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13 February, 2024

Why Skimping on Performance Tools Is a False Economy

skimping on performance test tools

Performance testing can be a bit like herding cats, with the alignment of environments, resources and prerequisites. The execution alone requires a large team of people in place, from performance testers to DBAs to IT support and more, many of whom might be external resources with SLAs and cost implications. Yet, after navigating this gargantuan effort, some decision-makers still skimp on one of the most critical aspects – performance test tools.

You also need dedicated access to test environments and performance infrastructure. Then there’s the setup effort, including business users specifying the non-functional requirements and success criteria.

Tools costs are likely to be less than 10-20% of the performance testing budget, yet many still think that slashing this figure saves money. Common sense tells us that if you do not spend on quality tools, you will spend more on people.

The investment in a professional performance test tool from the LoadRunner family (LoadRunner Cloud, LoadRunner Professional, LoadRunner Enterprise) is small fry when compared to the other associated costs and efforts. Yet, the right performance tool often makes the difference between a successful test cycle and a complete waste of everyone’s time.

In this insight, I look at why investment in professional performance test tools is so important.  

The Vital Role of Performance Testing Tools

Performance testing tools allow you to simulate real-world scenarios and provide valuable insights into how software behaves under various conditions.

They help you assess and ensure that your systems can handle the necessary load and user traffic, maintain stability under stress, and deliver an optimal user experience.

The risk of poor performance or system failure, especially at peak usage, can have significant reputational and financial consequences.

Proper, professional performance testing tools help mitigate risk by rigorously testing and preparing the software for real-world scenarios.

The accuracy of performance testing results is paramount. Do you want to trust your conclusions and decisions to low-quality tools? Quality tools are more reliable and offer more precise measurements. They also have more built-in features, which means you avoid knitting different tools together to achieve the same functionality – saving you effort, time and money and allowing you to focus on the job at hand.

Modern Solutions Require Sophisticated Performance Tools

Modern software systems are complex, with numerous integrations and dependencies. Quality performance tools can handle this complexity more effectively.

They have advanced capabilities you can turn on and configure when needed, like Network Virtualization to assess how your application performs over different networks. With LoadRunner, this is all included for one price.

Your performance solution needs to handle everything you throw at it and come back with meaningful results.

Imagine that you’ve pulled in all your expert resources and aligned your systems, schedules and pre-requisites only to discover that your performance test tool can’t do what you need, and the whole exercise has been a waste of time; the tool is giving unrealistic performance results for your application, and the analysis and reporting capabilities are poor and not giving a meaningful insight into what is happening. What would that do to your project timelines, morale, or reputation?

It’s a Matter of Cost vs. Value

The initial cost of professional performance tools might seem high, but this needs to be weighed against the value they bring.

Professional performance tools offer reliability, scalability, advanced features, better simulation capabilities, reliable results, and comprehensive support. In the long term, they can prevent costly system failures, customer dissatisfaction, and loss of revenue.

Better tools often mean better efficiency.

They can automate various aspects of performance testing, provide more intuitive interfaces, and offer comprehensive reporting features. This efficiency translates to faster testing cycles, quicker identification of bottlenecks, and more time for teams to address issues.

The long-term benefits far outweigh the costs, including reliability, efficiency, and overall software quality. It’s a strategic investment in the software’s success and the business’s reputation.

The test tool only represents a fraction of the performance test spend, typically less than 10-20%. The people cost makes up a far higher amount. Skimping on tools will likely drive up people cost and associated overheads and extend your timelines.

Why Investment in Professional Tools Makes Financial Sense

Performance testing involves coordinating different people and parts, from testers to business experts, from environments to schedules. Why, then, would you cut corners on the performance testing tools?

Good performance testing tools like LoadRunner Professional, Enterprise or Cloud are worth the investment. Some might question the expense at first, especially when there are free options, but as we’ve discussed, free rarely means free.

If you get push-back on the budget, don’t take no for an answer; ask what it will take to turn that no into a yes. Professional tools make a massive difference; they keep everything running smoothly and make sure all the effort put into testing isn’t wasted. They help catch problems early, which saves time and money in the long run.

While saving a few quid on cheaper tools might be tempting, is it smart and will it save money? Or will you end up spending even more money on people?

Investing in the right tools is crucial. They help get the job done right, keep customers happy, and protect the business’s reputation. Ultimately, investing in good tools is a smart choice that pays off.

Investing in quality, professional performance tools will provide long-term savings and efficiency gains.

Related Products

LoadRunner Cloud
Stephen Davis
by Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is the founder of Calleo Software, a OpenText (formerly Micro Focus) Gold Partner. His passion is to help test professionals improve the efficiency and effectiveness of software testing.

To view Stephen's LinkedIn profile and connect 

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