Consider these 10 things before you set your IT strategy for the next 10 years
I need a productivity solution that’s easy to deploy and doesn’t require the ongoing maintenance of desktop software.
Google Apps runs in the cloud using nothing but the web, so there’s no hardware upgrades, software patches or maintenance required. Because we manage all of the hardware and software in our data centers, all your employees need is a web browser to communicate and work together in the cloud. In addition, we have a dedicated team of engineers whose sole goal is to help you get your data in and out of our products for free. This makes it easy to both move onto Apps, and leave if you ever change your mind down the road.
I want a solution that meets my needs today and automatically gets better over time.
Because you access all your information in a browser, users are always running the most up to date version of Google Apps and we can continuously improve our products by adding new capabilities. We launched over 125 improvements to customers in 2010, and we offer great ways to learn about upcoming features and how they can help your business. In addition to the constant improvements, the Google Apps Marketplace offers hundreds of apps built by third-party developers that integrate with Google Apps in just a few clicks.
I need a productivity solution that I can rely on.
Google has been providing web services to hundreds of millions of users around the world for years. We replicate your data and activity across multiple data centers, which means that if one is unable to respond to your requests we can instantly fall back to another one with no interruption in service. Our systems are also designed so that we can update them without any impact on our users. We offer you a 99.9% uptime guarantee with no downtime for scheduled maintenance. You and your employees can always track the availability of Google Apps using our public status dashboard – Gmail was 99.99% available in the first half of 2011.
I need technology that was built with security in mind.
Google operates one of the most robust networks of distributed data centers in the world, and theÂ protection of the data and intellectual property on our servers is our top priority. The controls, processes and policies that protect data in our systems have successfully completed a SAS 70 Type II audit and Google Apps is the first cloud-based messaging and collaboration suite to achieve FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) certification. Options including forced SSL, single sign-on support, and 2-step verification let you decide how your employees access the system.
My employees need to collaborate seamlessly across organizational, geographical and linguistic barriers.
When you use Google Docs, co-workers around the world can work together on the same online copy of each document, spreadsheet or presentation. Because each file is stored online, users always have access to the latest version of that file. Sharing securely with users inside and outside of the organization is easy, and users can even use Google’s powerful machine translation to view content in their preferred language. Learn more about file sharing in Google Docs.
I want my employees to move faster without being slowed down by inflexible technology.
Because Google Apps was designed for teams, there’s no need to have the documents that colleagues are working on trapped as email attachments or on lock-down because someone else has them open. Google Docs lets team members work together on their documents, spreadsheets and presentations at the same time, from anywhere in the world. You can always see who is working on each shared document, and can even see the changes they make character-by-character as they type so you can work together without getting in each other’s way.Â See Google Docs collaboration in action.
My employees need to use a wide range of mobile phones and tablets including Android, Blackberry, iPhone and Windows Mobile.
When your business uses Google Apps, employees can access their email, manage their calendar and work with documents from any web-enabled mobile device. Google Apps also offers device management capabilities that allow you to remotely wipe data, set password requirements and more for devices such as Android, RIM Blackberry, Apple iPhone and Windows Mobile. Whether your company has a fleet of mobile devices or you choose to let employees use their personal devices for work, Google Apps lets you manage the devices more easily and securely.
My employees need to do more from mobile devices than just send emails.
Not only does Google Apps make it easy to send and receive email from your mobile device, but Google Docs supports viewing and multi-user editing when you’re on the go. Whether it’s tweaking a few words in your proposal at the last minute, updating figures in your spreadsheet while you’re in the field, or just sharing a file with a colleague, Google Docs lets you do all of these things right from your mobile device. Learn more about mobile editing in Google Docs.
I want a simple licensing model that is cost-effective and predictable.
Google Apps brings you proven savings by eliminating many traditional IT costs, including server hardware, maintenance, patching and upgrades. A Forrester Consulting study found that businesses that switched from on-premise messaging and collaboration to Google Apps saved between 38% and 56% and enjoyed a return on investment of over 300%. (Source: Forrester Consulting, 2010)