As Olli mentioned before the holidays, our IT team decided to provide personal virtual servers as an employee benefit. In other words, anyone can now set up their own hosted server to be used however they want (as long as it’s not work-related). I wanted to briefly follow up on why this benefit is such a good idea. First of all, the infrastructure to provide such a service was already in place. Our IT team is already skilled in administering virtual servers and the software needed to allow anyone to create and administer virtual servers was already in place. The second reason is cost. After the initial setup, very little administrative work is required by the IT team. Of course, renting a physical server is not free, but compared to renting a virtual server for each employee, it’s a much more cost effective alternative. A virtual server costs about 50 euros per month if rented separately, but with our solution, the cost comes to less than 10 euros per month per server. Finally–and most importantly–giving employees a virtual sandbox allows them to experiment, to try out new technologies, to actually build something that they’re passionate about. The best way to learn something is by doing, and a personal server is a risk-free way of giving everyone a chance to do this. Employees benefit since they don’t have to spend money if they want to try something and Futurice benefits from having happier employees who constantly improve their skill set. Win-win.