The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

Agility. At what cost?

For the past several years those of us in tech have been in a race to reach a growing global marketplace of consumers newly armed with mobile devices.

Mobile apps are different from the previous generation of apps in how they are built (assembled), by the type of dynamic content they contain (video, etc.) and by the speed in which change occurs. So much so that a new buzzword now defines their nature: Agile. In this instance Agile means the ability to refresh an application a couple times a day. To do this, most companies have had to rethink their current development processes which, in many cases, were structured around monthly release schedules.

As the race to meet the growing mobile market ramped up, new platforms such as cloud computing emerged to help deliver agility in the deployment process. Then new development languages (Ruby) and technologies (Ajax, HTML5) arrived, adding agility to the development cycle. The race was on, and business agility became more and more of a daily reality. The problem: At what price was agility being achieved?

Behind the scenes, developers began to believe that their new mobile apps would never fail if they had access to unlimited and affordable compute power to run them, as was promised by cloud computing. So they stopped testing these apps in a rush to bring new features live. For many, this single shift of eliminating the test process has destroyed all the good that the advancements in cloud computing and new Agile development technologies had delivered.

In ecommerce, though, a website has to work because the consumer is only couple clicks away from the competition. When these sites began to fail, consumers went elsewhere and they may never come back.

Great progress has been made in delivering corporate agility. However, as important as agility is, performance trumps agility on consumer-facing web sites every time.


Tom Lounibos

About the Author

Tom Lounibos

As CEO of SOASTA, Tom brings more than 30 years of experience building early stage software companies, leading two companies to successful IPOs. Tom is a regular speaker at both cloud and testing events, and has become a leading advocate in using the cloud to empower individuals and accelerate changes in how applications are built, tested and deployed. Most recently, Tom served as President and CEO of Kenamea. Prior to Kenamea, he was CEO of Dorado Corp., a financial services software provider. Previous to Dorado, he was EVP of Sagent Technology through its 1999 IPO, entrepreneur-in-residence at Crosspoint Venture Partners, and held executive positions at Digitalk Corp., Knowledgeware (KWI) and Encore Financial Services. Tom also serves on several boards in the Silicon Valley.