Fix Performance Bottlenecks in Banking Portals with Test Environment

Listen on the go!

Unless you are really prepared, unexpectedly high traffic on banking portals can wreak havoc in computer systems, leaving banks vulnerable to technology failure and millions of customers significantly stressed from declined transactions. Now this is one area where performance really matters and rather than invest in hundreds of dollars to improve the system’s data handling capacity, it’s far easier and wiser to pin-point any failings and eliminate performance bottlenecks before irreparable damage is actually done.

As Tracey McDermott, Director of Enforcement and Financial Crime – Financial Conduct Authority, rightly said, “Modern banking depends on effective, reliable and resilient I.T. systems.” Definitely one of the best reasons why performance testing procedures are of utmost importance in identifying and managing obstructions that degrade the overall system and maximize exposure to IT risks.

In banking applications that revolve around data collection, processing and rule validation, bottlenecks in performance could be just about anywhere – right from the user interface, database or server memory to the processor speed or networking components. Bottlenecks can therefore be categorized under processor, memory, disk or network speed. User interface components such as huge file-sized images for instance, can affect performance unless switched to lighter components. Database queries too can turn out to be bottlenecks for poor performance if not optimally written for user actions. Sometimes, faulty coding or hardware issue is to blame.

So where do we start?

  • Since bottlenecks become evident only when it begins to constrain the performance of the system, the trick lies in its early detection and elimination.
  • While analyzing bottlenecks in performance, key consideration must be given to the 3 Ss: Speed, Scalability and Stability. It is very crucial to know how a system performs in terms of responsiveness and stability under a certain load. The speed taken by an application to respond, the maximum user load it can handle at any given point of time and the ultimate stability demonstrated under varying loads are all discerning factors in performance testing.
  • Apart from the 3 Ss, it is important to measure the throughput – the number of transactions- a system can manage simultaneously.
  • Before trying to fix performance glitches in the system, it is vital to establish an isolated test environment that is as close to the production environment as possible. An effective performance test will be able to easily simulate peak loads, accurately replicate user access profiles, mimic user-behaviour and test access from multiple devices, networks and locations. It’s also wise to prioritize scenarios in accordance with critical functionality and high-volume transactions.

Performance testing and fixing is complicated, simply because it cannot be modelled into a ‘one-size-fits-most’ approach. Here is where you need the expertise of a professional performance testing team who possess the skill set to concurrently execute varying degrees of user and system transactions. Cigniti is the world’s 3rd largest independent testing services company that focuses on providing testing solutions for the banking and financial services sector. Find out how Cigniti can help you determine the best approach and methodology to safeguard your mission-critical applications.