Categories: Business / Mobile Apps
Tech people talk a lot about mobile app scalability. But what exactly does it mean, and how do you do it?
Scalability is about how well your app can accommodate growth. The term “growth” can be used in two ways. One refers to an increase in users. The other refers to how easily new features or updates can be implemented.
You don’t want an app that breaks as your users grow. And you don’t want an app that’s a nightmare to update and maintain.
Why mobile app scalability matters
Scalability is something that should be built into your app. Basically, you want to lay the groundwork for growth. And you want to make sure that if you become an overnight success or a peak shopping day rolls around your app won’t lock up or crash.
A mobile app that can scale has a bunch of benefits:
• a good user experience as you grow
• won’t crash if you go viral
• you can switch developers if needed
• it’s more cost effective, with more potential to grow!
How do you know if your app is scalable?
First you build for it, then you test it! You’ve presumably built in enough data storage and robust enough networking infrastructure to keep you going as the demand on your system grows.
But you can test just how well your app holds up with:
• Load testing. This involves putting a bunch of stress on your app to see how it responds. How fast is it? What percentage of resources are being used? When does it break?
• Performance testing. This involves analyzing and improving how your app performs. Where can your app deliver a better experience, and how?
• Scalability testing. This tests just how well your app can scale. When does it stop scaling and just break? Why does that happen, and how can you fix it?
Planning for mobile app scalability
Why bother scaling up? Why not just build a system that can handle a billion users all active at the same time? Because that kind of infrastructure is expensive.
Your mobile app’s scalability should be informed by both technological and business reasons. It doesn’t make business sense to build something huge and expensive if you don’t need it yet.
But you do want to plan for that. Here’s how:
• Know your growth projections. How many people will be using your app in 6 months, 12 months or 2 years?
• Know your data needs. What will your users be sharing or accessing through your app?
• Know your server needs. How many users can your existing server(s) handle?
Once you know these, you should have a plan of attack for when your user or data needs grow beyond what your infrastructure offers.
Mobile app scalability matters if you want your app to grow – and keep growing. If you’re not sure how to tackle the question of scalability around your app, get in touch!