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With the recent information that Atlassian stop selling perpetual server licenses I lost myself a little bit and I keep asking myself where we all are heading.. I am observing how Atlassian is evolving for more than a decade.. I remember old versions of Jira, Confluence, I was on summit where there was 300-400 people (not 4000+ like now.. ), I keep helping people here on answers/community for many years.. and on that time I saw already many changes and announcements but never that kind that was done so fast and starting so many emotions and reactions.. Why? Maybe because of that strategy/campaign that Atlassian follow over few recent years and people felt that this is going in one direction, but would never happen.. Maybe because of that we got a very short notice and only 2 months to make a decision.. Or maybe we are tired of that COVID around or overall 2020 year which did not give us much good news and afraid of our future, where many companies would not get back on market.. Anyway the time and how was this announced was not perfect. People realized that another thing hit them this year which might be critical for the future of what they do..
The ongoing discussion Cloud or Server is similar to working during the COVID situation from home and office.. Some people like this other like that.. but we should never force one solution unless is saving lives (like thinking that working from home is the future since that in theory might be true but someone might not have conditions to work from home, it might affect his productivity.. etc.)
I know that the Atlassian target is move 100% customers to Cloud.. Which is fine.. everyone should have a strategic goals since its making us more focused on target. But in practice it doesn't work like this that people/customers can be pushed all the time towards one solution that at the end would cost them more than before for nothing or make them feel uncomfortable because of changing the processes that they follow for many years on current tools.. That is the part of expectations vs. reality..
Atlassian software is not something like Word or Excel from Microsoft that is used only to edit documents.. and no matter is this working in Cloud or installed on the physical machine.. Atlassian software is connected to data (very often confidential), integrated with other tools used internally/externally, optimized for customers, heavily customized.. etc.
If someone gather statistics about Jira usage do not see how those things are exactly implemented .. how people did a process thanks to server offering.. and many customers did great things that are not possible on other platforms based on knowledge that many experts gain over all of those years.. Moving to Cloud if this is not 1 to 1 same solution (technically in features) is like inventing this whole process (or set of processes) again and spending a lot of money for the tool and process that work very well and there is no need to change it to get few more features.. Many people do not care when having mostly OOTB instances and do not do much customization on them.. did not even change the default schemes.. Do not care about the data.. those are fine of moving to cloud and do not care about maintenance. But some customers rely on privacy, internal maintenance. As a example they connect tools to Jira logs which give them direct information how people use the tools or get alerts when someone did something that should not suppose to do..
Many times the reason why they cannot upgrade to a new version or buy a renewal exactly when it ends is often related to the way how the system works and how much it take to deploy a solution. And once it is deployed it must stay on it for a while.. we cannot dynamically upgrade like you do on Cloud that this button would be here and two months later it would be here.. It must be stable, so that X number of users that use applications would focus on making the businesses happy not asking support where the button is now.. And it would not help much that you would give a 2 weeks notice on Cloud Enterprise that this set of features would change.. Processes that people are implementing and all those integrations with other corporate tools are far more complex than we can think of that is why we needed so much Enterprise releases (now Long Term Support). That was something that was (and still is) critical for the biggest customers that cannot spend money for changing the process every month.. Finally we got a little bit stability that is now again distracted by the recent announcement...
On Cloud even that is a great SaaS vision there a limits that many customers cannot bypass either by internal procedures or government regulations very often without scarifying something. If course that you can say that you would implement this and that.. but this is not only a matter of tool.. It is mater of choice.. People like to have choice but made not in a result of a push, but by pull. And as we know people have different personalities, that work in a different way.. Every project manager, team leader should now that we cannot put everyone in the same position and do the same work. Simple difference between introverts and extroverts, man and women is enough to make a fight if we put them in the same room..
This is were I am thinking why there cannot be a hybrid version of Jira that would be having same features no matter if deployed on private or public cloud but would allow moving easily projects in both ways.. It is simple as that. Thanks to that people can make a choice which projects (not whole instances!) would be located on public Cloud and which on should land heavily guarded behind the firewall.. e..g put less important projects with no confidential data to Cloud and keep them there.. Syncing the configuration and users real time is crucial here and you have a technology there already which is called Migration Tool (it just need to work both ways not one direction to Cloud.. ).
Overall many customers have both Server and Cloud just exactly for that.. to have both and decide on which platform it would land in order to have flexibility. Not sure why we cannot work like that for next decade, just set up a good pricing offer which is fair and not confusing by mixing more and more Jiras with different features (Free, Standard Core, Software, Premium, Enterprise… ) but make a AWS/Azure model .. Pay for what you use.. decide on a feature level.. Simply buy Jira license based on maximum number of users and add features that you need for piece of dollars.. You need Kanban but you do not need Scrum Boards.. Fine.. Add $$$ to the bill .. You need something else .. Fine just add it.. That might be far more better than user model only which might be related to a standard rate, but later everyone do not need to pay $$$ more just to be awesome.. That is exactly working like extending Jira with apps.. You need something you buy it and pay more money every month/year but important is to get information is this used or not so that you can turn it off and optimize..
When Jira Core was introduced I was thinking that this would be exactly the case.. You buy very standard Jira with ability to do very basic stuff (like creating, searching for issues).. But then you can go to administration and check what packages/features you would like to install in next billing option. Thanks to that on next month/year you get new supported features your bill increase.. And no matter if you are on-prem or on cloud those packages are updated so you get only update on the features that you use not something that you do not.. Then you can add more more $$$ cloud option and thanks to Migration Tool simply sync the configuration to avoid conflicts and problems and then easily move projects to Cloud (to maybe make them available publicly) and keep those important projects behind the firewall. It should be doable..
Of course this i only a vision that might hit also roadblocks like everything, and probably would never happen, but I just wanted to share IMHO a better solution that the one that we are heading.. Cards are on the table already. Now everyone must decide what would be the future of their companies, tools, employees carriers, on which they would spend money in the next decade.. Every situation is different and individual.. People need time.. If you cannot change the decision of "journey to Cloud" please give everyone at least a little bit more time to make a good decision.. February 2 is not the best date to end things when everyone is struggling with pandemic around and try to focus on not dying..
Probably there is a reason why this date is announced, but definitively what you can do is changing that date a little bit by half of a year maybe, so that everyone can get a deep breath and decide.. Not based on emotions that we are having plenty of around.. But based on analysis, adoption and feeling that they do this for some reason.. that is different for everyone and we should not make it completely flat for small and big companies in the middle of a transition that we are all part of it already around the world.
I hope that everyone would be safe, survive this hard time, make a proper decision what would be the future in real life and Atlassian journey.. and that soon we again would meet on a in-person event to celebrate successes and react with standing ovation after all future announcements, so that we can continue to grow and part of this great community!