Scalable software – futureproofing your apps to grow with your business
The aim for most organisations is growth,
Whether it’s a business looking for new customers and increased revenue, a charity seeking to help more service users, or a tourist destination wanting to attract more visitors, the key to successful growth is planning ahead.
Central to this is making sure that those solutions you put in place now are scalable, so they can grow in line with your organisation,
For us at Fluff, this means ensuring the software solutions and apps we provide have the ability to handle increased traffic, transactions and data.
Why is it important?
A side from allowing that flexibility for your business to grow, ensuring your apps and software are scalable also provides that peace of mind. Peace of mind that your systems won’t let you down if there’s a sudden spike in demand.
Let’s take a look at a tourist destination as an example. The place in question may already have an app to help visitors find their way around, book online or learn as they explore.
Then, Taylor Swift shoots her latest video onsite. There’s a huge spike in demand. The app needs to be able to cope with the increased volume to ensure the opportunity is maximised, but more importantly to make sure all the Swifties (new customers) have a positive first experience.
Having an app that’s ready to scale and can guarantee performance at the most important times can be the difference between a welcome boost in visitors and a customer service nightmare.
Different ways to scale
In software terms, there are two ways we can scale an app – horizontally or vertically. Horizontal scaling uses increased resource to keep the app functioning as it should (for example adding more servers to boost capacity).Vertical scaling is like supercharging your current app to make it more powerful, more efficient and able to handle that increased traffic.
What are the other general benefits of scalable software?
Aside from keeping your new and existing customers happy and giving them positive experiences, scalable apps also bring a raft of other benefits.
The bottom line for many businesses and organisations will be about the savings. Scalable apps are an efficient way to handle more transactions and customer interactions without the need for additional and costly staffing or hardware resource.
Additionally, the increased capacity can help ensure that transactions can still occur during maintenance ‘downtime’, limiting any lost revenue during these periods.
Overall, due to the increased testing needed for a scalable app and its capacity to cope with spikes in demand, it provides a much smoother customer experience to help you retain existing and convert new customers.
Architecture, Framework and Database Considerations
There are many technical considerations when building a scalable app. We’ve listed some of the main ones below.
· Opt for an architecture supporting both vertical and horizontal scaling.
· Consider the use of Microservices which are great for scalability.
· Choose a framework based on your architectural decisions.
· Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions are a way to simplify scaling.
· Align your database choice with growth strategy.
· Monitor vital metrics like CPU and memory usage, network throughput, and latency.
· Ensure backups for every part of your application.
· Incorporate security best practices from the earliest stages.
· Regularly conduct penetration testing and vulnerability scans.
This list is not exhaustive but gives you a snapshot of some of the main areas to consider. It’s vital to choose the right partner to develop your app or software if it is to scale in line with your business or organisation.
Talk to the team at Fluff to start your scalable app journey today.