The top 3 reasons to fire your public cloud provider

Once the honeymoon is over, the day-to-day relationship can decline or stagnate -- and companies will look for someone new

Most companies are now in the second phase of their relationship with cloud computing. They've done the experimental stuff, and that worked. Now, they are moving to implementation and mass migration.

Perhaps it's no surprise then that today I find enterprises are a bit pickier about what their public cloud providers, well, provide. I'm hearing more complaints about the relationships between enterprises and public cloud providers as enterprises move from what's new and exciting to dealing with the issues that arise in any production system. When it comes to the finer details and the friction of vendor relationships, the cloud is no different than traditional IT systems.

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In some cases, this means you need to cut loose your public cloud providere. Here are the top three reasons to do so, from what I see on the front lines.

Reason 1: Prices go up, service goes down

Think of your cable TV provider and the changes that happened in that industry: Once you were hooked, prices kept rising and customer service declined. Some public cloud providers -- SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS -- are following the same script. They are slowly raising prices on the key services even as they offer more teaser-tier discounts to get new customers.

Most enterprises will tolerate price increases, but not reduction of services. Yet many cloud providers are also delivering slower storage and compute services, while suffering more frequent outages. When you call up to fix these issues, you can't get anyone on the line.

Raising prices while reducing service is the fastest way to get an customer interested in the competition. I see more and more enterprises reevaluating their cloud providers for this very reason.

Reason 2: Security is not as strong as you thought

Although most providers do a great job of securing the information you store in their clouds, not all of them can keep up with the changing threats. For example, they may lack modern security approaches such as identity-based security and advanced encryption. In some cases, they push you to third-party tools or even consultants to solve your security issues -- an abdication of responsibility. This is another sure way to get an enterprise to look elsewhere.

Reason 3: Somebody else is doing a better job

The cloud wars are not over. While overall prices continue to drop and services continue to increase, the provider you signed up with several years ago may be offering the exact same value proposition as when you signed up. It may not be raising prices or reducing service, but it's also not staying competitive. At some point, enterprises notice the gap and decide they can absorb the cost of switching.

Although you may be perfectly happy with your cloud providers, someday you may have to kick them to the curb. It's a good idea to plan now for that possibility.

This article, "The top 3 reasons to fire your public cloud provider," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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