“What about vendor lock-in?” people ask me when I’m having talks about public cloud. “If I put all of my applications and data in Azure and Office 365, Microsoft has got me by the balls. Why should I do this?”
It is a good question, and there is a good answer too.
To be sure, everything has a component of lock-in. Buying a house, a car, your vacation, getting into a relationship, going to a concert.. Some for the longer term, some shorter.
Same thing goes for IT. Programming languages, application runtimes, operating systems, databases, fileservers (damn those), you name it. What matters is the ability to change providers, or the cost to swap out the component entirely.
Vendor lock-in only really bites you when your dependent technology gets more expensive, but stagnates in value.
So you only have to do two things:
- Select a platform of which you believe that it will give you constant innovation, with costs that only grow as your business does;
- Define an exit strategy: build your components in a way so that they are portable, and the same time build up the funds so you are able to move the components and data overtime.
It’s as simple as that.