IT organizations have always run the risk of setting a business on a technology that they cannot get out of at a later date.  This is one of the reasons that new trends in IT are both very exciting because they can solve long standing issues and highly resisted because of concerns over longevity.  The same concerns are present for companies hoping to use solutions in cloud computing.  Understanding the potential antagonists to the problem can assist in deciding the proper approach to take.

There are few standards that exist within cloud computing, which is a highly potential risk.  With open standards between service providers, very few similarities can be counted on from one solution to the next.  As a result, the risk of being tied to a specific service provider increases, as well as the cost of migrating to another solution if required.

These variables extend to every aspect of the solution, particularly data.  In traditional environments, more control is available on how and where data is stored.  Cloud platforms provide schemas which are solution specific.  For the IT organization, this means that data may not be able to be transferred from one platform to the next with ease.  Source code is another concern.  If developed within the cloud, can it be used on other platforms, or is a rewrite required?

These concerns should not stop a company’s plan to utilize a cloud solution; only that such a move requires careful thought and planning on the long term consequences.  Understanding that these concerns exist will assist in assessing the capabilities of potential cloud providers.

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