Looking back on the past few months it’s become incredibly apparent how mission critical the Internet and websites have become. Looking at this article on All Things D (WSJ)
If you are going to offer SaaS it means >99.95% uptime or you are going to lose customers. And there is no patience now. Especially if you are a core provider. It’s as much of an infrastructure as the mainframes of old.
Years ago we all relied in data processing core providers like Unisys IBM and NCR. They are still out these and probably laughing at us upstarts like Amazon and Intuit Financial Services. My company Intuit provides outsourced digital banking for well over a thousand financial institutions. Back in the day people expected slow and steady innovation or they went “in-house” to make it happen often to the awful reality that it was only worse that way. IBM is actually becoming a huge player in this space leveraging what it knew then with a huge service operation. The fact is we have to be perfect now and offer the innovation but absolutely excellent!
When we go down its not us that suffers but the bank you use to do financial transactions. In this article they talk about services like Netflix and how end users miss it. Gone are the days of end user tolerance. They expect it to be there, available and fast. And it’s not just in a web browser it’s Apps on phones, tablets, embedded payment systems and many other backbone services.
Amazon has some of the most powerful server technology available and still they struggle. They strive or uptime but much has to do with the software running on it. As a former Amazon architect now working for us said – the software has to be able to accommodate for hardware failures to automatically switch and sync and adjust on the fly. It’s not always the case in SaaS since they think of you as a black box. We are fighting to make it work in our own data center. And we are in a huge transition to amazing new technology. But the bank’s end users don’t know that or care- to them when online banking is down its a huge failure expecting perfection.
Gone are the days of adjust on the fly, tolerant end users and only understanding savvy people surfing these sites. Will they be tolerant though of slower innovation? It’s the new chasm. No they won’t and so the small guy will have to continue to rely on the Amazon and SalesForce and Intuit’s of the business world.