For a lot of companies, especially those in retail and eCommerce, the Holiday Season is a make-or-break time of year. However, in the rush to “survive” the increased traffic and overloaded servers, are we missing a golden opportunity to improve quality by discovering our key vulnerabilities?
A myopic focus on putting out fires as quickly as possible is undoubtedly effective at producing timely fixes during a critical timeframe,
There’s no question about it. The Holidays are a magical time of the year.
But, as we’ve mentioned in the past, these months are of vital importance—especially within the retail and eCommerce industries. 92 percent of all shoppers will go online to either research or make a purchase this year, and the average retailer will make half their annual sales during November and December alone!
That’s the kind of traffic that can lead to incredible rewards—but only if you can make it past the inherent risk.
But most of us know all of this already. That’s why project teams have been prepping since July—patching every vulnerability, analyzing every line of code, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. With so much on the line, nothing can be left to chance.
However, most of us in IT are also acutely aware of Murphy’s Law—anything that can go wrong, will go wrong—and its propensity to strike during unpredictable, high traffic periods like the holidays. But contingency plans can only go so far. Eventually, something is bound to break—and at that point, a quick fix is the only objective.
With the pressure of the Holidays mounting, this tends to foster something of a “survival” mentality in the developers and testers on the front lines. With a myopic focus on putting out fires as quickly as possible, they rarely pay any attention to their root case.
But while this is undoubtedly effective at producing timely fixes during a critical timeframe, I wonder: how many IT departments are missing a golden opportunity in the process? After all, it’s easy to forget about a leak once it’s patched—and I wonder how much technical debt project teams are saddling themselves with by not committing to any kind of root-cause analysis.
Now, I’m not saying this is the kind of undertaking to undergo during the crunch time of the Holiday season. What I am saying is that “fixes” shouldn’t end with a patch. Instead, the most critical vulnerabilities should be revisited after the New Year—when time, resources, and budget can be allocated for the source code to be analyzed, the root cause identified, and the problem remediated.
Think of this approach like a New Year’s Resolution: fight the fires over the holiday and commit to preventing them after January rolls around. At the very least, it’s better than buying a gym membership and a diet plan, right?