But that, too, requires advance planning.
"It starts with the application," he said. "And you have to write it a certain way."
But the biggest contributing factor to cloud lock-in is data, he said.
"They make it really easy to put the data in, and they're not as friendly about taking that data out," he said.
The lack of friendliness often shows up in the pricing details.
"Usually the price is lower for data transfers coming into a cloud service provider versus the price to move data out," said Thales' Radford.
Multi-year commitments are another trap, he said. And sometimes there's an extra unpleasant twist -- minimum usage requirements that go up in the later years, like balloon payments on a mortgage.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.