Tuesday, 06 July 2010 12:45

Gomez benchmarks Australian bank web sites


Australian banks' web sites achieve high availability, but response times are variable, according to the latest Gomez benchmark.

Three of the big four Australian banks achieved a 100% availability rating during June 2010 according to the Gomez Web Performance Benchmark. Gomez is the web performance division of applications performance specialist Compuware.

Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac - along with Adelaide, BankWest, Bendigo, CitiBank, Queensland and Rabobank - all achieved 100% availability in Gomez' testing. However, the study was only concerned with the banks' home pages, not the more important (and more demanding) Internet banking facilities.

ANZ took 14th and last spot, with 99.58% availability. Average availability improved to 99.93% from 99.75%, a "significant improvement" according to company officials.

Considerably more variation was found in the response time results, which ranged from a "standout" 0.177 sec for Westpac to 11.437 sec for Rabobank. Nine banks (Westpac, Adelaide, St George, Macquarie, ANZ, CitiBank, Commonwealth and Bendigo) achieved response times under 2 sec, with NAB just outside at 2.044 sec.

'If it takes more than two seconds to get an online response, customers get frustrated," said Rafi Katanasho, Compuware's solutions director, applications performance management.

What about the variability of response? See page two.

Again, the average shows a substantial improvement from the previous month, falling from 3.11 sec to 2.557 sec. The average consistency rating also improved from 1.33 sec to 1.196 sec.

Individual bank's consistency ratings varied widely, from Adelaide's very modest 0.240 sec to Rabobank's 5.730. Of the big four, only Commonwealth showed worse than average consistency. The Gomez study reported a consistency score of 2.959 sec for Commonwealth, putting in in 13th place, almost one and a half seconds behind 12th place getter CitiBank.

According to Gomez officials, "The Response Time Rating is indicative of the best possible response time that customers can expect. It is calculated as the average access time for a website measured from the backbone of the Gomez Performance Network in Australia, based on 48 access attempts per day over a one month period. The Availability Rating is the percentage of access attempts which were successful. The Consistency Rating is the standard deviation of the response times."

Compuware Gomez benchmarks the web and mobile performance of more than 1000 companies in 17 industries around the world.

Disclosure: the writer holds NAB shares.


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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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