Jones Group keeps the lights on

Chicago -- A lot of IT practitioners talk about “keeping the lights on,” or executing simple but essential tasks such as making sure an e-commerce site is actually up and running. For Michael Hines, VP of e-commerce technology at The Jones Group, keeping the lights on involves a lot more than flipping a switch.

As he told the audience of an afternoon session of the Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago, The Jones Group follows an established performance practice that includes uptime monitoring, periodic review and analysis, a strong partnership with its e-commerce platform provider Demandware, and local site testing to ensure scalability.

“For a performance practice, you need to make time, make a person and make a map,” stated Hines. “There needs to be regularly scheduled time every month. If it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t get done. A person needs to have the responsibility for performance as part of their job. And there needs to be a map that measures changes in performance and applies thought analysis.”

Hines said website performance degrades slowly over time and retailers will not notice until it is too late without regular monitoring and analysis. In addition, individual portions of a retailer’s homepage might drop in performance faster than others, causing problems that won’t necessarily show up through measurements of broad overall site performance. The Jones Group uses the AlertSite solution from SmartBear for automated notifications of outages and other site performance issues.