Avoid Vendor Lock-In with an Open Cloud Platform
by Tom Wentworth
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax" said the night man
"We are programmed to receive
You can check-out any time you like
But you can never leave!"
The rise of cloud and software-as-a-service(SaaS) has changed how organizations buy and use enterprise software. The balance of power has shifted away from the big enterprise software companies selling expensive perpetual software licenses to nimble SaaS companies who can better align value to customer success. SaaS vendors need to continue to renew their customers every year, which puts the highest priority on customer satisfaction. One way SaaS companies ensure their annual renewals is by making it difficult - or sometimes impossible - to migrate away from their platform.
Consider Salesforce. While it’s technically possible to migrate your data away from Salesforce, it comes with great complexity. Most organizations have done extensive customization of Salesforce to the point where their data is mostly useless without the application. By doing this, Salesforce creates a tremendous lock-in to its ecosystem, to the point where the switching cost isn’t worth the effort and risk. To be fair, Salesforce isn’t the only SaaS vendor with a lock-in strategy. From mature categories like CRM and ERM, to new categories like “Marketing Clouds,” SaaS vendors are adopting the Hotel California strategy, “you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!".
At Acquia, we often talk about doing things the “open source way,” embracing transparency, collaboration, and innovation as core values. Acquia is committed to giving back to Drupal through code and design contributions, sponsoring events around the globe, and sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm. To us, being open is bigger than just open source, and it’s something we apply to everything from how we communicate internally to how we build products. While not every Acquia product is open source, we prioritize being open, to help our customers avoid the vendor lock-in associated with cloud / SaaS products.
When customers run Drupal with Acquia, they have the complete freedom to migrate their sites both to (here's how) and from (here's how) our platform. You own everything, including your Drupal site, content, data, and any customizations you’ve made to the application e.g. content types, modules, etc. Everything.
Now, Acquia does provide optional capabilities delivered as SaaS products, including Acquia Lift and Acquia Cloud Edge to extend Drupal. These products add to your Drupal site, but customers are free to use other alternatives, and using these Acquia products in no way locks our customers into the Acquia Platform.
Amazon spoke about a similar view of freedom at AWS re:Invent during a keynote from Andy Jassy, who said: “...on the whole, it's about giving companies freedom and control over their own destiny.” Jassy laid out seven basic freedoms, and how they inform the future of the AWS, including the “freedom to get your data into (or out of) the cloud easily”.
That’s exactly what we believe. Our lock-in comes from providing great products that customers want to use, and find value in using. If we don’t provide great products, our customers are free to take their entire digital experience, and bring it somewhere else. Try that with Salesforce, Adobe, and other cloud providers.