Know how much lock-in you're willing to accept, and how much it costs to break out. One of the harshest limitations of any platform or ecosystem is getting locked into an extended commitment. This is true with ebooks from Apple's iBookstore that will alweays require the iBooks app for iOS or Mac to read, apps that must be repurchased if you switch from iOS to Android (or vice versa), and it is equally true of department or business-wide adoption of a cloud storage technology. Figure out your comfort zone: Know how much lock-in you're willing to accept and how you're willing to balance a commitment to a platform or ecosystem versus other factors. For instance, you may not want to invest in ebooks designed just for Apple devices, but you may be much more comfortable investing in both iOS and Android versions of a key app (not to mention the Mac or Windows versions).
Keep in mind that most platforms are still fast-moving targets. The modern smartphone, tablet, and concepts of mobile content and apps really only emerged in the past few years. Cloud services of all stripes are also relatively new and most social networks are a decade or less older. Despite that, all of them — along with even younger technologies like smartwatches and other wearables — have massively altered the consumer and business technology landscapes, and the pace of innovation isn't slowing down. That means it can be difficult to see how platforms and ecosystems will evolve and where they will be even a year from now. Sometimes you have to make a choice based on your immediate needs or best guesses because standing still and waiting simply isn't a good option.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.