TECH bosses have warned of a potential systems crash for e-commerce systems as Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach.
British tech firms, Credersi and ROQ, made the warning as high street and online retailers are expected to maximise their profits against untested e-commerce technology and software.
They believe there is a real concern that e-commerce systems will be pushed to breaking point, with an unprecedented surge in demand from shoppers.
There is also a shortage of trained quality engineers in software testing to check, test and maintain software and e-commerce systems.
Recently systems have been under additional pressure, having been melded together at breakneck speed by a remote workforce without being sufficiently tested.
This makes systems vulnerable to coding errors, traffic tsunamis, DDoS attacks, ransomware, malware attacks and DNS provider downtime which will likely lead to a lack of fulfilment, late delivery and even overcharging.
In December of last year, the Debenhams website crashed when more than 1 million shoppers tried to access the site.
Retailers such as Amazon and eBay also found their websites had disappeared for an hour. These 2 companies alone boast a combined £25 billion in annual sales in the UK, meaning a 1-hour outage would have cost £3 million between them over that period.
Other e-commerce sites such as PayPal were also hit and based on their 2020 transactions of $963 billion, the 1-hour outage would have cost them around $106 million.
Credersi and ROQ are addressing the shortage by training “work-ready” quality engineers through a specifically designed fast-track training course.
Following the Facebook, Instagram and What’s App outage the vulnerability of even the biggest tech companies has been highlighted.
A number of British retailers have reported systems issues and websites crashing as the UK struggles to return to pre-pandemic output and cope with demand.
Stephen Johnson, Founder and CEO of ROQ Software Testing Solutions, said: “As we approach the busiest time of the year with Christmas weeks away, retailers are faced with an unprecedented set of demands from consumers.
“Demand is outstripping supply and goods are taking longer to manufacture and deliver. Much of this due in part to the factors of Brexit and the pandemic.
“The Facebook/Instagram/What’s App outage this week has also perfectly demonstrated the vulnerability of systems if they are not regularly tested.
“No company is too big to fall and the impact on any business can be devastating both financially and in losing customer trust and goodwill.
“Unless you rigorously test systems, you cannot find the weaknesses or vulnerabilities until it’s too late. Often for an e-commerce retailer, this comes at great financial cost and has a major impact on customers.”
Johnson continued: “It is absolutely vital that any high street or online retailer with an e-commerce presence ensures that their software testing is put front and centre of their operations..
“There simply aren’t enough quality engineers to keep up with the demand by British companies and very soon this will reach breaking point.
“Together with Credersi, we are working to address that issue and will create a ‘best-in-class’ curriculum in software testing, taking candidates on a 14-week course to final certification.
“Most importantly, the Credersi ROQ curriculum will ensure all academy consultants are ‘work-ready’ to fill those key roles immediately.”