Slack Outage Shows It Is a ‘Single Point of Failure’ in Modern Business

Can offices survive without Slack?

Slack is down, so have fun trying to get work done today.
Slack is down, so have fun trying to get work done today. Pixabay

Slack is down. Everybody panic!

The communication tool and lifeblood of every modern office has been offline for over an hour this morning. Slack’s status page noted there were “connectivity issues affecting all workspaces.”

Around 9:30 a.m. ET, the site reported that it was investigating these issues. It has sent similar updates every half hour since, but the connection problems still haven’t been fully resolved.

Deprived of their main method of getting work done, many people turned to Twitter to express their dismay. Ironically, “Slack” soon became a top Twitter trend.

It may seem like only entitled millennials would be in a tizzy about Slack not working. But the discussion soon migrated to other areas of the internet.

The Y Combinator chatroom was filled with confused techies trying to figure out what do with their thumbs.

But users soon began debating bigger issues—like what does it mean when one messaging app going down torpedoes a workday?

“This says a lot about how it’s a single point of failure in modern company comms,” user sarreph wrote.

“Your team might depend on Slack so much that they don’t know how else to efficiently communicate,” ljm added. “So you get a lot of chaos as people come up with dozens of alternatives. This is just poor discipline more than anything, putting too many structural eggs into one basket, but it doesn’t change the fact that Slack has created that dependency.”

But other workers soon began pushing back on this theory. They pointed out that even when Slack isn’t working, the company’s tech team still has more expertise than the average user.

“It’s likely that they can fix this problem for all customers faster than I can fix my problem for myself,” FooBarWidget wrote. “And it’s not like I’m crippled when Slack is down. If it’s urgent I can use the phone.”

The telephone is no doubt anathema to most Slack users. But other people on Y Combinator took up this mantle and urged Slackers to grow up.

“If your team can’t check on that stuff manually for a few hours while Slack is down, then I think you may have bigger problems,” nettdata said. “If anyone on my team came to me and cited Slack being down as a reason for their inability to do their job, then they wouldn’t be on my team. Is it less than ideal? Yes. Is it a little bit less efficient to pull info instead of having it pushed to you? Yes. Is the sky falling? No.”

So there you have it, folks. You’ll just have to do work the old-fashioned way for a while. Good luck!

Slack Outage Shows It Is a ‘Single Point of Failure’ in Modern Business