How much of a strain do applications put on your mainframe?
Banks are desperately struggling to predict mobile banking use, claimed Compuware, just one month after the services of several high street names were hit with glitches.
Compuware’s VP of application performance monitoring (APM) told CBR banks cannot deal with the random spikes in traffic caused by customers checking their balances and transactions throughout the day.
Michael Allen blamed banks’ issues on the fact many have simply added technologies on top of their mainframes over the last 30 years, which simply cannot cope with the demands of today’s customers – including one bank whose systems crashed after a user refreshed his or her app 4,000 times in an hour.
Allen said: "Mobile is baffling the banks. They cannot predict the demand for user behaviour. Traditional banks have platforms that have been built up over 30 years, running on mainframes.
"The fact anyone could be doing it from anytime anyplace in the world is so demanding. I talk to some banks, and when a train or a tube is going through central Amsterdam, that moment when people get on and get out their phone to check their balances, you could have a 1,000 users all banking on that train."
A Compuware study last December found that 89% of 350 CIOs across the world found mainframe application workloads have increased by around 44% over the last five years, while 87% were scared application complexity risked harming mainframe performance.
Meanwhile, RBS, Santander and Barclays were among banks whose mobile apps suffered glitches on payday in February.
RBS blamed the problems on too many people trying to check their accounts at once, measuring 5,500 customers logging on every minute.
Allen told CBR: "With home PCs, that was quite predictable because people would use internet banking before they went to work or after they came back from work.
"Now, every bank we talk to says ‘we can never predict [usage]’."