Exit Strategies and Google
A question that I am hearing a lot about lately is: with all of these schools jumping on the Google bandwagon what do we do if Google goes rogue and becomes EVIL?
To do this we need an exit strategy. This is what I posted in response to this question on Miguel Guhlin's blog What IF...The Google Cloud Evaporates?
This isn't a question that just just be asked with a Google product, or a product in the cloud. This is a question that I ask with every piece of software we purchase: "What is the cost of leaving this product". What if suddenly Microsoft announced that they were releasing a "patch" that allowed them access to your servers? What if the company providing your SIS is taken over by another company and you cannot get support for your product any more? What if your anti-virus company goes out of business and stops updating definitions? In all of these cases you need an exit strategy - and coming up with one on the fly is dangerous and expensive. We should have a plan before we leap. As mentioned above, Google's data liberation project shows that Google is dedicated to allowing you to move your data. What would it take to move your Data off of an exchange server if that was no longer a viable solution? Probably the same amount as it would take to leave Google. The good part is at least you were not spending anything on Google while you had it. Simple point - in software, or in life, always have an exit strategy. Goes back to the Boy Scout Motto - Be Prepared.
UPDATE: conversation continues here from Miguel http://www.mguhlin.org/2010/02/crafting-prenuptial-agreement-school.html
Where I refer back to the GOOGLE APPS EDUCATION EDITION AGREEMENT that can be found here: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/education_terms.html when reading pay close attention to section 6, 11, and the definition of "Confidential Information" in the document.