Avoiding cloud vendor lock-in: The how-to guide

Cloud storage is an effective way to reduce a business data storage budget.

It also provides other benefits, such as a highly secure, remotely accessible storage solution. However, using an advanced technology storage centre has its disadvantages, and one of them is cloud vendor lock-in.

cloud vendor lock-in

Vendor lock-in is a form of restriction by cloud storage vendors. Often, cloud vendors trap users by fostering dependency on their cloud services. Migration from their services is not a straightforward process. You spend a lot of time and resources recovering your data. The goal is to make leaving a provider so impractical that you have no choice but to stay.

Your data is a crucial part of your business, so you should safeguard its safety and accessibility. Luckily for you, there are ways to prevent data restrictions when switching vendors. Here is a guide to avoiding the infamous cloud vendor lock-in.

Be particular about your exit strategy in the contract

Your contact could be a landmine of exit clauses designed to stop you from leaving. Before signing a contract, be sure to go through every detail, and don’t be afraid to consult a professional.

You should enlist your lawyer’s help to go over the document. If you discover unsavoury exit clauses, settle down for a thorough discussion. You can have the contract rewritten to suit both your business needs. As the client, you have your choice of vendors. Only sign with vendors that agree to your exit terms.

Design flexible applications

As much as you can, make your apps compatible with open standards. Portable applications are the only way possible to work with a lot of cloud alternatives. Your application must be easily detachable from your vendor’s platform. It will make it easy to switch to alternative vendors. You should also include easy isolation from cloud vendor’s infrastructure in the application’s design.

When outsourcing, you should invest in applications that allow you to retain your independence. For example, if you’re looking for a point-of-sale solution, services like a Linux POS provide an open-source platform for point-of-service systems. By using a Linux POS, you can consolidate your point-of-sale system and avoid forced updates.

Always have an alternative cloud storage vendor

Although it’s more organized to store your data in one place, it’s not wise. Even though you subscribe to a cloud vendor, having a good backup is never a bad idea.

Change is a constant thing in a growing workplace, and this change might include leaving your current cloud vendor. If you decide to migrate, you have an alternative link to your data so that your primary vendor can’t hold your data hostage.

Application upgrading

Another way to avoid cloud vendor lock-in is to upgrade your application before migrating to cloud storage. Though compatibility is a worthy goal, you should also be careful to make your application as universal as possible if you ever migrate providers. Your business needs unified communications, but make sure you are creating something that stands by itself. Upgrading your application can help you beat restrictions that otherwise would keep you chained to your current vendor.

Make provisions for home data storage

A lot of things can go wrong when it comes to data centres. Having a primary cloud storage vendor and a backup vendor may not be enough. Make provisions for a home data system.  If you’re experiencing a cloud vendor restriction or a data centre breakdown, you can fall back on home data storage. Just be sure to remember the additional security considerations of a home storage solution.

Parting shot

As someone in the business sector, you like to think out of the box. That’s why it can be maddening when cloud vendors box you into their services. By consulting your lawyer and considering alternative solutions, you can break the box and avoid cloud vendor lock-in.