2 more cloud myths busted: Lock-in and locked up

When it comes to technology dependency and risk of legal compliance, the cloud is just like everything else

The world of cloud computing grows like a weed in summer, and many assumptions are being made that just aren't correct. I've previously exposed four cloud myths you shouldn't believe. Now it's time for me to climb up on my soapbox and correct a few more.

Myth 1: Cloud computing is bringing back vendor lock-in. The notion that using cloud computing features (such as APIs) created by one provider or another causes dreaded lock-in seems to be a common mantra. The reality is that using any technology, except the most primitive, causes some degree of dependency on that technology or its service provider. Cloud providers are no exception.

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Here's the truth about technology, past, present, and future: Companies that create technology have no incentive to fly in close enough formation to let you move data and code willy-nilly among their offerings and those provided by their competitors. The cloud is no different in that respect.

We can talk about open source distributions and emerging standards until we're blue in the face, but you'll find that not much changes in terms of true portability. As long as technology and their service providers' profitability and intellectual property value trump data and code portability, this issue will remain. It's not a new situation.

Myth 2: Cloud computing use will put you in jail. Yes, you need to consider compliance issues when moving to any new platform, including private, public, and hybrid clouds. However, stating in meetings that moving data and processes to cloud-based platforms somehow puts you at risk for arrest is a tad bit dramatic, don't you think? Yet I hear that attention-getting claim frequently.

We've been placing data, applications, and processes outside of our enterprises for years, and most rules and regulation you find in vertical markets (such as health care and finance) already take this into account. Cloud computing is just another instance of using computing resources outside your span of control, which is nothing new, and typically both perfectly legal and not at all risky. Cut out the false drama as an excuse to say no.

This article, "2 more cloud myths busted: Lock-in and locked up," 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.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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