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How Performance Engineering Can Safeguard A Company’s Brand Image

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By Author: Michael Wade
Total Articles: 67
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No matter how user friendly the digital interface of a company may appear, any performance related issue with the website or application can bring unforeseen implications for the company ranging from loss of sales to loss of credibility and brand image.

To address such dire eventuality, Performance Engineering should be made part of the design and architecture of the digital interface.

Performance testing (a part of Performance Engineering) can check and validate the performance and responsiveness of the application or website against the ‘load’ of increased user traffic.

Companies on digital platforms face a range of challenges that can get them vulnerable to risks or get them out of business at worst. One of the challenges can be a sudden spike in the volume of customer traffic, which can put tremendous pressure on the system. This sudden spike in workload on the system can either make it run agonisingly slow or result in downtime.

Such unexpected behaviour by the system can put off customers, resulting in reduced or no sales, and deter them from visiting the site or using the application in future. This can have a toxic impact on company’s brand image and credibility.

Performance Testing can go a long way in addressing such an eventuality. In this process, Performance Testing Experts test the system or parts of it to check whether all parameters function when the system is exposed to a sudden workload. The test also checks and validates if the system can be made scalable, should the need arise.

Importantly, instead of using Application Performance Testing as a stopgap measure to be applied once in a while in the entire end-to-end Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC,) it should be integrated as an important activity during the design and development phase a la the Agile model.

The integration can be a part of the Performance Engineering setup wherein the system (inclusive of technology, human resource and processes) is prepared to effectively respond to problems of latency and low throughput, besides meeting SLA’s before its actual deployment.

How to go about implementing Performance Engineering?
• Conceptualization: Here, non-functional performance risks and high impact processes from a business point of view are identified. This is followed by selecting remedial activities, earmarking roles for individuals and setting up of deliverables.

• Strategizing: Here, performance test and related activities such as selecting a plan, goals in terms of scalability and stability, size of data sets and possible workload scenarios are undertaken.

• Designing: Here, workload database, multi-user automated performance tools and human resources are monitored to determine the load. This phase also involves skilling of resources to handle the tools. Besides, performance monitors should identify best practices for Application Performance Testing so that optimization can be achieved.

• Testing: Against specified checklist load and stress tests are carried out. The load test should subject the system or aspects of it to medium and peak levels of workload, and monitor its performance. The system bottlenecks identified during stress test should be identified and set for tuning.

• Tuning: Here, bottlenecks are streamlined such that the system or parts are able to respond to differentiated workload in faster response time.

Benefits

• Identify and eliminate system bottlenecks, which otherwise would lead the system to underperform or malfunction when additional workload is applied.

• Speed up the system while ensuring its stability and scalability.

• Robust system can be deployed in anticipation of peak workload such as the holiday season.

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