We often talk about the numerous benefits of moving to the cloud, using the new services available, and how these service can help create and shape new capabilities within our organizations. But, we often fail to discuss one other side effect of the cloud - services can also be deprecated faster then before.
In the traditional packaged software on-premises, we might have three years between releases of products and then, many companies continued to run older software for many more years. Case in point - how many of you are still using Windows 7 as your primary operating system on a work device? Windows 7 is almost eight years old now and will reach its complete end-of-life in January 2020. We often run these older systems because of the time needed to upgrade, application dependencies, financial costs, and the value of the investment in moving to something new.
In the cloud world this isn't an option. When the vendor decides that a service will be retired, that's it. We have to adjust. Thankfully this isn't a frequent occurrence, but it is one we need to plan for. Every cloud vendor will go through it at some point and the ones offering larger numbers of services will go through it more frequently.
While the particular service I am highlighting here - Visio Web Services - is a fairly minor one and not as widely used by organizations on Office 365, it is just a good example of this new cloud mentality we need to use when planning services and capabilities. We are signing up to also make sure anything we use stays current and agreeing that inaction is no longer an option.
Visio Web Access will be discontinued September 30.