customer demands.

Identifying issues before you go live has additional benefits, over and above delivering the right service to users. Support resources can also be ‘right sized’ to support the application or website, effectively controlling ongoing operational costs.

The key is not acting too late. By performance testing a company can significantly reduce outgoings down the road, safe in the knowledge that they have a system that won’t spring any hidden surprises.

3. Plan for the future

Performance testing allows a company to future-proof their websites or applications. By testing early, and understanding the potential breaking points and varying user loads, you can plan ahead for changing volumes of users and activity. With this knowledge future investments can be planned with a much better degree of certainty.

So don’t go live without testing your performance

We’ve developed a rapid to deploy, fixed price, fixed duration performance testing service. It’s delivered by our UK-based team. The service delivers clear and concise reports that provide conclusive results and analysis you can trust and rely on when making your go live decisions.

Find out more about StarBase’s Test&Go: Performance Evaluation


Mark Adamson, Head of Operations, StarBase

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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