Digitization initiatives, boosting efficiency and lessons learned in lockdown

In the July issue of ownCloud monthly, we talk about digitization initiatives, boosting efficiency and lessons learned in lockdown.

On July 1st, Germany assumed the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This role entails some agenda-setting power in Brussels, and the German government should use this clout for the cloud, specifically to strengthen cloud infrastructure in Europe by investing in European technology, suggests our CEO Tobias Gerlinger. Politicians now seem receptive to embrace digitization as one of the means for Europe to get out of the corona-induced slump, using the momentum and experience gained in months of remote work.

For those in the market for software platforms, a Gartner market guide is a good place to start. Its independent analysts compare the relevant competitors, skillfully pointing out their features and particularities. In the latest version for the content collaboration market, Gartner lists only one open-source file collaboration platform – ownCloud.

At ownCloud, we like low-threshold solutions as well as complex tools that make us mighty efficient. These two approaches mostly mutually exclude each other, but with the Shortcuts app, Apple created an easy way to automate complex workflows. Of course, ownCloud provides a bunch of actions for use in Shortcuts. In his tutorial, our senior mobile engineer Matthias Hühne shows how to build a Shortcut that uses the ownCloud app.

Web apps are great, but they can lock users in and vanish, along with your data, on a whim of some tech executive. There is a better way to ensure both availability of data and of advanced tools to edit them: using local-first software and syncing changes in the background. In a recent study, Kleppman et al explore this possibility.

Are you an insider when it comes to cloud computing? Well, of course you are, otherwise you would not receive this email. This sufficiently qualifies you to be a judge in this year’s Cloud Insider Award, organized as always by the good people at Vogel Communications Group. Please take a few minutes to vote for us!

The personal take of the month, by Tobias Gerlinger, CEO
Tobias GerlingerThe coronavirus and the lockdown measures, designed to slow and weaken the pandemic, sent the world into a state of shock in spring. After the shock came consolidation, as we learned what works remote and what doesn’t. We felt the pain points of a world with reduced human interaction and mobility. Some of us experienced the joy of working from home, some of us experienced the horrors of working from home, while most experienced both.

The network hardware kept up with demand. Existing services did not break down, but many aspects of life were seen by the wider public to desperately lack digital services that can make up for in-person processes. Large parts of the public sector, many small businesses and even corporate behemoths could barely cope to fulfill the needs of citizens and customers. Many schools sent out scanned worksheets, marking their greatest achievement in digitization to date, and far too many students with low-income parents lack the devices to successfully take part in remote education. Too often, insecure services were used because of their supposed convenience, threatening the digital sovereignty of individuals and countries alike.

After the consolidation now comes the reopening for business in many countries and regions. While this is great news, we should remember the pain points and stay vigilant. We should make the infrastructure on which our modern societies rely more resilient. Higher rates of remote working will probably be the new normal. Therefore platforms for secure collaboration need to be implemented and provided next to videoconferencing to meet the new requirements and enable the mobile workforce to stay productive. Then we are also well prepared for a second wave that we all hope will never materialize.

P.S. Keep up with exciting developments in open-source content collaboration, data sovereignty and all things ownCloud: Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

ownCloud GmbH

July 8, 2020

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