Following my last post on the possibilities to avoid mistakes by using Jira, I initially wanted to continue with the next topic in that context here. However, Atlassian announced on 16th of October that they will end support of their server tool stack latest February 2024. As many colleagues and companies in the Atlassian Ecosystem I would like to share my thoughts on this decision here as well. Therefore, the usual sequence of blog posts gets interrupted here with this special topic.
The decision comes not that unexpected as there hasn’t been many changes and development in the server environment in recent years. The obvious reason for that move which is also communicated in the above mentioned blog post is the focus on cloud as the technology of the future. Beside that, shareholders might be happy because they like subscription models like Cloud or Data Center. Microsoft did something similar with their Office Suite some years ago, changing it to the Office 365 subscription model. For Atlassian, also the increase of turnover might be a target behind that announcement. Current server customers need to switch to Data Center at some time if they still need an on premise solution. I think this will be the case for many companies and so they will have to pay more for Data Center licenses than they pay for server right now.
You have to admit that it is a smart move by Atlassian. Over the past years, especially customers with intensive customization of their on premise installations become very dependent on Atlassian and their tools. They can’t switch to Cloud easily as users and administrators became used to the possibilities of individual customization and tailoring of the tools to support almost every business process you can imagine. In many cases, currently used server installations including various apps don’t have that much in common with the standard installation of the tools. The UI looks different, developed apps enhance the functionality and connections might exist to other IT tools used in the company. Most of those customizations (not all) aren’t available on Cloud, are quite difficult to develop or require high effort for development. Data security and storage might be another issue, especially for many German companies. Therefore, now the only alternative, if you don’t want to throw everything away and use a completely different software, is going to Data Center and pay a lot more for licenses. On the other hand, I don’t know of any comparable software, which provides the same possibilities than the Atlassian tools.
So, what to do now if you are running on Server? I don’t want to try to provide an answer to that question here. The decision depends highly on the used Atlassian setup and the degree of customization. And on other things as well. There are a lot of partners and experts out there, who are eager to help with the transition ahead.
What is very sad from my point of view is that there won’t be a cheap and easy access to Atlassian Tools anymore. As far as I know, the starter licenses of 10 users for 10 USD won’t be offered in the future. I heard of several great success stories in the Atlassian ecosystem where everything started with a small installation which was just very easy to set up. Many great apps have probably been developed solely because people were able to easily install, use, customize and enhance the software. Maybe that is how things are going if you do something right and have won that many customers over several years. I am happy that I started to work with Atlassian tools earlier and profited from that easy access. I am still convinced that the tools can help companies to improve their processes and collaboration and I still see no alternative software providing the same possibilities.
What are your thoughts about it? Do you agree or are you of another opinion? How will you proceed if you are running Atlassian software as Server installation? Do you see an alternative to Atlassian? If you are interested in a discussion on this topic or if you would like to share your thoughts with me, write me on LinkedIn or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.