Telstra CIO reserved on Google apps

Summary:Although Telstra chief information officer John McInerney today said the telco was increasing the use of cloud computing technologies for internal staff, it didn't seem the telco would go so far as to adopt Google's cloud-based email and office suite across its operations.

Although Telstra chief information officer John McInerney today said the telco was increasing the use of cloud computing technologies for internal staff, it didn't seem the telco would go so far as to adopt Google's cloud-based email and office suite across its operations.

John McInerney

Telstra CIO John McInerney
(Credit: Telstra)

In November 2009, fellow telco AAPT revealed it would use Google Apps for its more than 1300 staff, saying it was more of a philosophical decision than a technical one.

McInerney didn't directly say that Telstra wouldn't adopt Google's technology for its staff when asked at a press conference today — but he and Telstra chief technology officer Hugh Bradlow appeared to back away from the offering.

Moving data into a public cloud offering required caution, McInerney said, to which Bradlow quipped, "If he imposes Google Docs on me, I'll throw my laptop at him".

There is currently a sizable level of hype about other internal corporate communications tools such as Yammer, SharePoint and Wikis. But McInerney said he still saw email as a key collaboration tool and would continue to build it out as an asset within Telstra.

In general, McInerney said Telstra workers were increasingly using cloud-based solutions — especially on the road with laptops connected to the telco's Next G mobile broadband network. He gave the example of documentation stored online or development testing.

The CIO said it was tough to get a definition of cloud computing — there were probably "30 definitions" out there, he said. "If I asked myself and Hugh about cloud computing, we would get a different definition. And we often do talk about that," he said.

"Yes, but mine would be right," joked Bradlow.

Topics: Apps, CXO, Google, Telcos, Telstra

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