THE VENDOR LOCK-IN:
A NECESSARY EVIL?

Maintaining independence and the ability to adapt is a business rule of thumb. This, in large part, is because stasis is the arch enemy of survival: as founder and CEO of Startup Professionals Martin Zwilling puts it, “there is no such thing as a static business that is self-sustaining.” For entrepreneurs in particular, the independence to make their own business decisions is key. Research into what drives these business innovators has shown that close to 90% rate the freedom to make their own choices as highly important.

In the technology-driven modern business environment, data insights lead to wise decision-making. For many companies, a convenient solution presents itself at the point of this realisation: large-scale Cloud providers offer the means to manage your data, moulding it into an interpretable resource. Data-based, progressive business model? Tick.

What many businesses don’t realise, though, is that the very Cloud provider they’ve contracted to support that data-fuelled innovation has the potential to drive their business into the stasis they’re trying to avoid. All too often, dependence on large-scale external providers stunts an organisation’s chances of keeping pace with changing technologies, regulations and competitor landscapes.

Consider this: you link your business up to a well-known Cloud provider, due, no doubt, to the glowing reputation that precedes it. The results are game-changing. Your impenetrable data lake is transformed into actionable, innovation-powering insights. Bit by bit, though, the provider draws you in with changing specifications, occasional cost increases and frequent system updates.

Before you know it, your business is entirely wedded to the Cloud provider. That end goal of independence has been swept from underneath you. It’s time to address the elephant in the room: large-scale Cloud providers aren’t driven by helping you out. They’re driven by reeling you in to dependency.

 

Off-the-shelf can’t guarantee your success

This puts any enterprise in a precarious situation, as its functionality is dependent on the whims of a faceless provider who – quite frankly – is largely indifferent to whether your business succeeds or fails.

As of late 2019, Microsoft Azure AI had over 20,000 clients, while in early 2020 the number of active AWS users exceeded the 1 million mark. With audiences that large, these providers can’t be anything other than detached. Churning out identical solutions for each of their clients, they entirely disregard their unique business specificities.

By choosing a certain technology or Cloud provider, you can be locked in before you know it. It’s only by adopting data-driven architectures that your team will maintain the ability to make wise decisions, without becoming dependent on a certain technology or major brand.

That’s where smaller-scale technology providers are changing things. True investment in our client relationships allows us to tailor our leading-edge solutions to each and every one of their businesses. Take Nucleoo, for example: you’ll have access to a suite of data-driven solutions and services, customised for your business. It’s no off-the-shelf product – far from it. Technology agnostic and fundamentally client-centric, Nucleoo allows us to adapt to our clients, not the other way around.

 

Good business means keeping your options open

It’s true that any functional collaboration involves a degree of commitment. At Bi4, we see this as the foundation of trust that’s intrinsic in good business, rather than a harsh lock-in that will strip your business of its autonomy. That’s what makes Nucleoo a cut above the competition: it’s an offer of failsafe back-end expertise, with the freedom of choice built right into the collaboration.

Of course, there’s a straightforward migration process required, but it’s nothing like the scale of a traditional vendor lock-in. In fact, Nucleoo’s Cloud agnostic design means you’ll be free to move between Cloud providers as and when you choose, with minimal impact on your data architecture.

But outsourcing is still outsourcing, you might be thinking. Handing over responsibility for, and a degree of control over, your company’s data DNA to even a small-scale architecture provider still involves a degree of risk. Ultimately, you still want to hold all your cards.

At Bi4, we address these legitimate concerns right from the get-go. We work closely with your existing lead engineers, ensuring your business maintains its expertise and style. The change will lie in rerouting your company’s full-blown dependency on those select few engineers – an often underestimated business risk. If at any point your business should decide that Nucleoo’s no longer right for you, we’ll deliver all the customised elements of your architecture so that they’ll continue to be yours and yours alone. Not only will we hand over the personalisations, calculations and business logic we’ve developed for you, but we’ll make every possible effort to ensure you can work around Nucleoo’s core architecture, too.

 

There’s no need for lock-in when you like what we do

By partnering with a smaller-scale technology provider, you’re guaranteeing a truly collaborative relationship, rather than a soulless contract between provider and customer. Bi4 moulds and specialises its proven core architecture to your business needs, ultimately reducing risk, increasing focus and optimising performance.

With Bi4, it’s the best of both: robust back-end architecture coupled with an engaged, invested and tangible team who become part of the fabric of your company’s day to day.

Your business is more than just a number. It’s dynamic, it’s innovative and it’s uniquely yours. If you’re passionate about keeping it that way, collaborate with a technology partner who values its individuality just as much as you do.

Written by
Sander Wolfensberger
Managing Partner Bi4 Group