I like to say that picking a cloud service for your storage needs is a lot like playing stock picker — you can’t simply judge a company by its price and features, you have to make a long-term bet on the company’s viability.
Earlier this week, Network World reminded us of the risk, passing on this alarming forecast: according to the research firm Gartner, one-in-four cloud providers will be gone by 2015.
Now, the good news. Gartner sees “most” of this disappearance being driven by acquisition, not bankruptcy. If a cloud provider is acquired, it means its assets — your data files — will likely go with it. A bankruptcy introduces more uncertainty, although the services that have gone under have offered their customers a way to download their data before the virtual doors slam shut.
Gartner also didn’t specify exactly what type of firms were at risk (those providing services for consumers or business, or both). So, no need to panic. But it’s a good reminder that while the cloud makes for a compelling place to store your data, it’s hardly foolproof.