At the Google I/O conference today, execs from the Enterprise team met with reporters to go over some of the earlier announcements covered at this morning's keynote. Much of the session was a rehash of the earlier topics - but a few questions - pretty simple questions, actually - caused me to pause.
The first had to do with broad adoption of cloud-based technologies - or the breakaway from more traditional ways of running the back-end - among enterprises.
When it comes to the pace of innovation, enterprises traditionally have been more accustomed to the "glacial" pace, instead of the rapid pace that they're starting to see today. It was more of a 3-5 year cycle, one where the rollout of new software or tools would be a major event and, quite frankly, disruptive to the workforce. The changes to the tools would be dramatic and users would undergo training to get them into the learning curve. Sometimes, the transitions would take months.
Today, there's no need for that. Google has long talked about "versionless" software, an approach that involve updates that come in the form of small incremental changes. That approach, while a different model, is more efficient because workers aren't dealing with a learning curve that diverts their attention away from the job at-hand.
Later, the company was asked about the adoption rate among businesses. The execs, of course, didn't share exact numbers but did say that Google is "making some inroads in the enterprise" and that things are "picking up," with more than 2 million businesses running Google Apps.
The thing is that many of those businesses are small and medium-sized businesses. Sure, Google has had a few high-profile adoptions of Apps, notably the cities of Los Angeles and Orlando - but those aren't the big enterprise-sized catches that the company needs.
Finally, the company was asked about the money - how these efforts actually touch the bottom line. Google's answer has been applied to the same question about many of its other technologies. Google - as a search an advertising company - benefits when people spend more time on the Web. By transitioning consumers to a cloud model, small businesses and eventually the enterprise go deeper into browser-based computing.
The plain and simple answer: as users spend more time on the Web, Google benefits.
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