November 7 2012
by Scott Johnson

App/Cloud Data Insurance – Someone Should Offer This

The big risk of apps that access the cloud is that when startups fail, all your cloud data disappears with them.  This is a paricularly troubling issue for startups that do archiving. Photo apps fall squarely into the category, and there have been high profile losses for consumers on some of the web sites that didn’t make it.  Distributed file access and note apps also suffer from this.  I use a receipt and expense app called Xpenser. I like it. But I worry it will fail one day as they don’t charge me anything for it.  And so I still keep the paper, which to me is an anachronism just like business cards.

Today I found myself about to download an app called Artkive which would hold my kids art forever in a timeline, enabling me to throw it away guilt free.  Except, I don’t trust that Artkive will be around in 10 years. Much less 50. Not unless they sell the company to one of the more stable platforms. This is a real problem for the cloud. Since the data isn’t local, we worry our access could end without recourse. The link will be severed, the data lost, pretty catastrophic stuff.

To me, this creates an opportunity for 3rd party cloud insurance of some kind. If Amazon or Google or Facebook or Apple offered app developers the opportunity to “insure” their user data – make it accessible should that developer cease operations, then my concerns with Artkive and Xpensr would be vastly diminished.

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