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Atlassian now offers some cloud-based products, such as Confluence and Jira. This means that Atlassian hosts the systems including all contained data on servers provided by Atlassian. We would like to illustrate the opportunities that Atlassian Cloud offers, and explain which advantages and disadvantages you should expect.

When does a Cloud solution make sense for a business?

Cloud solutions offer some tremendous advantages, especially in case of limited finances. These are:

  • scalability and availability (up to 2,000 users)
  • the system is not run on own infrastructure (Stack)
  • there are no additional hardware requirements and their associated costs
  • there is no additional stress on your IT department
  • there are no maintenance tasks
  • the systems can be up and running quickly and be used for short term projects

Atlassian Cloud is a great alternative to traditionally locally installed systems (Server) for small enterprises, startups and teams, that look for quickly available, scalable and comparatively inexpensive collaboration solutions to work together and to organize (software) projects.

Should our business use Atlassian's Cloud service?

Large enterprises which use Atlassian products intensively and don't have absolutely strict requirements for systems and security should consider a Cloud solution versus a local installation in their own network. The Cloud has many other advantages in comparison with Server, previously described by Atlassian and that we will also share here. We would like to help you compare both options critically and objectively, in order to find the solution that is best for your situation. 

Core question for big enterprises: Compliance?

A core question you need to answer: Is a wiki or a task management system that is not running behind your own firewall allowable? One of the most important and central uses of Confluence is the use case of knowledge management and documentation of sensitive information. Not to mention that Jira contains all internal and customer projects in detail. 

Despite the obvious economic advantages of Cloud, an externally hosted system may conflict with data security compliance guidelines, and may, in some cases, violate non disclosure agreements. 

Limitations of Confluence Cloud

Custom themes are not supported

The custom wiki layout is based on Confluence themes. Without custom themes, your Cloud wiki can not reflect your corporate design. We see this as a critical issue. From our experience in projects, an custom design can be an important factor in terms of acceptance and engagement, since the employees tend to accept the tool quicker and do not tend to see it as a foreign system in their internal communication. Confluence Cloud however, can only be used out-of-the-box, in terms of configuring the visual interface. This may not be a problem for technologically adept startups and small teams. It may be a problem for medium and large enterprises and those with a more "standard" team.

Integration with fewer apps

There are fewer apps in the Atlassian Marketplace that support Confluence Cloud. A locally installed Confluence Server instance lets you install, test and use apps from the app Marketplace with just a few clicks. With Cloud you depend on the app developer supporting the Cloud integration. Increasingly more apps are supporting Cloud these days, but it pays to check that the ones you use most often on Server are available on Cloud. Use cases and functionality is more limited on Cloud than on Server.

Little to zero administrative functions

In Confluence Cloud, no administrator has full rights and access to all administration functions. Some settings can be changed by the Atlassian Cloud technical support, however as a Cloud customer, you can not access all functions and meet all of the common administrative requirements. 

Administrative function

Availability in Confluence Cloud

Rights

(minus)

General configuration (Server-Base-URL, external User-Management, Public Signup)

(minus)

Daily backup admin

(minus)

Apps and access to the app Marketplace

(minus)

Mail-server

(minus)

User macros

(minus)

Attachment settings

(minus)

Custom HTML

(minus)

Backup

(tick)

Restore

(minus)

Logging and profiling

(minus)

Cluster configuration

(minus)

Remote API (XML-RPC, SOAP)

(tick)


No full language support

Languages other than English are not fully supported.

Set domain name

Also for Jira Cloud, you can't choose a domain name.

Get all the features of Atlassian software with SWIFT

SWIFT by //SEIBERT/MEDIA is the best choice if you want to get a quick and free instance or if you want a reliable hosting for the long haul. It is flexible and can be migrated easily into your own environment whenever you want (you already use a behind-the-firewall instance and have a license!)

It may be counterintuitive, but if any of the following aspects apply to your situation, you may find that SWIFT is more attractive than Atlassian Cloud:

CriteriaSWIFT by //SEIBERT/MEDIAAtlassian Cloud
Install apps (v2) from Marketplace(tick)(error)
Theme your instance (e.g. Confluence)(tick)(error)
Full administration area without limitations(tick)(error)
Same infrastructure as behind the firewall
production instance (e.g. easy 1:1 migrations)
(tick)(error)
Updates whenever you want it(tick)(error)
(Forced updates, inclusion in beta features)
No credit card required for trial(tick)(error)
Use your licenses in your own
environment when you move
(tick)(error)
Benefit from stronger German data
security and privacy standards
(tick)(error)

Atlassian collects sensitive personal and business
information on their own servers

 (error)(tick)

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