About Sami Kalanen

Sami Kalanen works as Managing Partner at North Patrol Oy. Sami consults with customers on project preparation and definition of requirements, and supports customers in competitive bidding and oversight of vendors’ implementation work. His areas of specialisation include broad, technically challenging web projects and competitive bidding in the public sector. Sami has been working with web projects since the mid-1990s. Earlier in his career Sami worked in IT procurement at a large industrial company, in management roles at software vendor companies, as Managing Director and a partner at an independent consulting firm and as product manager for a telecommunications operator.

How to avoid vendor lock-in in a web project

Many of our customers have had bad experience with one or more vendors in their web projects. What they’ve learned the hard way is that a vendor may provide substandard service resulting in the customer wanting to change vendors to get better service. But changing partner is not always easy as many website owners find themselves locked into their current vendor.

In this situation the customer is completely dependent on one vendor for their service and unable to easily transition to a competitor’s service. Vendor lock-in is usually the result of proprietary technologies that are incompatible with those of competitors, or contracts that limit the customer’s rights to use services provided by a third party. This situation does not have to be an intentional attempt by the vendor to restrain their client’s choices, but lack of long term planning can lock a customer into a vendor without intent on either side.

Vendor lock-in and dissatisfaction with the vendor is one of the main reasons for many expensive website renewal projects and CMS platform changes: To be able to get rid of your vendor you may have to build a new website from scratch.

Here are our tips for avoiding vendor lock-in in your next web project.

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