The recent close down of Coghead shows us several problems that cloud players will face, because situations like this will create distrust between current and potential users of the cloud.
This close down is more serious than at it seems at first because Coghead was not just a cloud player that sold its services to end users. Being a PaaS player it also served as a technology base for others partner (developers, ISVs, etc.). Now all their partners will have to move to other platforms that may look the same at first but surely will have their differences.
These PaaS cloud players have all the data, the application building blocks (users configurations, forms builder, etc) and the users application on their side, so cloud users must ask themselves not just what happens to their data if the company closes but also what happens to all the application building blocks and the application itself.
The best way to answer to these questions, for me, is to create at least one of the following functionalities:
- Easy migration to other PaaS vendors.
- Application backup to desktop application (in Access, OpenOffice Base, FileMaker or others).
- Have a local version of the application, so users can use the application no just if the server is down but also if the company goes out of business (using Google Gear for instance). It would be great also (I’m dreaming here) if these local backups allowed users not just to communicate to PaaS servers but also to communicate between local backups (something similar to p2p).
With this potential users (and partners) will be less afraid to move/create their applications in the cloud.
One of the good things we saw after the announcement was that several PaaS players developed (in record time I might add) special offers to former Coghead customers.
Check bellow some opinions for possible reasons for CogHead to have failed: