Access 2012 Day 1: Notes on Locked in the Cloud

Locked in the Cloud: What lies beyond the peak of inflated expectations

by John Durno & Corey Davis

Right now, the ‘cloud is quite the hype:

Getting Locked into the ‘Cloud’

Using cloud-based system might still be closed and locked down that is vendor-managed and based on a subscription model. Supposedly a ‘one stop’ solution. While many of the features sound positive, can have many drawbacks.

Numerous ways to be locked in

  • data
  • software
  • API
  • institutional insertia/incumbent bias

Innovation can be stifled, because stuck with what the vendor provides. Switching is considered too costly and frequently entrenched in work culture.

One of the selling points is that you will save a lot of money with cloud computing. Many administrators seem convinced that it’s about managing information, not technology, but you cannot manage information without managing technology.

Why is our backroom workflow so tightly tied to a public service point?

The problem is that even if something better comes along, you might not go with it, because it would be too cumbersome to migrate.

Have an Exit Strategy

While we need a standard to switch, this is still being worked on. Need to know the cost of moving away from the current/new system.


  • limited functionality
  • limited access to data
  • can be changed or deprecated

Still not the solution. Need unmediated access to data

Caveat Emptor

  • high switching costs
  • escalating subscription costs
  • interoperability issues
  • dwindling innovation
  • limited choice

There are in fact alternatives and something to look forward to. The ‘fabled’ innovative system.

See also: Hacking 360 Link: A Hybrid Approach by John Durno on substituting vendor link resolver.

More notes on the Access 2012 live blog.

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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