Wells Fargo Experienced An Outage Last Week: Here’s What It Taught Us

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If you are a Wells Fargo customer, you were most likely inconvenienced by a recent outage that caused a shortage affecting critical systems throughout the bank’s major locations.

This outage abrupted on Thursday, February 7th, and carried on into the weekend, starting with an automatic power shutdown at a major data-center facility of the bank. According to a press release issued by Wells Fargo, the outage was triggered by a smoke condition “created by routine maintenance activities in the building.”

Online Banking Was Affected

During this outage, customers were unable to fully access their online banking, making transactions not visible through their individual accounts. This caused customers to panic, assuming that those transactions disappeared, briefly losing confidence in the bank.

There were also lags and delays in mobile and online banking, which was just plain annoying for customers. Because of this, Wells Fargo assigned team members to be on the clock more than usual, extending hours by one hour over the weekend among 5,500 branches.

Data Centers To The Rescue

Luckily, as soon as the shortage happened, applications were re-routed to back-up data centers. This allowed most systems to be recovered by the end of the day, allowing the panic-stricken customers to keep their cool.

This goes to show you that data centers are not only important in major enterprises, but they are also crucial when it comes to emergencies and non-predictable situations. Executives, take notes!

What We Can Learn

It’s hard to say exactly what happened in Wells Fargo’s case, but one thing is for sure, their fast response is something to learn from.

Outages happen frequently in banks, it’s one of those things that is sometimes hard to avoid. According to CIO Dive, 82% of outages happen because of human error. This causes the engineers of the bank to do a ton of backtracking to find and resolve the problem before customers are truly affected.

Luckily, in Wells Fargo’s case, this outage was not a result of human error, elevating a ton of stress from the engineers working behind the scenes. However, that does not mean they are relieved from the pressure of finding out what happened during the outage, and how this can be avoided again.

Wells Fargo’s CEO, Tim Sloan responded to these issues quickly and put the necessary steps into motion that not only relieved customer’s stress but answered important questions.

“While we restored operations throughout the day and continue to address customer concerns, our recovery from these issues was not as rapid as we or our customers would have expected. We will review the system issues in detail, and do all we can to ensure that this type of disruption doesn’t happen again. Our dedicated team members stand ready to serve our customers in branches, 24 hours a day in our contact centers, and at offices across the country.” Wells Fargo’s CEO Tim Sloan states.

All in all, we can learn that responding fast to a problem as major cooperation is important, as well as making sure data centers are set up and ready to conquer any issues that emerge.

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