Gearing up for Black Friday | How to ensure high performance systems year-round

Black Friday and other high-volume events can be significant revenue drivers, but poorly performing systems can derail the opportunity and negatively impact brand reputation. Ensuring optimal performance will be the theme of a webinar to be hosted by iOCO in partnership with ITWeb on 9 September.

Caswell Mkhonto, IT manager: head of QA & Testing at Woolworths, who will address the event, notes that performance should be embedded in all applications from development stage, running across all systems in the organisation.

“At peak periods, we at Woolworths typically expect between 30 to 60 % increases in volumes, so performance engineering and testing is crucial for ensuring a good customer experience at these high-volume times,” he says. “A common mistake is to think that the customer facing website is the only area to focus on, but that is not where the problems come in. Most of those pages are cached. Downstream, where the processing happens, that’s where performance happens and where failures occur.”

It is important to look at the entire stack – from the online interface through to the service layer and downstream, to ensure a high availability environment throughout, he says. “Problems start when you go downstream to systems where throughput and performance are only a fraction of what the service layer can do.”

Another common performance testing mistake many organisations make is to do it only ahead of high-volume events. “Performance testing isn’t an event – it’s something that should be happening throughout the year. Mindsets need to shift – organisations shouldn’t panic ahead of Black Friday, but should instead know how their systems will perform all year long,” he says.

Webinar: Black Friday & high volume readiness

Date: 9 September
Time: 9:00 (GMT+2)
Duration: 60 minutes

Mkhonto and specialist IT consultant Leela Putten will be among the panellists at the iOCO webinar on Black Friday & high volume readiness to be held in partnership with ITWeb on 9 September.

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