Nextcloud is an open source software package for self-hosting cloud services, such as file and photo sharing, office applications, calendar, note taking, project planning, bookmarks, and news. At the end of 2021, a survey among Nextcloud users provided valuable insight on what features and how the software is being used. Here are highlights from the Nextcloud survey.
What is the reason organizations and individuals have chosen to self-host their own cloud services, instead of using free services like Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive, or Dropbox? Setting up a cloud service requires a person with computer and software knowldege, an extra computer at home or in an office, or a budget for paying to a hosting company for a VPS server or for a managed Nextcloud service.
Altogether, 1015 Nextcloud users answered this and many other questions. The top 5 reasons for self-hosting Nextcloud were:
I’m assuming that Google in this context means avoiding Google because Nextcloud software doesn’t have any connections to Google.
Nextcloud users are happy with their choice. The average likelihood for a user to recommend the software to someone else was 8.8 in a scale from 0 to 10. Why are they happy? Let’s take a look at top 5 reasons why Nextcloud works for them.
- Open source
Although setting up the Nextcloud system and installation of some apps is far from easy, once everything is running, daily use of apps is easy.
Applications created by individual open source developers and businesses are one of the key reasons why Nextcloud is an attractive product. There is a good selection of apps available now, and a year later there will be even more. Open source and open programming interfaces means plenty of opportunities. Which applications were the most popular among survey participants? Top 5 apps:
- Files (file sharing)
- Deck (project planning and tracking tool)
At the moment, Nextcloud is primarily used by individuals and small organizations. 73% of systems are personal, 14% run by non-profit organizations, 10% run by businesses, 2% Saas, 1% are government systems. The vast majority of Nextcloud installations are accessed by less than 10 people.
However, among survey respondents were a few organizations that provide Nextcloud to around 10,000 people each and one that has 60,000 users in its system. Perhaps the Enterprise version of the software is significantly different from the Home version that can be downloaded for free. It would explain a common complaint among Home version users who say the performance of the software is slow.
A cloud software like Nextcloud seems like an ideal platform for running an office productivity suite that provides collaborative text processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and other tools. Two products, OnlyOffice and Collabora have been integrated with Nextcloud. 55% of Nextcloud users don’t have any productivity suite, 22% run Collabora, 19% OnlyOffice, and 8% something else.