Intuit: How To Improve Cloud-Computing Safety

Aug. 14, 2008 10:04 AM ETINTU, GOOG, AMZN4 Comments
Larry Dignan profile picture
Larry Dignan

Intuit (INTU), the parent company of financial software products such as Quickbooks and Turbo Tax, has jumped deeper into the world of cloud computing with an announcement of its “Connected Services” strategy. The idea here is to expand its offerings for the more than 4 million small businesses who already use the Quickbooks desktop software to manage their finances. Earlier this year, the company said it would open its QuickBase platform to third party developers with the aim of creating a software as a service business. The idea stems from a new wave of small businesses that are increasingly mobile and interested in using desktops, laptops and even handheld devices to manage their finances.

There are a number of companies that have jumped feet-first into cloud computing - Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN) and others. But in recent weeks, there’s been a bit of a dark cloud around the push into Web-based applications. Amazon’s S3 service had an extended outage and, more recently, Google’s Gmail got some bad press for its own problems. That, in turn, has raised some concerns about the safety and stability about doing business in the cloud.

I spoke with Rick Jensen, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Small Business Group, and asked him about the perception that the cloud still is not quite stable. Jensen immediately responded by pointing to the company’s track record of managing on the Web the most important and sensitive data we have: our tax information. Ten years ago, Intuit launched TurboTax online for users who choose to calculate their returns on the Web instead of through desktop software. Last year, the company processed 10 million online tax returns and not one, he said, was compromised. The company has taken extra efforts, he said, to ensure that the servers are capable of handling the crunch of users who log on - even in the days

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Larry Dignan profile picture
Larry Dignan is executive editor of ZDNet news and blogs. Larry was most recently executive news editor at eWeek. Prior to that, he was news editor at Baseline, and also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CNET Visit: Between The Lines (

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