As the cloud matures, the services being offered are rapidly changing. What happens when the services you use are no longer available? Below are some tips to protect yourself organized by on the service you may use?
Even if you choose to go with a big company like Google or Yahoo, you still run the chance of the service being discontinued. Currently Google has discontinued a total of 29 services, while Yahoo has discontinued 50 services. Once the service is discontinued and shut down there is no way for you to get your information back.
Here is a list of typical cloud hosted services and what you can do to protect yourself
Email, Calendar and Contacts – There are utilities available that make switching Exchange (mail) providers is relatively easy. This becomes more difficult when using web only systems.
File Sharing – To avoid losing your information you should regularly sync those files to a computer or server that you control.
Phone System – For example, in 2005 MCI was sold to Verizon. To avoid losing your information, have an up-to-date backup listing of your phone numbers.
Social Media – For example, on December 15, 2011 Google discontinued Google Buzz. To help users avoid losing their information Google provided users with a way to download their existing content.
Instant Messaging – For example, on April 30, 2013 Microsoft discontinued Windows Live Messenger. To avoid losing your contacts, know who you are connected to. Keep an up-to-date backup list.
Imaging – The workflows and security can make this one tricky. There is no set industry standard on imaging; the best advice is to use a well-known service provider and hope future service providers will have a conversion process in place.
CRM – To avoid losing your data you should export the key information you need to run your business on a regular basis. Be sure to capture the unique ID’s so the information may be usable in the case where you need to move into a new CRM.
Until the day comes when all data, applications and cloud service standards become universal there is no absolute guarantee you will be able to work around the unavailability of your cloud provider. What is here today can be gone tomorrow.