In the Cloud, “Reversibility” does really matter

After having developed hundreds of applications within a Cloud Service Provider, what does happen when it comes to the renewal of your contract? No choice: you’ve to pay the price; you can’t migrate easily your applications and data from one CSP to another CSP, unless you have anticipated and prepared your applications to migrate easily.

Reversibility is a key enabler to reduce “vendor lock-in”. But it doesn’t happen by magic. Dominant US or Chinese Cloud providers have tons of proprietaries APIs which increase the lock-in. And the Terms and Conditions in some current contracts doesn’t force the vendors helping client in case of exit.

How the Reversibility issue is addressed today ?

On the Standardization front, some progress on the containerization, but there is still a large room of Services fully based on proprietary API (such as AI). On the Regulation front, the forthcoming European Free Flow of non-personal Data Regulation (FFoD) will push the market to make some steps forward. The development of “SWIPO” (SWItching and POrting) Codes of Conduct (IAAS and SAAS) facilitated by the European Commission to ensure effectiveness of the FFoD has some really contrasted progress. The IAAS working group led by CISPE and EuroCIO progress quite well. But no significant progress is made in the SAAS market by the stakeholder in the process, that may interrogate the willingness of market players to lower vendor lock-ins barriers on their markets.

How to improve Reversibility ?

Joining Open Cloud Foundation. All type of stakeholders of the Cloud are working together to promote ‘Open’ technical standards, and to provide insight to Public organizations about new regulations. It does include representatives from Enterprise, Cloud Providers, Research and Academics, Software vendors, Public Sector, …. Reversibility is one of the 4 imperatives of the Open Cloud Foundation, along with Interoperability, Data security, and IP protection

Laurent ALLARD