Intuit Service Can't Handle The Hordes Of Tax Procrastinators
from the bad-timing dept
Talk about a bad time for your network to fail. Last night, just as millions of Americans were scrambling to get their taxes filed before the deadline, Intuit’s online tax filing system buckled under the strain of so much activity. Technically, the system just got really, really slow, but it may result in penalties for people whose filings came in after midnight. For a company that’s positioned itself as the leader in electronic filing, this is a pretty bad glitch, and if customers do end up owing penalties, you can be sure that the company’s reputation will take a pretty big hit. What’s not clear is if Intuit simply misjudged how much volume it would get, and thus failed to plan accordingly, or if there was some other mistake. Of course, the company is in a difficult position because most of the year, this service will get virtually no activity, but then is swamped in a day or two. As Nick Carr is fond of pointing out, incidents such as this one (or the annual tradition of online retailers failing around Christmas) point to the growing need for readily available on-demand computing power, such as that which Amazon is trying to sell. Then again, Amazon suffered an outage of its own last year during a spike in business, so it’s not clear that its infrastructure is fully reliable either.