Major app malfunction stalls Iowa Caucuses
It’s safe to say that the 2020 Democratic primaries have gotten off to a rocky start, as the Iowa Caucuses were plagued by what can only be called an epic app malfunction that delayed results well past closing time Monday night.
Developed by Shadow, a company that claims to have been involved in Democrat campaigns dating back to the Obama administration, the app was essentially beta tested during the Iowa caucuses, NPR reports, after only being developed two months before the big vote.
The issues with the app appear to stem from a coding error that made the platform incapable of scaling as a deluge of results were reported from individual polling stations to Iowa’s Democratic headquarters. This is troubling considering that the very nature of caucuses and primaries calls for vast amounts of data collection on a tight deadline, not to mention the stakes involved in Iowa as this race in particular helps set the tone for the rest of primary season.
Even more troubling is the fact that security concerns for the untested app were raised well ahead of this Monday’s caucuses – not to mention that the same program is on tap to help collect polling data in the upcoming Nevada caucuses.
Leaving politics aside, this incident is a prime example of the potential issues that can arise when teams aren’t doing their due diligence in testing and monitoring applications before wide-scale implementation. Whether a national election is at stake or an enterprise is migrating from Skype to Teams, visibility into all apps, users, devices and locations involved is critical to making sure reputation-damaging glitches are troubleshooted.
Implementing a new workflow can give any network veteran visions of sleepless nights and late-night maintenance windows, as the cost of this change can be dramatic. Whether an enterprise or a government entity, there needs to be visibility at every step of implementation – especially when moving from a paper-based workflow to a digital one, as was the case in Iowa.
Network performance monitoring that can account for all users and devices needs to be implemented before the application even takes flight to ensure that any issues can be spotted in real time, giving IT teams the proactive posture they need to ensure seamless user experience.
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Filed Under: industry insights