How to improve software performance without changing the hardware infrastructure?   

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The ability to improve software performance without changing the hardware infrastructure can be critical for your business for several reasons. First of all, it saves a significant amount of money that would otherwise be spent on upgrading hardware components. Equipment upgrades can be costly and time-consuming, requiring new hardware purchases, installations, and configurations. By improving software performance, a company can extend the life of its hardware and delay the need for costly upgrades. 

In this article, you’ll learn what other benefits there are to improving software performance without changing your hardware infrastructure, and how it can be done for your business. 

What is software performance? 

software effectiveness example

Performance is one of the non-functional requirements for software, which can be defined as the efficiency with which the software can perform its tasks. On the other hand, when we talk about performance as part of the software engineering process, we are talking about a set of methods that are used to ensure that the system and infrastructure are stable, scalable, resilient, and reliable to provide a good software experience to users by leveraging while minimizing the amount of computational resources. 

No system is more efficient than its slowest part, often called the “bottleneck”, so if you want to improve the performance of your system, you need to improve the performance of this slowest part. 

What are the consequences of reduced software performance? 

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Reduced software performance can have serious consequences for your business, affecting your productivity, profitability, and reputation. 

The main negative consequences of reduced software performance include:  

1. Decreased Productivity:  

Degrading software performance can slow down employees who rely on the software to do their jobs. This can lead to reduced productivity and efficiency as employees have to wait longer for software to load or tasks to complete. 

2. Increased costs:  

Reduced software performance can also lead to increased costs for the company. For example, if a company’s website loads slowly, customers may be less likely to shop or interact with the company online. This may result in a loss of revenue and increased marketing costs to attract new customers. 

3. Decreased customer satisfaction:  

Customers expect software and websites to run quickly and efficiently. If the performance of the company’s software drops, customers may become frustrated and dissatisfied. This can lead to negative reviews, reduced customer loyalty, and, consequently, customer loss. 

4. Increased risk of bugs:  

When software performance is reduced, there is an increased risk of bugs. This can lead to data loss, security breaches, and other issues that can damage your company’s reputation and bottom line. 

5. Decreased competitiveness:  

In today’s dynamic business environment, companies must be flexible and responsive to stay competitive. Reduced software performance can make it harder for your business to keep up with competitors who may be using faster and more efficient software solutions. 

If you are wondering how to improve software performance in your company, we encourage you to contact our consultants who will help you evaluate it. 

What are the benefits of increasing software performance without changing the hardware infrastructure? 

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The performance of the application can directly affect the company, not only in the financial aspect but also, for example, in the productivity of employees. Increasing the performance of software without changing the hardware infrastructure can bring many benefits to companies. 

Among the most important are the following: 

1. Increased efficiency: 

One of the main benefits of increasing software performance without changing the hardware infrastructure is the increased efficiency with which the system operates. By optimizing software code, developers can make it run faster and smoother. This leads to reduced processing times, faster response times, and increased productivity. Greater efficiency enables businesses to handle more workloads with their existing hardware, resulting in better resource utilization. 

2. Cost saving: 

Upgrading your hardware infrastructure can be a costly endeavor for any business, requiring you to invest in new servers, storage devices, or networking equipment. By focusing instead on optimizing software, organizations can achieve performance improvements without incurring these additional costs. This approach is especially beneficial for small businesses or those on a tight budget. 

3. Scalability: 

Scalability refers to the ability of a system to cope with increasing workloads or adapt to growth without sacrificing performance. By optimizing software, organizations can ensure that applications scale efficiently as demand grows. This allows businesses to handle larger user workloads or process larger data sets without requiring hardware upgrades. 

4. Better user experience: 

Software performance has a direct impact on the user experience. Slow or unresponsive apps can frustrate users and lead to dissatisfaction. By improving software performance, companies can provide a smoother and more enjoyable user experience. Faster response times, lower latency, and seamless interactions contribute to increased user satisfaction and engagement. 

In addition to these benefits, increasing software performance without changing the hardware infrastructure also has environmental benefits. By optimizing software code and reducing resource consumption, organizations can lower energy consumption and carbon footprint. 

How to increase software performance without changing the hardware infrastructure? 

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In many cases, solving performance issues may not necessarily be achieved by adding more machines due to application bottlenecks or resource management inefficiencies. In such cases, more computing power (adding more machines) does not mean more performance. 

There are many ways to improve application performance without having to change the hardware infrastructure. In many cases, resolving software performance issues will require architectural changes or code refactoring. However, this is not the only option.  

Solutions available for companies in this area include: 

1. Software code optimization: 

System or application source code can be optimized to increase performance. This can be done by reducing the number of function calls, reducing the number of I/O operations, optimizing the cache, and much more. 

