Scalability is a system’s ability to adapt to growth and similar changes in workload. A scalable system or process is able to enlarge its capacity reasonably well.

This term may be used in the context of engineering, but may also be used to describe a business model which is flexible enough to accommodate a growing market.

Load scalability is a more specific term which refers to a system’s ability to either grow or shrink, depending on the workload, or in the case of a business, depending on the demand. On the other hand, a geographically scalable system is able to function despite changes in location.

In the context of e-commerce, it is important for the business model to be scalable. Since there is much potential for growth in the online market, the development of dependable and scalable technological infrastructure could prove to be a vital part of growing one’s business. Lack of scalability could prove to be harmful to an e-business, as this could disrupt regular operations, which can result in loss of revenue. The need to develop an IT infrastructure further or the process of upgrading could prove to be more costly than designing a scalable system right from the start.
Another way companies can make their systems scalable is by creating flexible arrangements for the human resource.

At present, it is quite common for employees to work from home or to be highly mobile. Aside from lowering operating costs, this also allows companies to grow their workforce more easily. Many processes can also be outsourced. By doing so, it is easier for companies to remove certain processes as necessary, without having any real impact on the company’s employees and workflow.