Date: 2nd Feb, 2023
As digital transformation sweeps across enterprises, there is an exponential demand for services resulting from that transformation. Logged-in users, customers, vendors, and employees expect much more from the services offered by an enterprise on the various digital channels. However, with the increase of services offered on devices, there is an equal, if not higher, demand for an enhanced customer experience (CX).
CX of the highest level is now a basic criterion for any application being deployed for customer or employee use. It would not be stretching things to say that customer experience defines the resultant ROI for any enterprise and employee experience drives organisational performance. And for a good customer experience, a solid foundation of application performance testing needs to be introduced to architects right in the early stages of the software development life cycle of the application.
This article sheds light on the need for robust application performance testing and the challenge of doing this right.
As per Statista, as of 2022, there are more than 5 billion internet users worldwide, which is about 63% of the global population. This has resulted in an exponential increase in the number of users using online services offered by enterprises. These users have to be served not only by high-end performance cloud infrastructure and connectivity but also applications offering the best customer experience.
This ever-increasing digital population is now pushing the limits of all information technology infrastructure and its applications. It is, therefore, imperative that, along with the increasing digital population, there is a consolidation and due focus on enhanced application performance. That’s precisely why enterprises have begun to use the services of specialists in performance engineering to assist in meeting the challenges of a fast-expanding digital population.
Digital Fatigue and Overload
The exponential increase of online users is loading the backend and delivery infrastructure of cloud technologies daily. Cloud vendors are scrambling to keep pace with the explosion of this digital population. Infrastructure upgrade is a continuous process, but while this upgrade takes place, it might not be adequate for the optimum performance of the application at the endpoint.
Connectivity, bandwidth, and latency are the first digital entities to get hit with an increase in traffic and online usage. There will be fluctuations and outages, which will directly impact applications at the user end and degrade the customer experience. Application performance testing and engineering will now have to consider these factors, and DevOps will have to refactor strategies in code architecture to be able to absorb the performance deficiencies of connecting networks so that application performance is not affected.
The Temperature on the Rise of Cloud Infrastructure
With the increasing demand for transactions and services that are cloud-based, the infrastructure of the cloud itself is under pressure. Application servers, databases, networking, hardware, and their configuration are all being stretched to the limits of performance due to traffic and transaction increases. Not all enterprises are using private cloud models due to budget constraints, so the shared model of cloud hosting (though popular) is also prone to higher drops in performance.
Increased application performance testing churns out performance degradation issues of the application due to cloud hosting infrastructure. These issues can then be analysed and mitigated by development and quality assurance teams so that application performance and CX does not get hampered to a large extent due to cloud outages as well.
Application Performance Testing Braces for Digital Population Explosion
With the exponential increase of the digital population, the application being rolled out needs to be tested even more thoroughly. Application performance testing has now become a priority in the early stages of the DevOps process to meet all the challenges faced due to increased users and traffic. As elucidated above, partnerships with vendors specialising in this kind of testing is a popular option that is being exercised by enterprises, and rightly so.
Multiple Types of Endpoints, Device Performance, and Crash Forensics
More users mean more kinds of devices that the application will need to run on. It is critical that application testing is done under different devices and systems configurations to ensure optimum performance once the application is deployed. Test environments can be set up to cover such configurations, and application performance can be investigated and quantified for further analysis and validation.
The performance of the application based on the system configuration of the endpoint itself also needs to be tested and monitored before deployment. After ensuring satisfactory application performance based on minimum system requirements, there should be an application performance test done based on the actual state of the device itself. Application life cycle parameters such as startup time, battery usage, memory consumption, background processes, behaviour with other apps, etc., need to be monitored and graded.
Collection of all possible metrics when the application crashes on devices is crucial for the development team for quick error detection and mitigation. Crash forensics helps in the overall performance development of the application, especially in a highly charged and dynamic environment of rapid digital transformation.
Technology tools allow vendors to partner with enterprises for such specialised testing for multiple devices, environments, and crash forensics.
Workload and Response Time Testing
As the digital population increases, application performance testing should be done to measure and monitor the performance of the application both on the client side and its cloud components for heavy traffic and spikes pertaining to logged-on users.
A good CX rating is based on fast response times. Application performance testing of an entire cycle of a transaction from request to process and response needs to be simulated and logged for various traffic and user count conditions. These metrics can then be used by engineering teams to further tweak the performance of the application.
Connectivity is the basis of all performance for cloud-based applications. Regardless of well-written code and high-performance cloud infrastructure, if bandwidth and connectivity are poor, it degrades the performance of the application. Application performance testing, especially at low connectivity conditions, needs to be tested to gauge how the application is running and how code can be tweaked for the same.
Users and Traffic Are Set to Increase Even More
It is evident from projected data that cloud-based online services and tools are going from strength to strength. The logged-on users are increasing, and the traffic in multiplying. It is prudent for all enterprises to continuously test for application performance under these ever-changing conditions.Click here to learn more.