Walmart's global technology platform suffered 16 "major incidents" in the first two months of this fiscal year, starting in February.

An additional two incidents occurred this past weekend, reports Business Insider.

A "major incident" interferes with business operations and impacts revenue. The incidents were revealed through leaked emails, and a "person familiar with the situation" who remained anonymous in its comments to BI.

The rate of incidents for this quarter is far greater than previous reports show.

The platform supports Walmart's core business and in-store point-of-sale systems, e-commerce, and distribution and fulfillment centers.

One incident occurred in January and caused cash registers to fail in thousands of Walmart stores for up to several hours, as previously reported by the Wall Street Journal. This incident took Walmart around 16.5 hours to fix, though the leaked emails reveal that incidents on average took 63 minutes to resolve.

For that 16.5-hour period, network switches were in an "unmanaged state" and Walmart was reportedly not in control of the data in its network. This could leave customer data at risk

A spokesperson told BI: "Major incident does not mean something is material to our business. Our business is strong, our infrastructure is industry-leading, and most importantly, millions of people around the world continue to rely on us every day."

The "major incident" rate is up for the technology platform despite Walmart's increased spend, with the company spending $11.8bn on supply chain, customer-facing initiatives, and technology as stated in a recent SEC filing. This is an increase of more than $2bn on the year prior.

Mark Cohen, director of retail studies and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School said of the revelation: "There is no excuse for shoddy software development, installation, and maintenance. If Walmart's philosophy was, 'We have zero tolerance for risk,' then these problems would likely not occur."

According to Baxtel, Walmart has two data centers: one in Colorado, and a second known as "Area 71" in Jane, Missouri. The Missouri facility spans 125,000 sq ft (11,600 sqm) and has a capacity of over 460 terabytes.

According to TechTarget in 2022, Walmart had a multi-cloud strategy, having built "one of the world's biggest hybrid clouds' that can run workloads on Azure, Google Cloud, or on Walmart's Cloud Native Platform that was developed in 2020.

The company reportedly scaled back from Amazon Web Services (AWS) after the cloud company's parent bought supermarket chain Whole Foods in 2017.

Walmart said of this strategy: "This 'Triplet Model,' as we call it, is innovative and powerful, both by design and deployment. By pairing public clouds with our Walmart Private Clouds via a regional cloud model across the US (West, Central, and East), we’re enabling 10,000 Edge cloud nodes at our facilities and bringing computational power and data closer to our customers and associates."