The major cloud providers have become increasingly competitive in their pricing and the rapid pace of releasing new features. This leaves consumers in a difficult place when choosing and committing to a provider. Increasingly, we're seeing organizations prepare to use "any cloud" and to avoid vendor lock-in at all costs. This, of course, leads to generic cloud usage. We see organizations limiting their use of the cloud to only those features common across all cloud providers—thereby missing out on the providers' unique benefits. We see organizations making large investments in home-grown abstraction layers that are too complex to build and too costly to maintain to stay cloud agnostic. The problem of lock-in is real. We recommend approaching this problem with a multicloud strategy that evaluates the migration cost and effort of capabilities from one cloud to another, against the benefits of using cloud-specific features. We recommend increasing the portability of the workloads by shipping the applications as widely adopted Docker containers: use open source security and identity protocols to easily migrate the identity of the workloads, a risk-commensurate vendor strategy to maintain cloud independence only where necessary and Polycloud to mix and match services from different providers where it makes sense. In short, shift your approach from a generic cloud usage to a sensible multicloud strategy.
The major cloud providers continue to add new features to their clouds at a rapid pace, and under the banner of Polycloud we've suggested using multiple clouds in parallel, to mix and match services based on the strengths of each provider’s offerings. Increasingly, we're seeing organizations prepare to use multiple clouds — not to benefit from individual provider’s strengths, though, but to avoid vendor "lock-in" at all costs. This, of course, leads to generic cloud usage, only using features that are present across all providers, which reminds us of the lowest common denominator scenario we saw 10 years ago when companies avoided many advanced features in relational databases in an effort to remain vendor neutral. The problem of lock-in is real. However, instead of treating it with a sledgehammer approach, we recommend looking at this problem from the perspective of exit costs and relate those to the benefits of using cloud-specific features.