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Corona crisis: Death blow for on-premises?

Due to the coronavirus, many things had to change abruptly in our working world. But are these changes sustainable? What will our new normal look like? Jens Krüger, CTO EMEA of Workday, in conversation.
E-3 Magazine
August 19, 2020
Interview: Inconsistent data simply costs money
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

How has Workday adapted to the new realities?

Jens Krüger: Our solutions are born in the cloud and our entire IT landscape is set up to consume only cloud products.

In other words, we had the technical prerequisites for a home office right from the start - and the concept was nothing new for our employees.

Where does the new normal end? What is changing, what is not changing?

Krüger: I think most people are starting to realize that we're going to have to deal with the current situation for a while yet.

Of course, the strict regulations will gradually be relaxed, employees will go back to the office, but we should not fall back into old patterns because of this.

Digitization was already an issue before the Corona crisis; acceptance and necessity have only accelerated with the new normal.

Jens-Krueger

What should companies be looking for in the new normal?

Kruger: In the beginning, it's important to give everyone the tools they need to work effectively in the home office.

Trust in the employees in the home office is indispensable, but remote leadership stands and falls with communication: People need to communicate with each other more frequently and more cyclically, and that is best done via cloud solutions or software-as-a-service tools. Traditional on-premises systems often reach their limits when it comes to home office and digital collaboration.

How do you perceive the willingness to invest in the market?

Kruger: Of course, it depends on which market sector we're talking about. Companies in industry, for example, can't just stop. They want to continue to improve, become more digital and leaner.

The subscription model of SaaS also means that there are no high investment costs for licenses, hardware or manpower, which favors the willingness to invest.

Do you think the Corona crisis will be the death knell for on-premises systems?

Kruger: I don't think the crisis will be the trigger for the move to the cloud - it will only accelerate it. The cloud brings digitization and flexibility, and companies will develop more understanding of the benefits of cloud solutions because of the current need.

In HR in particular, the topic of on-prem is over; you don't do that anymore. Although Finance is a back-office system and could be standardized well and would therefore fit well in the cloud, the switch has not yet happened. Of course, this always depends on the maturity of the market.

Especially in HR and finance, data protection is paramount, which often speaks against the use of cloud products. How do you see this?

Kruger: Our business is not data, our business is to provide software. All communication is encrypted end-to-end - the data never leaves the system.

Thank you very much for the interview.

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