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WhatsApp’s impact on Brazil, and a perspective on Shadow IT

So, I focus a lot on bandwidth, but I want to expand that a bit with communications infrastructure in general.  First, the piece.  The Verge looks at the impact in Brazil to workers when Facebook – and more importantly, WhatsApp, went down.     From informal workers, such as cleaners and drivers, to sales people managing customer relationships, the downtime broke critical communications infrastructure.     Also of note – the use of audio notes for communications, particularly due to a higher illiteracy rate.   

Why do we care?

A US analyst on Twitter commented how the outage just meant he could use another service, because he had so many of them as options.     I noted that he was New York based, rich, and tech savvy.  

First, I know my audience isn’t only US based.   Communications infrastructure looks different in different markets – and understanding your own is first.  Second, your customer’s view probably isn’t the same as yours.       And finally… if you want more customers, have more viewpoints.    

This is a good read to understand how some small businesses may use alternate communications, particularly outside the US.     For those in the US, use this as a way to think about Shadow IT, and those unofficial workflows customers build.  They come from necessity and innovation.