2. Cache usage: 

The cache is a fast memory located directly on or near the processor. Utilizing the cache can significantly speed up your application as the CPU can access the data faster. 

3. Application of asynchronous technologies: 

Asynchronous technologies allow an application to perform multiple tasks simultaneously at the same time. This allows the application to run faster and more efficiently. 

4. Performance profiling and monitoring: 

Use profiling tools to identify performance bottlenecks in your software. By monitoring resource usage and analyzing performance metrics, developers can pinpoint areas for optimization. This can be done by using monitoring tools, such as New Relic or AppDynamics. 

5. Compression and miniaturization: 

Compressing files (e.g. images, CSS, JavaScript) and minimizing code can reduce file sizes, resulting in faster downloads and faster loading times, especially important for web applications. 

6. Application of parallel processing: 

Implementing parallel processing techniques to distribute computational tasks across multiple threads or processes allows you to take advantage of multi-core processors and increase overall throughput. 

7. Database optimization: 

Optimize database queries by creating appropriate indexes, normalizing data structures, and applying efficient query execution plans. This can significantly improve the performance of applications that rely heavily on database operations. 

8. Load balancing: 

Implement load-balancing techniques to distribute incoming requests evenly across multiple servers or instances. This helps avoid overloading a single server and ensures optimal use of available resources. 

9. Network optimization: 

Optimize network communications by reducing round trips, minimizing data transfer, and implementing efficient protocols. Techniques such as HTTP/2, content delivery networks (CDNs), and caching can improve network performance. 

How to start upgrading your company’s software to improve performance?  

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First of all, upgrading your software to improve its performance should be treated as a process, not a one-time initiative. The problems that made you think about improving one system will reappear cyclically, also in the case of other software used in the enterprise. 

The software modernization process in the company should include the following steps: 

1. Comprehensive analysis of the systems used in the company and assigning them to individual groups – legacy systems, intermediate systems, and modern software. Each group requires different actions: 

a. legacy systems – require modernization as soon as possible, regardless of their age, 

b. intermediate systems – these are tools that should be modernized, but it is not a priority, 

c. modern systems – they do not need to be modernized at the moment, but they should be monitored and covered by the software development and maintenance plan. 

2. Evaluation of each system requiring modernization in terms of possible options for its implementation, taking into account both the business aspect and the perspective of the IT department. 

3. Selection of the most optimal methods of modernization of individual systems to ensure the greatest increase in their efficiency at the lowest possible cost. 

4. Development of a roadmap for the modernization of all systems, including the key steps necessary to achieve the assumed results. 

5. Scheduling and periodically re-analyzing the validity of systems to react early enough in a situation where software that does not require prior modification ceases to meet current standards. 

Our goal at SOFTIQ, in each project related to the improvement of system performance, is to develop a modernization strategy that will allow you to achieve the assumed goals at minimum costs while avoiding disruptions in the daily functioning of the company. 

Thanks to the experience of numerous modernization projects, we also know what are the main reasons why initiatives of this type may fail: 

1. Incorrect assessment of the source of the problem – before starting the software upgrade process, it is extremely important to accurately identify the source of the problems. It happens that it is not just aging and less efficient software, but the very business process in which it is used. In such a situation, repairing the system without optimizing the faulty process will not bring the expected results. 

2. Trying to modernize everything at the same time – many companies recognize the need to modernize their software, but they see it as a way to solve all their problems caused by all the outdated systems at once. However, it should be remembered that a significant modernization of the software may mean work disruptions for the staff and potential inconvenience for customers, which may have a negative impact on the company’s financial results. For this reason, changes in individual systems should be implemented gradually, in accordance with the prepared plan and in a way that will minimally affect the daily functioning of the company. 

The role of the software house as a partner supporting software modernization in your company. 

Choosing the right approach to modernizing and improving software performance is crucial, as it will directly translate into both the cost of the entire project and the time it will take to introduce changes. 

In this context, the role that the software house of your choice will play in the software modernization process in your company cannot be overestimated. 

The best partner, such as SOFTIQ, should not only be a contractor responsible for implementing changes, but above all an experienced advisor. 

It is worth remembering that the software modernization process includes many stages and begins with an analysis of the current state of the existing software. The software house then determines which parts of the system cause problems or may cause problems in the future, and which parts do not require any improvements. 

Based on these analyses, it is possible to choose the most optimal approach to software modernization from your company’s point of view and determine the costs of the entire project. 

If you are wondering which of the ways to improve software performance without changing the hardware infrastructure will work best for your company, we encourage you to contact one of our consultants who will help you evaluate it. 

This post is also available in: Polski (Polish)