Grzegorz Kaczor

Chief Technology Officer

Benefits of an Application Performance Audit by e-point

Why is system performance important?

In this day and age, one cannot really imagine running a successful business without the support of an efficient and comprehensive information system. From online shops and company websites to highly sophisticated software controlling nuclear power plants - software is everywhere, and its correct operation and performance are crucial to business efficiency and stability.

System performance - measured in terms of system ‘speed’ in general - is important for two main reasons:

  • If your system communicates with customers directly, it is important they have the impression that your system runs fast and smoothly. Otherwise, customers may think you’ve underinvested in the system, either because you don’t understand market requirements or because you cannot afford a top class platform. Both of the aforementioned situations negatively affect your reputation in the eyes of customers.
  • If on the other hand, your system serves as the company’s “backend”, that is, the piece that controls important company production or business processes (without direct interaction with customers), it still requires an appropriate level of performance to withstand peaks in load without causing errors or production downtime. For example, banking systems must withstand the substantial increase in online activity made at “the beginning of the month”, that is, the time when the largest number of money transfers are being made.

In both cases, albeit for entirely different reasons, poor performance can lead to lost revenue and/or negatively impact the reputation of your company.

 
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Application Performance Audit: the Critical First Step to Remedying the Problem

There are three situations in which you should seriously consider undertaking an Application Performance Audit:

  1. You observe that during times of high traffic your online store slows down to the point where some customers leave the site, abandoning purchases. Studies show that it is highly unlikely a customer who experienced a slow, frustrating purchase journey will ever return to the “underperforming” store. So it’s critically important for online sellers to maintain a fast, well functioning platform under all load conditions.
  2. You are not sure how your system compares to that of competitors and you want to ensure your site is on par or fares better performance wise than the competition’s. During a review of a competitor’s online store, you may have noticed it seems to run really well, better than yours, and that worries you. Or you are preparing to launch a completely new online store, one developed by a third party software vendor, and you’re not sure if it can withstand the expected customer traffic during times of high load, such as during the December holiday season or during special promotions.
  3. You strongly suspect the system you ordered from a software vendor has performance problems and you need a proof to reject it. It sometimes happens that a company orders a brand new IT system and you see in pre-production trials that performance is highly worrisome, despite reassurances from the vendor that everything is OK and performance will be enhanced after system acceptance is signed off. In this case, you don’t really want to fix the system but prove to the vendor that performance is worse than what was contracted.

A good way to reach a definitive conclusion in all the scenarios is to have e-point perform an Application Performance Audit. This is a process where e-point experts load your system with high levels of simulated traffic and then monitor stability and response times.

The report from the Audit will show two things:

  • the maximum amount of traffic under which the system remains stable and performs at an acceptable level,
  • the performance bottlenecks – that is, the system components which run the slowest. Knowing these bottlenecks will tell you where to focus efforts on system optimization.

If so desired, the e-point Audit team can provide recommendations on how to fix the performance problems.

If the Audit indicates major performance issues that require fixing, e-point experts can subsequently undertake application performance optimization (may incur additional costs). Upon completion, they’ll retest the system to ensure all problems have been eliminated and provide you a report showing what was changed and to what degree performance was improved.