Global CIO: Even For Google, No Free Pass For SaaS - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud // Software as a Service
Commentary
3/21/2011
11:47 AM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

Global CIO: Even For Google, No Free Pass For SaaS

Google has made a notable concession to business users of Google Apps. It's a sign of things to come for software as a service, as enterprise customers get more demanding.

In the past, when Google decided a new feature was ready for Google Apps, that feature would just show up for business and consumer customers alike. Google considers that a key advantage of software as a service -- customers get a steady stream of innovation rather than have to wait for jarring upgrades.

But a lot of CIOs hate that approach, since they have no time to prepare employees or test their systems. So, as Thomas Claburn writes, Google has created a slow lane, where business customers get at least a week’s notice before Google will turn on new features in Gmail, Contacts, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Sites.

Two things are important to note here. One, it shows that Google is taking enterprise customers seriously. Adding a dual track is no small move for Google -- businesses have long asked for this approach, and Google has resisted. Having two of anything is anti-SaaS, since the vendor economies of scale all point to having one version of the software. (For more on the challenges, see Assembla's post on "Should SaaS companies offer a "stable" version?")

Google has sent mixed signals about how important enterprise customers are to the company. When Google recently highlighted its vital emerging business lines, enterprise apps barely got a mention, as Google execs crowed about mobile, YouTube, and display advertising. I suggested last year that one of the company founders needed to embrace the enterprise apps opportunity by stepping up to take charge of that business. But now that the one person in Google's triumvirate with enterprise chops, Eric Schmidt, has been kicked upstairs, Google's enterprise business seems even less likely to rise in prominence. Financially, it's easy to see why: advertising makes up more than 96% of Google revenue, and enterprise apps falls into the "other" category that makes up the rest. (The NY Times' David Carr today explores whether Google is becoming a media company.)

Given this tepid corporate backing, steps like the Google Apps slow track, and the company’s promise to build a separate cloud environment for government customers, are important.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll