Will you trust Google with your data?

Will you trust Google with your data?

Summary: Update below: Phil Wainewright raises an interesting beef in his post on SaaS data worries. In a nutshell, Phil says it's strange that people are trotting out the "your data may not be safe" argument when talking about Google Office.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Update below: Phil Wainewright raises an interesting beef in his post on SaaS data worries. In a nutshell, Phil says it's strange that people are trotting out the "your data may not be safe" argument when talking about Google Office.

Phil then notes how it's an argument against SaaS.

I wouldn't go that far. Here's why: When it comes to Google there's a perception difference when it comes to Google Office vs. other players like Salesforce.com. I trust the latter more with my data. Why? It comes down to focus.

Google Office is a side venture at best. While Google is quite capable I'd be reluctant to put all my data there. If Google loses my data there's no downside for them. If Salesforce or NetSuite blow it, there business will tank quickly. The reputation hit matters.

Another thing at work here may be that Google is getting too big. I'm not sure folks would host all of their data with Microsoft either. Anyone who has watched hosted data disappear--I have 100s of columns that have gone extinct when a Web site disappeared--picks their data keeper carefully.

Update: Phil Wainewright has another interesting post--he's full of them btw. He notes, like Rob Hyndman, that if Google lost data it would hurt its brand so you're data is likely to be safe. I don't disagree, but as an enterprise--which is my perspective--I want someone with a core competency in SaaS. I liken it to going best of breed--Salesforce and NetSuite are best of breed and Google is a SaaS rookie at this point. And as a customer, I just think it makes sense to go with a company that specializes in SaaS and is proven. Let's face it, Google is an advertising company. Perhaps Google becomes known as a SaaS company, but I'd be a slow follower here. Personally, I reckon Google Office is a distraction tactic to keep Microsoft off search. 

Phil also asks whether my logic applies to Microsoft and others. The answer: Sure it does. Microsoft is trying to sell you shrink-wrapped boxes of software and it'll protect that business. Therefore, Microsoft is going to half step on the SaaS. Perhaps, it's just a game of perception, but it's there.  Ditto for SAP.

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Consumer vs. Enterprise

    Good point, Larry.

    Google Office as a 'side project' is an accurate way to put it -Google's focus is still the consumer.

    In an effort to create a clearer distinction between consumer SaaS and enterprise SaaS, we'll see the enterprise players (Salesforce, new players) start to widen the gap between themselves and any notion of consumer-targeted services.
  • No I would not.

    I wouldn't trust just about any company with my files. I think that if Google really wants to compete with Microsoft Office they will have to launch a suite very similar and unless they priced it competitively I don't think it will sell.
    • side project...good point

      This very true. Google's main focus is to create a better and easier way to search for things. You can see it with almost every product they made. That is one of the reasons they did so well. They had focus. Now they have a service called Google Checkout to compete with paypal, Google Office, and a few other new services on the way. Yes they are probably good services but i agree that if they lose 1 persons data it won't make a difference for them. I believe that Google is straying focus and this will hurt them from being the internet search giant they are today.
  • Distinction without a difference

    While there may be something to the "side bet" angle--although how this reconciles with the popular conception that Google is "taking on" Microsoft I'm not quite sure; if, as everyone is claiming, they are going after MS core business unit, I hardly see how it counts as a side bet--the idea that hosted data is somehow less secure than in-house data is rubbish. I work with a multitude of businesses every day and let me tell you, Google's expertise when it comes to storage, backup, and security exceeds theirs by orders of magnitude. It is the rare company that keeps its files as safe as most of you seem to assume. In fact, the average business that I deal with is far more likely to lose their own data than Google is to lose it for them.
  • Google apps off to good start

    Apparently many companies are willing to trust Google.


    One of those includes Loreal. I've worked with them in the past and their tech people are first class, even the IT managers are good. Very organized.

    Google's reputation is just as important as Salesforce.com. If Google lost customer data MSFT would be throwing their PR spin machine into warp drive.

    I'm going to trust Google apps with one of my startup businesses. Linux and Google Apps. Micro-who?

    [b]...many workers are being under serviced because of the cost of desktop solutions.[/b]
    • Sure. "one of your startups"

      Very Funny!
      John Zern
  • Gettting back to the article

    Google stores everything. They certainly have all your searches. If you use Gmail, they have all your emails. If you use their Calendar and Address Book they have all your meetings and contacts. And now you will give them all your documents and spreadsheets. For me, this is too much to give anyone. I don't care about Google's history. They may get taken over. Management may change. They may get into legal trouble, and be forced to turn over information. And your whole life, or business is there on their servers. Forget it! I use their search and nothing else. If you want a superior Office program for free, get Open Office.
    • I agree

      I could'nt have said it better myself, George. Management and legal issues in the future are unpredictable. Storage is cheap, keep it to yourself.

    Software writing teams as a start.Asses a need,assemble the program,artists,and you have it.$50 for a program sold to ten million users and you're wealthy.But could you make it as a name in a software index?Software writing will start out slow then it will proliferate.When other intellects produce software you will see computers and an Internet that will be mind blowing.