Can you learn from O2's mistake?
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Can you learn from O2's mistake?

Category: Development

Yesterday, O2’s mobile data network reported a huge software outage, impacting over 30million of their own users, as well as customers from Lyca Mobile, Giff Gaff and Tesco Mobile. The outage had knock-on impacts on other services, including Transport for London’s bus timetable as well as Softbank’s data network in Japan. The cause of the outage has now been confirmed as an ‘expired certificate’ in different software versions supplied by O2’s partner Ericsson.

The damage to O2’s reputation and service is significant. Customers were left unable to use data services and there were even reports of calls and text being impacted. Users are calling for compensation. Joint apologies from O2 and Ericsson’s CEOs have been issued. 

Professor Nigel Linge, Professor of Telecommunications at the University of Salford, issued a scathing assessment of the situation on an interview with BBC Scotland.  He explained that all updates to a network should be robustly tested with all issues ironed out before going live to customers.  Fully tested software is reliable…but when you change software or do an update, that’s when problems occur…  Any changes shouldn’t be done on a live network.” 

How does this impact websites?

This problem should make you consider the robustness of the software that helps drive your business. As a website development organisation, we know it’s vital to understand each aspect of the software powering your website. Who tests your software updates before going live? Do you use plug ins? Do you use open-source templates? Do you have junk code on your website?

If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ or ‘I don’t know’, you are vulnerable to outages on your website. Don’t let your reputation be impacted by your website designer. Contact me today to discuss how Big Red Digital can keep your website safe, secure and reliable. 

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About The Author

As Big Red’s Sales Manager, my role is to ensure our clients see demonstrable results from their website and digital marketing strategies. I work closely with our clients to help establish specific targets for their online activity and translate this into sales/conversions.

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