The collapse of software systems due to high demand damages the user experience and their digital quality of life, generating huge losses for companies. My aim in this article is to explain why you should focus on performance testing to grow your business and reach scalability.
By Roger Abelanda
Our first impression is often decisive when we use an application or visit a website for the first time. When a platform is slow and makes us waste time, what impression do we form? And what if it throws different errors without explanation?
We’ve all experienced this at some point. When this occurs, we don’t usually analyze the fact that the application could be under heavy load, with many users performing the same action at the same time, or that there might be a performance issue. We don’t slow down. We simply think: “This application doesn‘t work, it is unusable”, and we stop using it.
Do you remember any time this has happened to you? Countless people have not been able to make a digital purchase on Black Friday, or have not been able to access contents they needed at specific times.
Students around the world have reported not being able to enroll in multiple subjects in their majors at the time of enrollment. In many cases, it was later found that this was related to the number of people trying to register at the same time, without the system being prepared for it.
Have you ever missed a premiere because of a software “glitch”? There are many examples of this. One of the most memorable was the premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones series. Years ago, the high demand of Latin American users to watch the premiere of its seventh season caused the system to collapse. The issue exploded on social networks, with users demanding refunds and compensation from HBO GO Latin America.
The same failures can occur in all kinds of platforms. Health, impairing access to important medical information at the right time. Banking systems, affecting the completion of necessary transactions in situations that cannot be postponed. Or simply for entertainment, when someone wants to slow down and take a break after a long day’s work. The options are endless.
As RSA CEO Rohit Ghai recently expressed at the RSA 2022 Conference in San Francisco, “We live in a hyper-connected world, where the physical and the digital are now indistinguishable.”
There is no doubt that the collapse of systems because of high demand is detrimental to the user experience in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. As a result, people’s digital quality of life is directly impacted, and their daily lives are affected as well.
It is inevitable that this will result in losses for companies. Here are some data that supports this claim:
✔️According to Busines Wire, 88% of Americans have negative feelings about brands with poorly performing websites and mobile Apps. These negative feelings are associated with annoyance, frustration, distrust, and anger.
✔️According to Google, 53% of mobile users abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load.
✔️According to “The Cost of Poor Software Quality in the US” CISQ report 2020, the Total Cost of Poor Software Quality in the US was $2.08 trillion (T) in 2020.
System failures and inadequate performance in the face of high demand can have a major impact on retention and conversion rates, as well as the sustainability and scalability of companies. Digital platforms are increasingly central to people’s lives in a globalized world that is almost completely interconnected. So, as you see, losses can be really huge.
Thus, it is a priority to evaluate the performance of any application, under different conditions and continuously, to ensure the correct user experience and improve the quality of the software.
In Which Cases is it Essential to Perform Performance Testing?
The more exposed an application is, the more users and variables there are around it, and the more important it becomes to perform performance testing. Another naturally relevant factor is the criticality of the system: for example, a banking or health system vs. a system for personal use for entertainment or little impact on users.
In any case, it is good to always have some performance test, to verify that the application behaves within the expected parameters. As in all tasks, it is necessary to balance costs, risks, and benefits.
As a CISQ report states, “The cost of finding and fixing bugs or errors is the largest single expense element in the software lifecycle. Large systems have much higher defect potentials that are more difficult to remove than small systems due to size and complexity. The earliest you find the defects in the development’s lifecycle, the cheapest the overall delivery will be.”
🔜 I will soon publish a new article in which I tell all about JMeter DSL, an innovation we made at Abstracta that simplifies the use of JMeter through code, also adding new functionalities. You don’t want to miss it!
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