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Can You Take the Hit If Your IT Goes Down?

In early 2020, Wells Fargo’s entire online banking system and ATM network failed.

Customers couldn’t access their accounts online, and when they contacted the bank’s call centers, which were quickly overwhelmed, many reached only a recording for their efforts to contact customer service. The financial giant took to social media to address the problem at 6:06 AM with an apology, describing it as issues with their apps.

An hour later they tweeted, “We’re experiencing a systems issue that is causing intermittent outages, and we’re working to restore services as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Three hours after that tweet came this: “We’re experiencing system issues due to a power shutdown at one of our facilities, initiated after smoke was detected following routine maintenance. We’re working to restore services as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Three days later the bank tweeted, “STATUS UPDATE: Most systems and services have now been restored, though customers may experience some intermittent outages as we return to full operations. As we have updates we will continue to post them here.”

They were no longer apologizing for the inconvenience. By this time customers of the country’s third-largest bank were comparing their service to the good old days of the 1800s, or to banking in Venezuela. The bank promised refunds for late fees; paid out tens of thousands of dollars in overtime to call center and retail employees who worked extended hours; had to absorb the fallout from another round of negative press; and some customer attrition from those appalled that in 2019 they actually had to walk into a branch to do their banking — something they might not have done in literally 20 years.

Companies the size of Wells Fargo can probably absorb a hit like that once or twice in a decade. Is your business in a position to sustain a similar event? Can you afford to lose your entire online presence and functionality for three or four days or more? Is your business able to recover from an outage, regardless of the cause?

Most businesses today wouldn’t be sure one way or the other, and could only answer that question when something truly catastrophic happens. Hoping nothing happens is not a plan – that’s a wish and a prayer.


So here are some hard questions for any business that depends on IT:

  • Does it make sense in today’s tech environment to leave things to chance?
  • Can your organization perform and pass a tech stress test?
  • Do you have a business continuity plan in place if the IT system your company depends on goes down?
  • Have you done a cost-benefit analysis of moving your IT operations to the cloud?


If the answer to any of these questions is no, reach out to an expert to see how migrating your IT to the cloud and contracting managed services provided can help you keep your business online with redundancies and disaster recovery capabilities.

For a full assessment of how to decide it’s time to move to the cloud, check out our guide, “When to Move to the Cloud.” Packed with relevant information, including a seven-step checklist, the guide gives you questions to pose prior to and while engaging with a cloud and managed services provider. Remember, you don’t have to take a hit, grab the guide now.