Four Ways To Avoid Vendor Lock-In When Moving To The Public Cloud | Forbes

Today, the cloud market is dominated by a few mega-providers: Amazon, Google and Microsoft. On the surface, they deliver a similar looking set of infrastructure, with the virtual machine being the basic computational unit. Under the hood, however, there are important differences among them. While moving an application from one virtualization format to another is relatively simple, each provider offers different and in some cases proprietary services for controlling and connecting applications that run within their respective environments.

That’s where lock-in becomes an issue. Organizations that optimize for a specific cloud provider’s environment — whether through technology, workflow, tools, expertise or training — will find it harder to migrate to another provider or move between them without doing some heavy lifting. Often, that outcome is unintentional. Many companies are still in the experimental stage with public cloud projects. While projects may start out at the workgroup or departmental level, they tend to expand or be emulated by other departments, leading to a kind of de-facto, if unplanned, standardization.

Organizations would be wise to preserve their flexibility to work with multiple cloud providers, however. Historically in the IT world, high switching costs tend to reduce the negotiating leverage for customers, to their detriment. The more dependent customers become on the services or software of a single provider, the more likely it is that the provider will adopt a non-competitive pricing strategy.

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Four Ways To Avoid Vendor Lock-In When Moving To The Public Cloud.

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