Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is Google ready for the Enterprise?

On April 12th 2010, Google invited 400 CIO's for its cloud computing forum called Google Atmosphere. The Google team assembled some of the most well respected IT leaders for an overview of Google's vision for cloud computing. Google executives presented the Google vision along with industry heavyweights, including Morgan Stanley's Mary Meeker, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, Seagate CIO Mark Brewer and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels.

Cloud computing is the most important technology impacting IT in the next few years. The cloud basically replaces tradiitional server based technology and moves to web based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand. Typical cloud computing providers deliver common business applications online which are accessed from another web service or software like a web browser, while the software and data are stored on servers in an off site data center.

2009 Google Atmosphere Opening Video

CIO for the city of Los Angeles, Randi Levin, said "The public battle to switch the city to Google Apps saved at least $5 million in cash up front, and the actual return will be much greater since LA now has disaster recovery services that would have been much more expensive to create on their own".

Google is shooting for "the 80 percent solution," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt. "Our applications are not full replacements for the incumbents. Our strategy is to get to 80 percent, we think we can provide some real value."

Google Docs is not exactly perfect, some attendees admitted. Excel junkies in the finance department openly revolted at the thought of moving to Google Spreadsheet at two of the early adopters at the Atmosphere event, but that's a small segment of a larger population within their companies that only needs the basics.

Google did announce that it had improved the underlying software beneath the Google Docs suite, making the existing products faster and better capable of preserving document fidelity from offline versions.
Google Docs Blog

So the question at hand, Is Google ready for the Enterprise?

We can see that Google is assembling a number of solutions that are 80% there and can be made Enterprise ready. Just think; Google Apps, Google Voice, Google Chrome, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Android. This is just the beginning. It has the likes of Microsoft wondering how it should compete. They are launching a beta of Microsoft 2010 that looks promising but may be too little too late. Google is throwing the full weight of its engineering, talent and resources behind this shift to the Enterprise. Our vote is ..

Yes, Google is coming to a business near you.