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What happens if your cloud provider goes out of business or is acquired by a competitor? In February 2009, Coghead,
a Platform as a Service provider, informed their customers that they had nine weeks to find a new home for their
software applications as, ‘due to the impact of economic challenges’, they had discontinued operations (Austin, 2009).
And around the same time, and for the same reasons, I had to inform the customers of Extrasys, a Software as a Service
Provider, that our failing business had been sold to another provider of Hosted Desktops. In the case of Coghead the
affected customers were locked in to a platform and had a lot of work to do to migrate their software applications,
whereas in Extrasys’s case the platform was Microsoft Windows so the migration to the new provider’s infrastructure
was relatively painless for our customers but in both cases the customers were taken by surprise. As a general rule, then, do not place critical business systems or data into a public cloud unless the provider is financially stable and you have a reliable exit plan that you can execute quickly.

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