All software needs to have clearly defined goal. Something it wants to achieve. A reason for its existence. For Nextcloud it is the following:
It’s clear that communicating and collaborating through the internet is the future. Some people realised this a long time ago. The rest have realised it now after COVID-19 forced all of us to work, study and learn from home. For Nextcloud this is nothing new. Nextcloud is built by a worldwide distributed community of volunteers who, of course, communicate and collaborate through the internet. Nextcloud GmbH has employees in 15 countries and we work together using Nextcloud.
I predict that in a few years, most organisations will work that way. However, there is a strong need for powerful, secure and easy to use software to support this way of collaborating. Of course there are solutions offered by the big tech companies as Software as a Service (SaaS). This creates a cost-benefit situation in that you are allowed to use the software, but only if you give them all your data. Not to mention your hard earned money too. It greatly disheartens me that this will lead to a world where just a handful of big companies own and control all the data and communication in the world. A dystopia.
The mission of Nextcloud is to provide an alternative. A solution to regain control of your data.
Nextcloud is Open Source so that everyone is able to use it. Even people from developing countries who can’t afford to pay the big tech companies. This also means that you can host and run Nextcloud wherever you want. On your own hardware or at your local service provider you trust. This helps to decentralise the hosting of data and communication. Open Source also means that you are able to look into the software to verify that there are no backdoors built in. This is important to fight mass surveillance.
Besides the privacy and security aspects of Nextcloud, it’s also super important that Nextcloud empowers its users. If Nextcloud would fall behind the big tech solutions in functionality and usability, then people would stop using it. Therefore, we have ambitious plans to keep pushing Nextcloud forward to be the leader in the marketplace.
It’s our goal to combine top notch, powerful features and functionalities with a great user experience. Enabling users to do great things without making them think of how to do it, is what we aspire to achieve.
This is the strategic direction of Nextcloud. Making users even more productive, while lowering the mental load and learning curve.
We worked arduously in the last year to improve the UI to make using Nextcloud even easier while making it more powerful. You can see the results yourself when you look at the latest releases of Nextcloud Talk and Groupware. This was also one of the major goals when we worked on Nextcloud Office over the past few months. A very intuitive, while powerful office suite.
We are experimenting with more innovative ways to enable our users to be more productive while lowering their mental load and protecting their privacy. We are working on new and powerful automation features, innovative intelligence and machine learning functionalities. Of course, all executed locally to keep the users in control of their digital life. Stay tuned or, even better, get involved.