In 1789 Benjamin Franklin wrote “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. On April 17, 2018 – the last day to file you federal tax return – the I.R.S. decided to mash that true in more ways than one. The I.R.S. website died.
In the US there are fewer more stressful days that the last day to file taxes. People being people often procrastinate and wait until the very last-minute to pay their taxes. Either because they just like to live dangerously or they wait to put off as long as possible forking over their hard earned cash to Uncle Sam. The I.R.S. knows this. This has been a long-standing American tradition since the signatures on the Declaration of Independence were still wet. Yet the I.R.S. was not ready for the rush of people trying to pay their taxes.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaking to reporters in New Hampshire said the problem was a “high volume technical issue”. And in true tech support 101 fashion, the I.R.S. said they would have to ‘reboot the entire computer system’ to get things back online. The good news is that people did have to wait until December 31, 9999 for the systems to be back online. By later in the evening on April 17, 2018 things were working again.
I am constantly boggled that these things continue to happen. Yet organization after organization fails at performance. Performance testing is critical and not just a 1 time event. The I.R.S. knew this was coming and they were not ready. Even if you are not sure if your infrastructure can handle the crush, there are Queuing services (like Queue-it.com) that ensure your site remains up and responsive, while allowing the crowd to queue up and (in)patiently wait.
The I.R.S. has managed to do what few thought was possible; Americans actually hate them even more. What a fun tax day! Who thought it would be so tough to give the government your money?
Don’t make it difficult for your customers to interface with you. Give them applications that are responsive and high quality. At Total Performance Consulting this is what we help our customers do every single day.