The first hostage was the cloud itself
Re: don't allow your company to become a hostage
What the industry that has fought us every step of the way is trying to do is equivalent to designing proprietary networking protocols and locking us into them.
The 'cloud' goes back to the old concept of the X.25 cloud and what we meant when we drew a literal cloud between one system and another was that the cloud abstracted the connection so you neither knew nor cared where it was or how the data got back and forth. The details of transport and location were not relevant to the conversation.
As time went on, those of us making network drawings started to refer to the side of the cloud facing the client as if the cloud itself was an entity that contained the resources it delivered. It simplified the representation of designs to show only what the client saw as services provided by the cloud.
At this point in time, marketing people have begun to speak of the cloud as a thing unto itself -- as if the resources it delivers *are* the cloud. You have to 'get some cloud' now. Some who, like me, have been at this since the 1980s and earlier are starting to get a little antsy about this mutation of the concept. We have been 'moving' to the cloud forever, but it was not a marketing idea.
The movement 'to the cloud' has been underway for a long time. It is an inevitable logical next step as the global network acts less like a long haul communications line and more like a bus.
Companies like Microsoft are fighting like mad to make sure that you don't use the cloud to escape their proprietary infrastructure. Part of their strategy is to confuse the conversation. If people understood this better they would be insisting on vanilla standardized non-proprietary protocols to abstract Storage and CPU cycles so that it was easy to rent portions of their infrastructure as they needed them, without worrying about how that infrastructure was attached.
Ethernet, TCP/IP, and various RFC specs are what have created this rich ecosystem that makes talk about 'the cloud' as a provider of resources make sense. The moment someone starts talking about their proprietary cloud infrastructure you should be wary. Replacing X.25 with TCP/IP was the right thing to do. Enhancing TCP/IP to increase addressing ability makes sense. Replacing or encumbering TCP/IP with proprietary extensions and enforcing what can deliver services, not so much...