Gmail users were in for an unpleasant surprise Tuesday when Gmail was down for about 100 minutes. According to Google's Gmail blog, it experienced an outage due to a routine upgrade. Like every other Gmail user, I was peeved that it was down. As IT Business Edge's Ken-Hardin noted, "it is frustrating to be without your e-mail for even an hour." But what really made me angry was that I don't remember getting a notice from Google saying that it was doing maintenance. If I were making changes on a network in an enterprise, I would be required to open a change management ticket and notify my users that I was making a change so they could plan accordingly.
So why didn't Google notify its users ahead of time?
If Google wants to be considered a serious technology player, and win over the enterprise, it needs to act like one. Many, and I do mean many, SMEs use Gmail as their primary e-mail provider, and now Google Apps as a SaaS provider. Google must realize this and notify its users when it is going to make changes to its infrastructure or applications.
If you are a Gmail user who depends on it for your business, do you think you should be notified when Google makes a change? How would you like Google to change its processes in order to improve reliability and business continuity?