The consumers’ expectations have greatly influenced the demands and expectations on Enterprise IT departments. The consumer and IT customer brought their own devices, expected more self service and at a much faster pace. One of the key tasks that a Performance Engineer must do is to help the business and IT set expectations on the response times of corporate systems. The history of performance requirements for corporate facing systems and even call centers has been problematic. Often times ignored and certainly deferred. The typical approach is to see just how slow the system can be before the users completely revolt. This tends to be the case because its not a revenue generating system, however, many of the Corporate IT systems directly touch the customer or business partner after the sale or contract is signed.
Response time or performance goals for Internet retailers is well defined and measured, there are many Industry specific benchmarks that compare the response times of web pages against competitors in the industry. The Internet business models demand faster and faster response times for transactions. Benchmarks can be found at Compuware (www.compuware.com), Keynote (www.keynote.com), among others. However, there is not a benchmark for Corporate systems. The users of Corporate systems are starting to voice their concerns and displeasure more loudly. They are expecting speeds comparable to Internet Retailer speeds. Their expectations are for less than five seconds and often two seconds for simple transactions.
Our studies have shown and are in alignment with the research done by Jakob Nielson (www.nngroup.com) on usability, A guide to setting user expectations must consider three barriers;
0.100 Seconds: The user perceives the system to respond in real time with out any noticeable delay
1.0 Seconds: the User starts to perceive a slight delay with the system, but us very happy with response time
10.0 Seconds: the user will greatly notice the delay and start to be distracted and attempt to do other things while waiting
So, just as the consumer has brought their own devices, they are bringing their own Response times to Corporate systems.