Liberating Data Starts at Home
May then goes on to suggest that Cloud Computing vendors should work this way too, but perversely many of the world's largest Cloud Computing vendors...
I was reading this post by Rob May, the founder of Backupify, who wrote about the growing Data Liberation movement. May starts by making the excellent analogy to personal banking, in that an independent entity holds and protects your assets.
"The beautiful thing about banks is that when you put your money in, you still own it. You can withdraw it at any time, usually in a matter of minutes."
"...are fighting a raging battle to lock enterprises and consumers alike within their proprietary formats."
I feel compelled to point out that focusing our attention on the Cloud when we discuss these dastardly deeds is unfair and unnecessary FUD much like the constant "is-my-data-secure-in-the-cloud" scaremongering that goes on, mostly perpetuated by anti-cloud flat earthers.
There are two key points to consider here.
Not all Cloud vendors are equal
There is bad practice in all industries not just IT & the Cloud - identifying future Gotcha's is down to the Due Diligence carried out by the purchaser. Luckily Cloud vendors are often subjected to a greater degree of DD simply because of the perceived newness in a corporate technology strategy; and this is a great thing, because it allows the vendors who are reputable, and do care, to shine. That shine will be obvious too - in terms of moving data, your (reputable) Cloud vendor will be very transparent about the process, all you have to do is ask. If not, walk away.
Lock-in, but not by the Cloud
Vendor lock-in is one of those FUDisms perpetuated to keep you using your on-site hardware and software, but the reality is lock-in was invented on the LAN. As someone who tries to help customers move their data from the LAN to the Cloud, take it from me that getting even a few Terrabytes off a LAN based solution is hard and expensive work. I recently quoted a customer over $200,000 to extract just 10TB of data from a fairly well known on-prem. archive!
Why the high price? Because of the complexity of source archive. Proprietary storage and encryption formats, combined with archaic compression and closed source systems mean those organizations are firmly locked into their on-prem. vendors technology.
Perception is not reality
Don't be lulled into a false sense of security just because your data is sat on servers in your own server room. As a test, see what's involved in getting that data out - I bet your project will be much more involved than you first thought.
There will always be FUD, there will always be negativity towards new technologies - but we reputable Cloud vendors will be more than happy to explain the weaknesses in those arguments, and the strengths of the Cloud.