If you want to lock customers into your service, get ready to hand them the keys to their data. That was the point hammered home in a talk today at GigaOM’s Structure conference that included SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin, Eucalyptus Systems CEO Marten Mickos and Kim Polese, founder and CEO of SpikeSource.
The most successful vendors of software-as-a-service, or SaaS, according to Mickos, will be those who can offer a model similar to banks. “Today we put our money in the bank because we know it’s safer there than at home,” he explained, and because we’re confident that at any point we can withdraw our money. “That apparent lack of lock-in is what creates the real lock-in, which is loyalty from the customers.”