The impact of a faulty digital product

A faulty digital product can have disastrous effects on any organisation. These effects go far beyond the expense of correcting the software application. At the very least, poor software performance will get in the way of staff effectiveness. It can cause businesses to waste resources in work arounds that increase cost and impede business activity, not to mention cause immense customer dissatisfaction and increased impact on call centres.
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At a time when applications no longer function in isolation, a faulty product can also cause a cascading effect that disrupts more than just one system. And so the attempt to update or improve one element in a system can actually cause anything from slow operation to a system wide crash.

There are a number of causes of product failure. These include incomplete or amateurish software testing. Poorly educated software testers, unrealistic development time scales and mission creep, where the mission of the software under development will slowly, and often imperceptibly, shifts away from correct requirements. Perhaps the single biggest cause of poor software performance is insufficient or unimaginative performance testing. It’s important to apply real world scenarios, understand the envelope in which the product operates and push the edge of that envelope as far as possible.

A faulty digital product can impact a number of different areas. It can increase cost. There is the financial cost of fixing a faulty product as well as a cost of coping with the problem until it is fixed. It can, under some circumstances, actually cause a business outage, where a whole section of a business cannot function. But, the most important issue is that a faulty digital product can be a customer relations nightmare. Back in the pre-Internet era, not much more than ten people, usually just friends and family, would ever be aware of a customer’s dissatisfaction. Now that customer can complain to the World via social media. It only takes a few such complaints to create the possibility of bad PR going viral.

Getting a handle on software testing can prevent problems and lower cost in the long term, while improving efficiency and customer relations. The presence of professional testers operating in a strong testing environment is the best guarantee of a reliable digital product. Reliable products lead to happy stakeholders, satisfied customers and greater profitability.

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