I use a number of services that live in the cloud – you probably do as well. Dropbox for file storage and sharing is one and it was down yesterday. Maybe you use Google’s suite of services – Gmail‘s outages have been well-documented and I know there have been issues with Google Docs as well. There are many others.
Beyond the cloud, many businesses have come to rely on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. Each has suffered a significant outage recently and in the process the businesses built around them have suffered as well. So?So how often have you ever picked up a telephone (I’m referring to those archaic land lines now) and not had service? You can probably count that on one hand. We complain about cable TV but unless a tree has fallen on the wires someplace it works. My car starts. You see where this is heading.
Digital won’t be taken seriously by the marketing community until is has the reliability of other services. If I’m building a store on Facebook, it needs to work. If I’m tying marketing offers to Foursquare, especially time-based offers, it needs to work. If the Twitter data stream is unavailable and I need stats, I’m screwed – it needs to work. AT&T has rightfully taken a lot of crap about its network in many major cities and in the process how has that hurt iPhone sales? I know they’re fine but I also know of some folks who’ve gone the Android route specifically because of the network.
If you want to be a mission-critical part of a business’ life, you need to be a reliable partner. I know these companies know that but they need to do more than acknowledge the problem. Each of us needs to ask ourselves if we’re providing the same reliability we ask of these companies – we should be.
Moving to the cloud shouldn’t mean obscuring great service and reliability. I’m not sure we’re there yet and until we are the dollars won’t follow.