Very few people seem to be talking about how important exit management is when it comes to data. Whether you’re a VCO or the end-user, understanding who owns what and what happens when things go wrong is vital. Great exit management protects both parties.
Do you own your data or does your cloud provider? That’s the basic question. Who has the power? We’re beginning to host internal sessions with our VCOs to handle exit management properly so we thought we’d jump in and give you a glimpse of what it’s all about. If you don’t have proper exit management in place then listen up.
If you’re doing minimal digital work then it’s not necessarily a huge problem but if you’re fully digital with CRM, ERP, and a business entirely online then whoever holds your data holds a lot of power. Just imagine if your host pressed the wrong button, your business could go belly up overnight.
There was an interesting case in the Netherlands recently where Amsterdam Trade Bank went bankrupt. Their data was held by Microsoft who, following non-payment of bills, cut off their service. But now, in a very important ruling, a judge has decided that Microsoft must give the company its data back so that the trust responsible for it can investigate the reasons for the bankruptcy. If all of a business is digital then data is the lifeblood it runs on.
In this case, the bank was working with a hyperscaler. Because of their size, it’s possible that someone pressed the off button with little oversight or communication from the parties actually involved with the client.
On the other side of the fence, if you’re a VCO and you have a non-paying client you need to know where your responsibility ends. Your direct responsibility is to your customer but you also need to consider that the data you’re storing could be personal to the individuals your customer works for. Assuming you’re putting in place the security and access controls that keep data safe you still need to know what to do when the person paying the bill can’t anymore.
The Right way
A big part of good exit management is setting expectations early on. It’s about building this exit management into agreements with clients because you all need to be safe and protected. This is actually a big bonus for customers because it means their data is truly protected even in the event that they can’t pay they can always have a copy of what they’ve got before you part ways.
On our platform, there is an export function on every virtual machine but our customers can also request us to get all the virtual disks of all their virtual machines and save them on a separate drive. This means that we can hold the virtual disk format and this can be spun up on any virtual machine environment as a perfect backup. So, if the company goes under, or is sold, the person who owns the data can transfer it accordingly.
We’re helping our VCOs by providing clauses and rules that help them to create a proper exit management module that can be added to their customer contracts. We give our VCOs the confidence they need in these modules by using them ourselves – we practice what we preach on data ownership.
Not sure if you’ve got exit management in place? Talk to afriQloud today.