Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cloud/Product Rollout: Beta Or Staggarded Roll Out Versus US Government

It's safe to say that the federal government's rollout of the health insurance exchange has not gone well.  In fact, it's pretty dismal.  At the same time, they're hardly to be blamed for this.  Remember all those cloud services that Apple tried to unveil that didn't work? MobileMe, the early days of iCloud?

I'm sure you can think of a few other examples of how things didn't work out well for private companies. And the health exchange is probably many times more complex.  This is why I don't get why Washington thought it could make it work from day one.

Where was the beta testing with real people participation?  Google's Gmail has been in beta for years and I'm sure there are a few other apps that are still in beta?

The health insurance exchange debacle is a very valuable lesson for government officials and entrepreneurs.  This reminds me of Google+ unveiling.  You needed an invitation to sign up.  And it was done over time probably to give Google time to scale properly.

In fact, a few mobile apps that I've signed up for had this system where you can sign up for service you had to wait until the app developers had scaled enough to accommodate more users.  One app in particular was Mailbox from Orchestra.  It took about a week between me signing up for service and when I could actually use the app but it was worth it because it worked seamlessly.

President Obama spoke today about the frustration regarding the ACA roll out.  I think he should have added that the exchange was a beta process and it could be a while before it's up and running properly.  Word is that Google engineers have been tasked to help out.  I think that helps but should have done that from day one.

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