According to a report, the Health and Human Services department of the US Government foresaw problems in the launch of the much debated Healthcare.gov website. Government insiders say that the website could only handle 10,000 concurrent visitors on September 26th although the launch date was October 1st and the website was expected to handle 50,000 visitors simultaneously.
Emergency cloud space was ordered through Verizon on September 30th and although the release of the website may have seemed botched, technical analysts believe that this was not the cloud’s fault. The actual code that is used to craft the website coded poorly. Even the world’s more robust cloud cannot cover up a poorly coded application. The launch of the Healthcare.gov website should be taught in technology classes inside of universities all over the world. What could students learn?
In large organizations such as governments, when non-technical people are faced with complex technical problems, the natural reaction is to throw more money at the problem in hopes of making it going away quickly. This is essentially what happened in the Healthcare.gov launch as evidenced by the multimillion dollar cloud purchase days before the launch. The purpose of technology is to make things more affordable and easier to use. Throwing money or hardware at a problem is often the wrong solution. Many industry analysts call these “Band-Aid” solutions because they help cover up a bigger problem. Perception is everything in the information technology world. Some product managers would rather deploy a buggy project than deploy no project at all.
Unfortunately, non-technical people become the product owners and they are not able to be concise about the type of code they need implemented. The right solution would be to sit down and work out the programming errors and document the source code with experienced developers. This can take time and time may not be on your side if there is a deadline. Fortunately for the Health and Human Services department, the Healthcare.gov website seems to be up and running properly. After several weeks of trouble shooting and revamping the code, technical experts have fixed this cloud based website and have it up and running without many problems.