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Does your application performance assessment measure up?

Is your organisation conducting application performance assessments?

If so, how effective are they at actually improving application performance? Everyone agrees on the importance of assessment — but the approach taken by many organisations may not be as efficient as it could be.

To help you optimise your performance assessment process, take a look at the three sections below – strategy, breadth and depth – can you answer yes to all the questions in each?

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Strategy

The approach you take to performance assessment can have a big impact on your success:

  • 1. Why do you test?

    Testing isn’t just for new applications or updates. If you’ve had numerous complaints from end users, there’s been a significant change in hardware or software, or if you’re planning to scale your applications, performance assessments are vital to keep things running smoothly.

  • 2. When do you test?

    Performance assessments are often left until relatively late in the software development lifecycle – but if serious errors are revealed, this can have huge consequences for project deadlines and budgets. Ask your assessment partner about performance testing earlier in the software development lifecycle.

  • 3. Which applications should you test?

    Performance assessments take time and resource – and not every application in your environment justifies the expense. Prioritise applications that add the most value to the business — and don’t forget to look at internal as well as external applications.

  • 4. What value do you get from your baseline test?

    Baseline tests don’t just have to be for validating your test scripts and environment. Done properly, baseline testing can identify potential issues that might appear later in the testing process – allowing you to resolve them further.

  • 5. How much confidence does your performance testing give you in the stability of your applications?

    Performance testing should give you total confidence in the quality of the application you’re developing. Anything less and you may find there’s room to improve the way you performance test applications.

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Breadth

There’s more to life than the PC. Does your assessment process reflect that?

  • 1. Do you test client side as well as server side?

    Most assessment partners will only look at performance on the server side – but that’s not how your end users experience your applications. Look for an assessment partner who can accurately simulate client side environments to assess their impact on performance – including for cloud applications. 

  • 2. Do you test mobile apps?

    Performance assessments are critical for mobile apps, given the limited processing power of mobile devices. Make sure your assessment partner can handle the complexity of testing both web-based and standalone mobile apps.

  • 3. Is your testing environment cloud-based?

    Running assessments that accurately simulate realistic user loads, both in terms of volume and geographic spread, can be costly and complex if your testing environment is on-premise. Adopt a cloud-based test environment to make your assessments scalable and cost-effective.

Depth

If your performance tests are simply pass/fail, then you could be missing out on some valuable insights.

  • 1. Does your testing process identify where bottlenecks are and their root causes?

    Knowing you have a problem is only half the issue. An assessment partner with experience of identifying and remediating bottlenecks can help you improve performance faster and more efficiently.

  • 2. Can you use test results to identify how to improve your architecture?

    Poor results are often due to application architecture. So it’s essential that your assessment partner can advise on how to identify architectural improvements that will boost performance.

  • 3. Do you vary load tests to simulate real-world conditions?

    Most assessments will test an application to overload – but there are plenty of other scenarios that can impact performance – including future growth plans. You also should be able to test how well your application restores in a failover scenario.

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Get more from performance assessments

Feel like there are some improvements you can make to the way you implement performance testing? Or are you already getting great value from your performance testing? Either way, there’s always more to be done to realise the enormous potential of performance testing to reduce the lead time for application development, improve end user experience, and support realistic future growth plans for your applications.

Talk to us to find out how to get the most out of your performance testing or to fine-tune it for maximum impact. 

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