IT Execs Share Experiences With Google for Work

Many companies are still slowly shifting toward cloud-based infrastructure, but the organizations that take the plunge see a number of potential business benefits and productivity gains. Here are some of the ways CIOs and technology executives squeeze ROI out of Google for Work.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2

How Google for Work Drives Collaboration 

Mark Hansen, systems administrator at SolidFire, a cloud storage company, has been working with Google for Work for more than four years. The abilities to rapidly scale technology deployments and consolidate the complete office environment into one administrative console have been very helpful, he says. 

Collaboration is one of Google for Work's key benefits. Employees can quickly create, upload and share documents to get critical information into the right hands, according to Hansen. Google has also provided a steady environment for his team without many surprises, he says. "Google for Work has maintained its cost for us which makes it hard to look at migrating to anything other than a cloud-hosted solution."

Many of SolidFire's employees come from a more traditional Microsoft Office environment, so the transition was a bit of a process. Hansen steadfastly believes, however, that the future of the workplace is headed to the cloud. "It is a new environment for some, but Google is attempting to make the transition and functions of Google for Work painless," he says.

google for work Google

Google for Work improved SolidFire's workflow and operations by enabling real-time collaboration and removing the need for a VPN to access, edit and share company data. "This helps end users, but also helps IT administrators save time by focusing on the user experience rather than the infrastructure," according to Hansen.

VIF International Education, a global provider of professional-development products and curriculum for education, transitioned to Google for Work from a "rigid on-premise solution with a cumbersome administrative process," says Arne Plum, the company's manager of strategy and innovation.

"Google for Work creates the ideal flexible and collaborative environment for an agile and technology-driven company like VIF," he says. The shift also lets his team "swiftly troubleshoot our employees' tech issues and satisfy management's need for security." 

[Related News: LinkedIn Makes Enterprise Inroads With New Communication Tools]

"The ease of use and the ability to quickly share documents and information allows our employees to collaborate without any hurdles," Plum says. "We have adopted Gmail as our email client, Drive as our go-to online storage solution and Hangouts as our internal instant messaging system. The simplicity and seamless integration between the various apps has greatly simplified the shift to Google for Work."

VIF also uses Google for Work products to collaborate with clients and provide information and support.

The Next Wave of Enterprise Collaboration

CBS Interactive's Comstock believes the next wave of enterprise collaboration tools will need to incorporate machine learning, smarter filtering and aggregation to surface the most relevant content.

"It should be able to associate and define for me the different types of subject matters that I need to look at, so it helps me as a consumer better see what I need to read, what's relevant to me, what I need to read now and what I can ignore," Comstock says.

As the collaboration industry evolves, corporate teams also change from a productivity perspective, according to Comstock, who admits that he and many others are still figuring out the most effective ways to use all of the available Google for Work tools. Navigating the intersection of social and business remains a struggle, he says.

[Related: Why IT Should Be Skeptical of 'Facebook at Work']

Comstock is confident that as more tools become available and improvements are rolled out, companies like CBS Interactive will be able to adjust operations and develop workflows for the 21st century, versus the workflows that defined the final decades of the past century.

At CBS Interactive, Comstock says, "we're going to try a lot of things, we're going to fail quick, and we're going to recover quick. My job is to bring the technology, try to help that productivity but also to make it a blessing versus a burden. If my community finds it difficult to use, I've failed."

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2
Learn how leading CIOs are reinventing IT. Download CIO's new Think Tank report today!