Vendor lock-in can sneak up on you, surprising you unexpectedly. It means you are stuck with a vendor who may not be able to supply what you need. Let's take a moment to discuss the concept of vendor lock-in, and how you can avoid it using multi cloud.
The dreaded vendor lock in. It’s ominous name sounds a bit like prison – because it is. So many inexperienced enterprises have been lulled into a false sense of security by trusting a vendor to do way too much. While the relationship might be beneficial at first, eventually some enterprises find that their first choice doesn’t have the growth potential, crucial capabilities or services you need to go next-level. Vendor lock in slows you down and limits your growth, and is often quite costly, as you are forced to upgrade over and over, when locked into a single unsatisfying vendor. If you’ve found your enterprise in this situation, or simply want to avoid it happening to you in the future, lets discuss our Top 7 Tips for avoiding vendor lock in using multi cloud.
What is multi cloud, you might ask? It’s when an enterprise uses a combination of different cloud solutions, like +2 public or private clouds or a combo of the two types, to create a multi cloud infrastructure. It allows administrators to allocate workloads to a cloud with higher security standards, or move non-business related traffic to a public cloud environment.
Using multi cloud won’t ensure you won’t experience vendor lock in. Using multi cloud is a great option because it forces you to think carefully and proactively about the possibility of vendor lock in, in a very real way. A multi cloud strategy is the best choice for security, data, versatility and ease of use, but must start with a careful consideration of how to avoid vendor lock in.
You’ll want to know what legacy technology is still chugging away in the background, waiting to cause you issues when you migrate your workloads. Certain legacy technology precludes the use of certain brands or types of cloud platforms, meaning you’ll either do a careful analysis of your older tech, or face a huge price tag later in the process.
Getting the buy-in you need from executives and stakeholders is critical to both multi-cloud, and avoiding vendor lock-in. Do an analysis of how your new technology will affect existing applications and general workloads – and explain why your multi cloud solution is better. Remind executives of the dangers (and cost) of vendor lock in, and move to multi cloud with very little resistance.
60% of employees use apps for work-related activity, meaning if you ignore applications, you will have a very unhappy workforce, even if you aren’t locked into a vendor. Make sure your solution operates on an “open standards” platform, where you can easily migrate from cloud to cloud, quickly and at no cost. If you find yourself in a situation where your APIs and configurations are inflexible, and tied tightly to your vendors software or code, you are already locked-in.
Ideally you have taken stock of all legacy technology, and now it’s time to determine which solutions in your quiver are compatible with other vendor solutions. Many enterprises find, at this point, that they have a few programs, applications or systems that won’t work in the new environment. Ideally, your multi cloud journey doesn’t end there, as you’ll eventually need to replace most of this incompatible technology.
This is the perfect place to stop and do all the upgrades and system maintenance you have been putting off for so long. If you find there are many upgrades needed, establish a timeline for the updates, and pair them with complementary, cloud-smart technology. This is a chance to rid yourself of any vendor-specific technology that might clog up your plans down the line.
You’ve either just gotten away from your lock in prison, or you want to avoid it happening in the future. Plan out your exit strategy and lay out your back up solutions. Assign staff certain aspects of the system, should you need to beat a hasty exit, and consider redundant or back-up systems for some extra security. Getting the C-suite and lawyers involved at this point isn’t a bad idea, to ensure you aren’t locked into any unfair contracts.
You should have a good understanding of what technology you need, and what business requirements your choices will fill, now we go deeper. Looking at the cloud vendor market, you want to make sure you read the reviews, reports and studies associated with the vendor. Looking at trends in the cloud market will help you analyse this data. Tap into the lawyers again to get a clear understanding of what you are signing, and get everything you need. Make sure to ask about after-sales services, something you might assume would be included, but often isn’t.
|Cloud First Strategy||Benefits|
|Educate||Ideally, you’ve followed the tips above and educated your C-suite and decision makers on the realities of cloud. Get realistic with your advice, to ensure no one is surprised later down the line.|
|Automate Security||Look at the security features, and then look at them again. You will want automated security, and access to an incident response or disaster recovery team.|
|Cloud Smart Strategy FEVER||Gartner defines cloud smart FEVER as: Faster, Easier, Valuable, Efficient and Repeat.|
|Simplify Simplify Simplify||Keep everything as simple as possible, to ensure simplicity down the road. The more individual compoenants and the more vendors you use, the more chances of vendor lock in down the road.|
|Have a Voice||Tailor the cloud to your needs. This is one huge advantage of multi cloud, which gives you so many options for customization.|
What’s even easier than multi cloud management? Multi cloud management with Sangfor’s cloud management service. This means less investment in infrastructure, and more investment in digital transformation. By taking basic cloud management tasks out of your hands, your IT department will have more time to be a profit center for the business. This type of service means more digital applications and cloud-native applications, and a reduced reliance on highly skilled, highly paid and hard-to-find staff. Managed cloud services are becoming wildly popular due to the ability for a company of any size to deploy the cloud of their choice, without a massive investment in costly infrastructure.
One of the biggest myths of cloud computing, is that multi cloud solves any vendor lock-in issues, along with hybrid cloud. Sangfor cloud products are designed to work in conjunction with both Sangfor’s suite if cloud and security solutions, but most major third-party solutions. Our products are versatile, updated frequently, and supported by a huge, global network of IT experts.