In this session, Google's Rishi Chandra will discuss ways cloud computing is influencing the Enterprise IT industry and what this means for businesses.
Rishi is responsible for Google Apps. No PowerPoint (Google slides instead.)
Enterprise computing in the cloud. Our data and computing power is hosted on the internet. It is accessible from a utility and is available anytime you can access the internet. (So I could not access it during the presentation because the WiFi would not stay up. The hotel was lacking router capacity.)
Innovation is Coming from the Consumer
Rishi sees the innovation coming from the consumer, not the enterprise. The consumer market is Darwinian. In the enterprise, the vendors and end users do not have a direct relationship. IT intercedes and picks the tool. In the consumer world, the end-user picks the tool directly. I can jump from Google to Yahoo at the click of a button.
"Simplicity wins." It is not designing for the lowest common denominator. It is making it easy to use and learn how to use. Otherwise the consumer will go somewhere else where it is easier.
The Design of Enterprise Tools Need To Change
In the enterprise, team work is more important than individual user tasks. You need to connect with disparate information and disparate people across the enterprise. Enterprise applications are built for the power user and loaded down with functionality.
You need tools that allow collaboration to capture and create information. You need access to the most current information (and not be hunting around for the latest version.) You need around the clock access to the information. You need to make it easy to publish the information.
Economics of IT
Scalability of information is a problem. (Of course Google is trying to index the entire internet) Ten hours of video are loaded to YouTube every minute. They get 7 million photos a day into Picasa.
Scale drives unit cost toward zero. For an enterprise, how do you drive your storage and computing costs down.
Barriers to Adoption are Falling Away
Connectivity is need for cloud computing. We are much more connection to the internet (The WiFi in the room is back up so the crowd is less rambunctious.)
The user interface is getting better and the browser is getting better.
Reliability is much better. Customers will not allow downtime. They will go elsewhere.
Offline access is still important. You need to deal with the lack of connectivity (On cue, I lost WiFi again.)
Security is important. You cannot get around the issue. The cloud computing vendors just need to prove themselves as secure as other enterprise tools. Laptops are stolen all the time; two million are stolen every year. We see news stories of lost data on laptops all the time. With the cloud, a stolen laptop is a non-issue. Who do you trust more: your company's IT security people or Google's security team?
Rishi showed an impressive list of clients using Google Apps for messaging and collaboration and for security and compliance. These are not static products. They had 40 upgrades to Google Docs last year.
He sees the innovation in the cloud, in the consumer space, but not in the enterprise. And there will be lots of competition.