JCL Blog

Intuit's Cloud Outage

When I saw some traffic in Twitter last night about Intuit's web site going down I first thought it would be back up in a minute and would be no big deal.  An hour later I checked back -- still down.  I checked @intuit, @quicken, and @quickbooks on Twitter thinking they would post an update -- none.  I searched for Intuit related blogs -- no posts in over a month!

Knowing that millions of people use intuit's accounting, payroll, tax preparation, and merchant services, and thinking that these activities are almost always time sensitive, I naturally thought that this was going to be a big story. Next I thought that since small businesses are a big deal for technology companies, and technology companies want small businesses to adopt cloud computing, this would be a big deal in the technology industry.  A major vendor like Intuit going down for hours without any communication to its users is enough to set back cloud adoption a few years -- right?

So I searched the news on Google about a story.  Top search result: Intuit press release about low cost Payment Solutions, next was CEO Brad Smith being profiled by "Inspiring West Virginians", and the next four were all about stock performance upgrades due to good recent financial results.  No stories about the outage.

Back to Twitter, a real time search for Intuit Down:  just a few tweets.  Nothing like I expected.

When a $3 Billion company with millions of customers goes down for over 12 hours without a mention in the press, without an update to its customers, and without any public outcry to speak of I can only conclude one of three things:


  1. I fell down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole and never came back, or 
  2. Not communicating during a crisis works -- no communication = no crisis, or
  3. Not that many people are using Intuit's Cloud Services.


I did watch the movie and even with the 3D I don't think I am chasing the Jabberwoky -- so #1 is out, BP and others will tell you that #2 is not true, so logic tells us that #3 could be the most rational conclusion.

Intuit's recent acquisition, Mint, has stayed up the whole time.  No mention on any of Mint's blogs either.