Slack Slips Up with Sudden Outage: What Happens When Your Tools Go Offline?
How do we cope when our tools go down?
The world’s most popular Workspace messaging service Slack suffered from some serious technical difficulties on the 27th of June. The collaboration tool company confirmed issues with the app at around 10 am, citing that Europe was the biggest source of problems. However, the issue quickly went global, and at 2 pm Slack confirmed that:
“All workspaces are currently experiencing difficulty.”
Slack kept users up-to-date throughout the issue, letting them know via Twitter and their status update page that the company was working hard to overcome the issue.
Can We Cope Without Collaboration Tools?
While Slack is now up-and-running as normal, it prompted an important question about the state of enterprise communication and collaboration. Now that we’ve given up on email, and started to move more heavily towards the messaging app, can we really live without these new tools?
Slack is one of the world’s most successful workplace apps, and it’s attracted ongoing growth since it was launch in 2013. Today, the latest figures reveal that Slack has more than 8 million users – which means a lot of people complaining about the outage last week.
Clearly, the issue will have had a huge impact on any business that relies on Slack for their communication with remote teams around the world. Many were forced to resort back to slow and unreliable email messages, while others had to attempt to communicate in person (!).
What Happens to Messaging Strategies During Outages?
One thing is for sure; the outage proves just how ubiquitous real-time communications have become in the modern enterprise market. The popularity of these tools also means that companies have extremely high expectations for service availability, as any outage could mean a total loss of reliable communication with worldwide employees.
On one side, we can see that Slack and team tools like it have been incredibly successful in supporting the enterprise. On the other side of things, it’s obvious that team collaboration apps need to work harder at maintaining their uptime. According to Wayne Kurtzman of IDC, Slack can no longer rely on 99.8% uptime to satisfy their customers. Cloud vendors need to give their customers complete reliability.
For now, Slack is working on boosting their safety engineering team to reduce the risk of future outages. According to Reuters, the company will be using “chaos engineering” to test systems and prevent future issues with cloud infrastructure.