Azul made a series of predictions for Java and technology in 2023. One of the predictions is “Companies that invest in performance engineering will deliver greater customer satisfaction while reducing infrastructure costs.” Azul CEO Scott Sellers explains what performance engineering is, why it’s important and how it will affect companies and customers.
Businesses have two critical functions to be successful – make their customers happy and make money doing it.
Making their customers happy means delivering experiences they want. Great ideas, innovation, and being first to market all play into it. Making money should need no explanation, but in the context of supporting great experiences – with your products and services – you may be surprised how hard it can be to achieve.
Making customers happy is more than great ideas and fast delivery. When your customers interact with your company, whether it’s your website, product, or service, they expect it to just work. How do your customers react when experiences are slow, or even shut down? We used to talk about how much downtime is acceptable for companies to resolve outages and get service running again; but these days customers aren’t very forgiving, and even a few seconds or even milliseconds can lead to a breakup between your company and your customers and prospects.
Providing an outstanding customer experience is critical if you want to keep your customers happy. Companies that do it well will be those that invest in performance engineering.
The impact of customer experience
A 2023 digital.com survey of online retail shoppers found that slow service – not downtime, just slow – had profound effects on customers:
53% of online shoppers expect e-commerce pages to load in 3 seconds or less
21% of consumers say slow-loading pages are their main source of dissatisfaction when shopping online
50% of customers will abandon their shopping carts if pages don’t load fast enough
45% of customers gain a negative impression of businesses with slow-loading pages
According to the survey, 19% of respondents say, on average, they will abandon a web page that takes longer than 2-3 seconds to load, while 8% will leave after one second. Another 25% percent of online shoppers will abandon a page that doesn’t load within 4-6 seconds.
What does customer experience mean for business success?
In a 13-year stock performance study, Wartermark Consulting concluded that leaders in customer experience had total stock returns which outperformed laggards by more than 3:1. (The Customer Experience ROI Study, Watermark Consulting, 2021)
Performance engineering is the key to providing consistent satisfaction
Gartner defines performance engineering as “a systematic approach for continuous application performance improvement that involves practices, techniques and activities during the entire software development life cycle to achieve the performance quality goals of the business.” (Gartner, Innovation Insight for Performance Engineering, page 3, October 26, 2021)
Gartner makes two assumptions in its assessment of performance engineering.
Gartner assumption 1: By 2025, organizations that invest in performance engineering will increase customer satisfaction by decreasing performance-related issues by 60%
The 2021 Software Engineering Leaders Survey found that the top three performance objectives for software engineering leaders are:
- meeting business objectives (47%)
- improving software quality (42%)
- customer or user satisfaction (36%)
(Gartner Software Engineering Leaders Survey, June 2021)
By adopting a software development strategy that embraces performance engineering as a key principle, software engineering leaders can address each of these objectives.
Gartner assumption 2: By 2025, organizations that invest in performance engineering will decrease infrastructure costs by decreasing scalability issues by 30%
Companies should review application data to optimize infrastructure use while improving efficiency and throughput. Improvements in efficiency can help address use cases including application usage patterns, modernization, and insourcing. As you probably know, cloud costs and infrastructure costs have grown at a remarkable rate over the last few years and now often times have Board-level attention.
In an often-cited passage, Gartner says, “Organizations with little or no cloud cost optimization plans rush into cloud technology investments. They end up overspending on cloud services by up to 70% without deriving the expected value from it.” (Gartner, Realize Cost Savings After Migrating to the Cloud, Finance Research Team, page 1, August 17, 2022)
In an ongoing quest for more speed and better performance, engineering teams have overpaid on cloud services because no one has told them how to spend their money better. Enterprises are rapidly adopting performance engineering practices to drive greater responsiveness and customer experience. Companies that emphasize performance engineering will focus on rightsizing their infrastructure in the cloud, which will improve customer experience and reduce costs.
There you have it. Customer satisfaction to increase revenues. Infrastructure and cloud cost optimization to reduce expenses. Performance engineering to bring them together.