Efficient Load and Performance Testing is Business-Critical - Know Why?
September 09, 2021

Ajay Kumar Mudunuri
Cigniti Technologies

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Business enterprises aiming at digital transformation or IT companies developing new software applications face challenges in developing eye-catching, robust, fast-loading, mobile-friendly, content-rich, and user-friendly software. However, with increased pressure to reduce costs and save time, business enterprises often give a short shrift to performance testing services. Consequently, it becomes difficult for them to figure out whether:

■ The software can function seamlessly in situations such as a sketchy internet connection or a sudden surge in user traffic.

■ Can software meet end-users'needs and demand patterns?

Simply put, a robust performance testing strategy can reveal the true potential of the software and give insights into how it will run with a thousand odd concurrent users. When it comes to the performance of any software application, business enterprises should aim at achieving outcomes such as stability, speed, reliability, and scalability. It is only by leveraging load testing services along with application optimization and result analysis that enterprises can obtain a host of outcomes. These include identifying and eliminating glitches, enhancing performance, improving scalability, and adopting best practices to achieve usability, responsiveness, efficiency, and reliability of the software application.
 
By simulating a load threshold during performance testing, enterprises can understand the breaking points and address any performance related issues to prevent situations such as latency, erratic results, and malfunction. Any application performance testing exercise is business critical because it prepares the application for any unexpected traffic surge and facilitates its smooth functioning. There are innumerable examples of brands biting the dust or facing the wrath of customers when software applications fail to perform.

■ In February 2020, more than 100 flights at Heathrow airport in London were disrupted after the main software was hit by technical issues. These impacted the check-in systems and departure boards, leaving passengers clueless about their flights.

■ In January 2016, HSBC faced a major outage with millions of customers not able to access their online accounts.

■ The computer department store, Microcentre, saw its website crash when it got overloaded during Black Friday sales.

As per MarketingBulldog, around 79% of customers reporting dissatisfaction with the performance of a website or application are likely to go to the competitors. So, when so much is at stake for business enterprises to integrate performance testing services into the SDLC, it belies logic as to why they should avoid them.

Why is Performance Testing Critical for Businesses?

By applying a robust performance testing methodology, businesses can achieve the following benefits:

Validate system speeds: It helps to identify the glitches or bottlenecks that prevent the software system from loading quickly. And without an optimal loading speed, users can feel frustrated and run to the competitors.

Eliminate bottlenecks: Testers can determine the bottlenecks or weaknesses in the software that are slowing down its functionality. They can find out whether the time to process requests is less or more than expected. Also, if the bottlenecks are only in a few functions or widespread?

Increased scalability and flexibility: By setting up a cloud-based performance center of excellence, the scalability and flexibility of the software application can be assured. This is done by simulating real-world traffic from various parts of the globe.

Early detection of defects in the SDLC: With shift-left performance testing, enterprises can implement continuous deployment a la DevOps methodology to discover defects early in the SDLC.

Real-world insight into performance: By running realistic performance testing scenarios on the software application, valuable insights can be obtained into performance after any code change or when the software is subjected to high load thresholds.

Benchmark for regression testing: With performance testing, testers can create a benchmark for carrying out modifications to the software or developing a new version in the future.

Rich user experience: Performance or its subset load testing services offer confidence about the application’s smooth and consistent functioning and its ability to handle large traffic volumes. These outcomes can delight users, resulting in greater sales. Also, with an end-to-end performance engineering approach, the software application can be made future-proof in terms of responsiveness, scalability, and consistency.

Conclusion

In an era driven by digital technologies, the performance of software applications acting as touchpoints for business enterprises across digital environments is critical. It is only by implementing performance engineering or testing that the minimum and maximum load thresholds to be handled by the application can be determined. It plays a critical role in ensuring superior user experience and facilitating market adoption of the software.

Ajay Kumar Mudunuri is Manager, Marketing, at Cigniti Technologies
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