Increasing numbers of businesses and individuals are flocking to “turnkey” cloud-based solutions – lured by their rich features, user friendliness, and ease of deployment. But there is a very dark side to abdicating one’s information management and physical hosting to the control of private third party data vendors.
Cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) giant Salesforce illustrates what happens when the system you use to manage all of your customer data decides to enforce Social Justice based “editorial control” of the products you sell and the services you provide.
The Washington Post reports that Salesforce has announced to retailers that they will be banned from using their system (i.e., accessing customer data) if they are found to be selling semi-automatic firearms or related services (see this article to avoid the paywall). To put it another way, a “neutral” business service system is now pulling the plug on established customers it deems to be violating it’s principles of “Social Justice” for engaging in the sale of a completely legal product or service.
Imagine you’d signed up with Salesforce, paid their exorbitant fees to provide business services – perhaps for several years – and then one day discover you no longer have access to YOUR data because they’ve decided you sell a product they don’t like?
While anti-2A advocates may cheer, just remember – there’s NOTHING that says theses types of restrictions will stop here. Semi-autos are just the canary-in-the coal-mine, and are unlikely to be the only products and services that cloud based tech giants will try to restrict. In this action, Saleforce has gone from a business platform provider to self-appointed, un-elected regulator of legal commerce.
Also bear in mind, that by not having physical control of the data and accessibility to that data “in the cloud”, sudden disruptions (regardless of cause) can hamper one’s ability to do business – fulfill orders, contact customers, check inventory, pay bills or employees, etc., etc. What Salesforce has done is nothing short of extortion, and I predict that moves like this may eventually drive businesses away from cloud platforms to once again managing their own data, inconvenience be damned. It’s considerably more “inconvenient” to lose long-term access to your business data on the arbitrary and capricious whim of an outside party, than to have a local glitch and hire an office nerd to affect recovery and repairs.