Classic cases where Performance Testing Failures plagued large organizations

Performance testing

Technology has become so integrated with our lifestyle that we expect or rather need it to be available to us 24/7. Right?

However, in the rush to attract customers by having new features added to their website and mobile apps, businesses often compromise on the testing. Another reason why testing suffers is the lack of sufficient investment in IT. The result is a website that crashes or an app that fails to work and in both cases, a disgruntled customer and loss of credibility.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen several instances of technical failure in websites and mobile apps of prominent organizations. Given below are few such instances: (This blog relies on research of publicly available information and assumes the authenticity of the articles as is. In case of a discrepancy, please do let us know and we will correct the article).

1. Banking and Financial Services:

Banking and Financial Services

Major Banking Apps crash: Early this year, customers of major banks like RBS, Barclays, Natwest and Santander could not access their mobile apps for several hours. The sites were experiencing major traffic as it was payday, causing the system to crash. Dissatisfied customers took to social media like Twitter to vent their grievances, further putting the banks in a bad light. For an earlier IT failure in 2012, RBS ended up paying £175million to aggrieved customers apart from being fined by FCA.

Lloyds internet banking: In January this year, Lloyd bank customers were unable to use their cards or withdraw money from the ATM for three hours. The glitch affected over 3000 ATMs and left several customers stranded with transactions declined. The problem was determined to be a server failure and happened on a business as usual day when there were no maintenance or update activity in the system.

2. Health Insurance

Health Insurance The federal government health insurance portal showed slow responses and outages soon after it was launched in October last year resulting in user distress and fallen expectations. The website crashed often due to the heavy traffic generated from large number of users trying to register and use the portal. Reportedly, the website was never adequately tested for performance and load bearing capacity.

Massachusetts Health Exchange: Massachusetts revamped its website to meet the demands of the federal Affordable Care Act. The new website was supposed to inform people whether they qualified for a subsidized plan, help them calculate the cost of coverage, and enable them to compare plans and to enrol. The website did not work as planned right from the beginning causing people to file paper applications and even caused several to be without coverage for months forcing the state to enrol them in temporary insurance plans through the state Medicaid program.

To quote further examples, Ulster bank, which experienced an IT failure in 2012 leaving nearly 600,000 customers unable to operate their accounts for up to a month, was recently fined £2.75m pounds by central bank of Ireland. In social media too, we have the example of Facebook outage due to the rapid spread of Like button which had a ripple effect slowing down several news and retail sites apart from affecting Facebook users.

The above incidents are just few of the many incidents which highlight the need for adequate and efficient performance testing in IT. According to the Web Application Security Consortium study, about 49% of web applications contain vulnerabilities of high risk level (Urgent and Critical) detected during automatic scanning. While an increasing number of customers are moving online and mobile, it would be prudent to leave no room for a application collapse because of performance issues. What do you think?

Worried about the vulnerabilities in your application? Gallop’s Performance testing engineers work with cross-functional technical teams to architect, troubleshoot, automate and analyze performance testing related projects and issues. Know more…..

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The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.