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On-premises bites the dust

It's funny how things change. Last January I was in Vienna for the Legal Tech Hub talking with the CEO of another startup on how they managed to bring their cloud based solution down to an On-premises installation. I was very interested because we were getting all these requests to do the same with our product.

Our company was born in the cloud so we were serverless from day one. We have never had a single server in our offices. When I joined this adventure, coming from a background in banking, it totally blew up my mind. And I embraced it to its core from the first day. No server administration! No risk assessment! No backup centers! What a beautiful world I have just found. At last developers could focus on adding value.

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But it seems that, even with all the hype surrounding the cloud we have seen over the last 10 years, it was still, somehow, unsettling for many companies. Nobody was challenging its usefulness in terms of access and availability, but there were all these questions about security and ownership and GDPRs and server locations for which I had no answers that would satisfy them.

Representation of digital folders on two hands working manually

Fast forward to last monday and we wake up to a whole different world. Everyone needs cloud based solutions in order to keep working. Current events are forcing many companies to shut down their offices and have everyone working from home. And this is a game changer. Although many companies have been able to work remotely for a long time, we have never faced a situation like this.

In my previous position, I used to work remotely and connect to our VPN (Virtual Private Network). But it was sometimes flaky, sometimes I did not have access to specific resources because they were not available (security reasons, who knows), sometimes I need physical information that I had on my desk. But it was not a real problem, I could always call a colleague at the office and ask for whatever I needed. Or wait until the next day and fetch it myself. And the VPN held up as long as there were not many people outside the office. But what happens when there's nobody in the office? What happens when you are not allowed to go there anymore? What happens when everyone is trying to use the same VPN at the same time?

Right now, many companies are already adopting the cloud and desperately looking for collaborative solutions that will allow them to keep their business rolling. And it's amazing the work they are doing, condensing years of effort in just days. The challenges that we are facing today are rewarding those companies that have long ago uploaded everything to the cloud, that have put the time and money to make their tools more collaborative, and that have invested in delocalization and having their employees working remotely.  Those are the companies that will be able to cope with this storm. For the rest, time to adapt or die.

We are all wondering, what will the world look like when all this is over? Hopefully, pretty much the same. But some things will have changed. Some small things will be different. And right now, deep down in everyone's mind, there is a switch that is flipping. If you listen carefully you will hear it. Click, click, click. And slowly but steadily we will get to the day that we will say, all together: "On-premises is dead."

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