Australia is gaining a track record in recent months for site failures during seasonal events, and some of the blame is being put on the plethora of mobile devices connecting to the Internet.
Borland APAC architect, Jeff Findlay, said these connected devices are starting to contributed to the amount of traffic that online organisations are seeing.
“That is compounded by the fact that marketing departments do not really have a strong history of discussing their launch dates for particular activities with the IT department, so they can go through and prepare the infrastructure for the increased onslaught,” he said.
Findlay has found that there is a significant number of organisations where the business and IT parts were not in synch with the marketing part.
“What that means is that marketing runs a very successful campaign, like Myer did recently, they generate a great deal of interest, and people then come onto the web site,” he said.
“However, it can not support the amount of traffic that comes along.”
Findlay added that CIOs are only now starting to come to grips with the number of mobile users that are starting to take advantage of these devices.
This includes being able to use the device anywhere and anytime to have a look at stocktake sale offerings.
“A number of years ago, when companies would run out these campaigns, it was a fairly well known number of connections per user,” Findlay said.
“People would wait until they came into work to load the web site and mothers would wait until their kids would go to school.”
For that reason, it was reasonably easy to predict the activity levels that were going to come through.
“With all of this mobile technology, people usually have a quick look at the main page to see if anything interests them and then they will have a look at their mobile device again during lunchtime,” Findlay said.
Annual stocktake and end of financial year sales (EOFYS) are typical season events where performance issues crop up online, and Findlay said it is because the infrastructure behind it has its limits.
“It is difficult to provision more hardware and bandwidth for a short term event,” he said.
At the same, a lot of the applications people are starting to provide particularly for these major events are more datacentric.
Pages now have more pictures than before and are also generating more traffic per page view, which in turn puts a strain on the infrastructure.
For that reason, Findlay said that a web site going down is not an IT performance issue but management one.
“The management needs to come to a realisation that there are going to be these events and they do need to have the infrastructure to support it and ensure that the applications have been tested,” he said.
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.