Twice in a week a digital behemoth has disappeared from cyberspace, at least for a short period:
On August 14th, the New York Times Website was out of service for a few hours, due to a purported internal issue/technical problem/possible cyber-attack (speculation abounds).
And earlier this week Amazon (the Store, not Web Services) disappeared from view, at least for some shoppers:
This is just to put a little perspective on how hosting and “uptime” isn’t something anyone is completely in control of. There’s always going to be a hurricane or a hacker, a power outage or a terrorist who can make a site (or service) go dark at some point. We will never have a guarantee of “100% uptime,” no matter what anyone says.
Technology services are vulnerable, plain and simple – and bigger isn’t always better.
What does that mean for the Customer Experience with a brand? When it’s an isolated experience, the answer is: probably not much. Web customers today do understand there are odd (and oftentimes insidious) reasons why Websites go down. If your site was down as a matter of course, you’re likely to lose customers. But if a Website goes down only once in a blue moon, the customer will assume something else is the cause – not your quality as an organization.