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IT for Business that Never Stops

Voter Registration Debacle Serves as a Reminder of the Importance of Availability

16th June 2016

With one week to go until referendum day, Keith Tilley,  EVP sales & customer services management, Sungard AS reflects on the recent downtime experienced by the EU Referendum voter registration systems…

The journey to the EU Referendum has hardly been a smooth one, and as the debate heads towards its crescendo it was almost derailed when the voter registration website went down due to an increase in traffic. Just two hours before the deadline.

This is a prime example of how inadequate preparation can have a devastating effect. Any other outage may have seen a customer being unable to buy a new pair of shoes, or missing out on concert tickets because a website is struggling to cope. But this outage had the potential to bar citizens from having a say on the future of their country. With the polls so close, every vote counts.

“…this outage had the potential to bar citizens from having a say on the future of their country.”

— Keith Tilley, EVP sales & customer services management, Sungard AS

What was frustrating about this outage was that the spike in traffic (so close to the deadline) was not only predictable, it was easily avoidable. History teaches us that there is usually a rush to register last minute, particularly amongst the youth population who frequently use mobile devices; it also tells us that failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

Availability issues can have a lasting impact not just on customer experience but a company’s bottom line. Organisations across the UK should be ready to learn from this, ensuring they can scale their IT infrastructure up or down quickly if the need arises. If the means don’t exist to do this within an organisation, pairing with an experienced partner who can manage this for you will keep customers happy and prevent unpleasant – and unnecessary – backlash. In this instance, the deadline was extended, because people simply must be given the chance to vote. But in the business world, a second chance is not as likely, with fickle customers more than happy to move to competing websites if they find a lack of availability.

“In this instance, the deadline was extended, because people simply must be given the chance to vote. But in the business world, a second chance is not as likely.”

— Keith Tilley, EVP sales & customer services management, Sungard AS

Click here to find out more about IT for business that never stops.