A few minutes ago I followed a link in a Tweet from @petapixel to a story about Instagram coming to the web to do battle with sites like Flickr and Picaso. A sense of fear crept over me as soon as I stopped to consider “oh no, what if I like it?” You see, I have over 3,000 photographs on Flickr. How would I ever move those to Instagram? OK, since Facebook bought Instagram, that may be an irrelevant question, but in fact, I still have about 400 photos on SnapFish that I would like to transfer to Flickr. Flickr lets me move photos TO SnapFish (for printing and projects) but I don’t think they offer any help moving them FROM SnapFish. One suggestion on their help forum was to simply re-upload them to Flickr. You know where this is heading…
Currently, I am working to find homes in SharePoint for something in the neighborhood of 60,000 documents that our engineers have collected over the years. Let’s assume that I pare that down to 30,000 documents and stick it on SharePoint in the Cloud (which seems to be all the rage), what happens if my successor wants to use Box? No matter how good broadband access gets, it isn’t likely to beat LAN speeds in my lifetime. Unfortunately, my successor won’t be as “lucky” as I am; if I move documents to the cloud my goal will be to get rid of the local copy.
I go to seminars and webinars where they talk about cloud-based this and cloud-based that, but nobody ever talks about migrating between cloud solutions. I asked Laurence Hart about this after his presentation on Cloud-Based Content Management at the AIIM Conference (you can hear his answer at 26:20) and he told me that switching vendors might be even harder in the cloud than it is on premises. He pointed out that with an on premises solution; you have your content, while cloud vendors have no incentive to help you get your content back out of their solution. This is exactly what I am experiencing with my photographs.
Is it me? Am I missing something new in the world of interoperability? I ask that because when I hear people talking about cloud-based solutions, I hear them talk about the benefits. I hear them tell me not to worry about the problems I “imagine” i.e. security, access, reliability and backup; but I never hear them tell me “and if you want to move you content somewhere else, it’s easy as pie” – no Laurence Hart pun intended.
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