Vendor Lock-In

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What Does Vendor Lock-In Mean?

Vendor lock-in is the restricted or proprietary use of a technology, solution or service developed by a vendor or vendor partner. This technique can be disabling and demoralizing because customers are effectively prevented from switching to alternate vendors.

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Vendor lock in is also known as proprietary lock-in or customer lock-in.

Techopedia Explains Vendor Lock-In

Vendor lock-in is a service delivery technique that ensures customer dependence on the vendor services. This is achieved by developing IT solutions that are platform-dependent with proprietary software/application/hardware/equipment and that run exclusively or collaboratively with limited and third-party vendor partners. Moreover, these types of services dent high switching costs between competing vendors, making customers reluctant or even incapable of transitioning to different vendors. It’s the classic case of a tradeoff between good technology and good business. Unfortunately for customers (and techies), bad technology and closed standards sometimes make for a more profitable product.

An example is a SIM lock (network lock), where a SIM card is proprietary to a specified phone manufacturer. Microsoft is often criticized for vendor lock-in in its production of non open-source application programming interfaces (API) and structures for Windows operating system (OS) apps requiring heavy OS switching costs. Vendor lock-in is prominently visible in cloud computing solutions, where the switching of data/services swapping and integration, though not always costly, is highly complex.

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Margaret Rouse
Editor

Margaret jest nagradzaną technical writerką, nauczycielką i wykładowczynią. Jest znana z tego, że potrafi w prostych słowach pzybliżyć złożone pojęcia techniczne słuchaczom ze świata biznesu. Od dwudziestu lat jej definicje pojęć z dziedziny IT są publikowane przez Que w encyklopedii terminów technologicznych, a także cytowane w artykułach ukazujących się w New York Times, w magazynie Time, USA Today, ZDNet, a także w magazynach PC i Discovery. Margaret dołączyła do zespołu Techopedii w roku 2011. Margaret lubi pomagać znaleźć wspólny język specjalistom ze świata biznesu i IT. W swojej pracy, jak sama mówi, buduje mosty między tymi dwiema domenami, w ten…