Increased agility, cost savings, and performance benefits are all great reasons to move applications, servers, and networks to the cloud. Enterprises are pushed forward to digital transformation by a business-driven focus in which a superior customer experience often gives companies the competitive edge.
As investments in the cloud grow, many companies are leery of locking in with only one provider. They want the flexibility to access the best tools from multiple vendors as their business processes demand different technological services.
For companies concerned about lock-in, here are four tips to protect against it:
- Evaluate vendors for the ability to access data with interoperability. First, you — as well as an attorney that specializes in cloud vendor contracts — should read your vendor contract carefully to determine how data is accessed. Make sure you know the true cost of extracting data because even a tiny percentage of a cent becomes costly if enough data is moved. Determine what the process is for migrating data to see if it’s realistic for your business.
- Watch out for proprietary data formats. When you store your data, is the cloud vendor using a proprietary format? If so, it may be a cumbersome and costly process to transform it back into something usable. In some cases, the data is compressed in a storage format that makes it nearly impossible to use.
- Avoid data gravity’s pull. Companies tend to use what they know, so once you’ve got data stored with a cloud provider, you’ll likely keep storing data there without any real technology strategy behind the decision. This is not always a bad thing, because keeping data in one place reduces latency and may improve performance, but you’re sacrificing leverage when you choose only one provider.
- Don’t be limited by distinctive characteristics. When you sign with a vendor, be sure that it won’t be necessary to adapt and customize your software applications and execution in order to fit with your provider’s platform. Once you’ve recreated all of your systems for one particular provider, it can be very hard to migrate to a different vendor.
None of these tips are meant to imply that you shouldn’t access cloud services to optimize your technology infrastructure. These tips simply help you cautiously navigate a lock-in situation.
At Infinium Communications, we provide one solution for all your technology needs. Contact us about your concerns with lock-in, and we’ll walk you through them.