Recently a significant reliability issue has affected a big player in Minnesota. This organization has eventually overlooked quality issues and run gradually into a cyber-attack which has put thousands of credit records and their owners at risk. Forward-thinking companies transformed their development chain and integrated security and load testing in the early development stages.
In this post, I will outline why non-functional viewpoints such as user volume, arrival rates, and response time are becoming more and more a fundamental part of many software projects.
1. Risk mitigation
There is a high risk that an application can't handle its real-world user and data volume. As a result, your application will crash on day one at production due to severe performance issues in a worst-case scenario. Performance testing is a proven risk mitigation measure because it validates your new services under production-like load conditions and reduces the likelihood that significant reliability problems will affect your new services.
2. Time to market
Speed rules the world. Those who launch their new products too late or of a lousy quality often experience significant cuts in revenue. Performance testing helps you to prove your new system under production-like conditions early in the development lifecycle. The earlier you identify such hotspots, the more accessible they are to fix, and the lower is the risk that those repairs will delay your go-live timeline.
3. Defect costs
Performance issues are often challenging to solve because they root on failures in application design. For example, suppose you eliminate performance hotspots during the implementation or testing stages. In that case, you save up to 90 percent for each bug due to fewer downtimes and more accessible code-rework activities in those early stages.
Your company started a marketing campaign for the new website. Due to severe performance issues, a few hundred potential customers can't use the new platform on day one. Nobody wants to be in such a scenario because suddenly, the engineering work stops, and the trial and error phase begins. The pressure goes up, and the chance is high that they can't fix those issues at production within a short time. Load testing prevents your organization from such smoke jumping scenarios.
5. War rooms
Due to the high pressure of severe slowdowns, your teams started blaming each other. Unfortunately, less transparency across all units makes it impossible to identify the cause of those performance issues. Load tests on pre-production stages will give you enough time to investigate and fix slowdowns and prevents you from those high pressure and finger-pointing.
6. Financial revenue
Slow websites lead to increasing abandon rates and loss in commercial revenue. Your company spent real money implementing the new platform, started a massive marketing campaign, and set this vital project at risk due to slow IT services. It's much cheaper to integrate load tests in your development cycle and eliminate those nasty slowdowns instead of setting your earnings at risk.
Reputation is essential for your products. If websites are not reliable or fail to deliver their intended services, your brand is in danger. Even if you bring your application to speed, those customers who experienced a slow loading website will keep this negative experience for a long time. Validation of performance requirements during construction stages reduces the risk of reputational damages due to underperforming services significantly.
8. User experience
Clients expect fast and reliable websites. According to recent research, if page load times are 4 seconds or above, every 2nd user will stop using those services. Load testing helps you to validate and improve the user experience in the pre-production stages. Once UX is within the agreed boundaries, you have the freedom to deploy the new product into production.
Don't set your growing business at risk. Instead, follow the successful path of our IT leaders and make load testing a fundamental part of your development chain. Fewer slowdowns – reduce troubles - more time for innovation – happy customers.
Keep doing the great work! Happy performance engineering!