In previous articles and presentations, CM First has talked about how technical debt, the poorly-written or too-quickly-written code, can keep a company from being able to modernize its applications and exploit capabilities like mobile and cloud. Even if you don’t plan to modernize yet, technical debt may be costing your company significant revenue because of its impact on customer satisfaction.
Ever since companies opened up their applications to customers on the web, the demand for responsive systems has grown. When the only vehicle to access the web was a dial-up connection, people were pretty tolerant of long response times. But as internet speeds increased and response time became a competitive edge, companies that can’t offer consistent, fast speeds lose out to companies whose web sites respond more quickly. Loyalty doesn’t exist on the Internet; people expect to see results immediately. If you can’t do it, they’ll find someone who will.
Performance experts for many years relied primarily on a variety of tuning ‘knobs,’ parameters they could set to improve performance. Network window size, buffering, increased multi-processing and more were the tools of the trade. When applications were less complex, transaction volumes lower and expectations more moderate, these tuning techniques provided acceptable performance. But today, every opportunity must be considered. Many studies estimate that 80% of the performance of an application was locked in by coding choices made during development; additional ‘hits’ come from maintenance changes. This means that the technical debt accrued by a rush to market, sloppy or uninformed coding choices and other problems can create a scenario where you can’t fully tune your application unless you look at the code.
Only rarely do performance analysts consider this. In most cases, they lack the ability to analyze the various languages in their systems, but developers can partner in helping achieve responsive applications by doing the work to identify and remediate inefficient applications. More responsive applications will give your company a competitive edge. In addition, coding problems also lead to higher resource demand. By doing this tuning, you can reduce the demand and run longer on the hardware resources you have on hand. Capacity upgrades can be deferred, which is good news to the financial people.
You now have three powerful motivations to look at that code: modernization, maintenance and performance. Each of these items carries with it a cost. There is the obvious cost in trying to fix it, but the much larger cost is the cost of not doing it. If you can’t modernize or offer responsive applications, you can’t keep your customers. And if it takes too long to do maintenance, or touching the code results in errors, you are similarly in trouble. Still, many people resist the effort because it seems too difficult to consider.
What if it didn’t have to be that hard? CM First has created a better way. CM MetaAnalytics is designed to automate source code scanning and analysis. Rather than painstakingly reading line after line of code, hoping to discover the problems, CM MetaAnalytics does the work for you then builds a database itemizing code issues, errors and possible security exposures. You don’t have to be an expert in the arcane languages of legacy code. The product can analyze a wide range of language domains, new and old, and handles a variety of platforms. Whether you hope to achieve better performance in old assembler programs or more modern Java applications, CM MetaAnalytics can rapidly scan millions of lines of code and point you to the problems. In addition, if you own an enterprise, metadata analysis tool, such as CA Repository, you can use this to understand the results and more quickly make the necessary changes. You don’t have to ‘go it alone.’
Now that you know, what’s stopping you from taking the next step and achieving substantial performance wins? Your customers, your employer and your fellow employees will thank you for making the systems they all use work better.
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