We envisage the 100% web world as an ideal state for business IT, where applications are delivered from a shared infrastructure via the Internet and accessed on any browser enabled device. This model is proven to deliver significant improvements in the areas of:
• Collaboration across the borders of language and location
• Productivity improvements across the board
• Mobility that just works for everyone
• Cost efficiency and revenue uplift
At Google, we are committed to moving beyond the current notion of cloud computing to bring customers to a world we call 100% web. While many IT vendors have now adopted (or co-opted) the term “cloud computing” to describe a wide variety of technologies, most don’t deliver on the true promise of the cloud. While these concepts may deliver value in the short term, they lock customers in to multi-year release cycles, leave them with the significant costs of managing client software, and expose sensitive data through insecure devices. True cloud computing does not include the following:
• Hosting single-tenant server products in a vendor data center
• Requiring customers to install thick client software
• Virtualizing existing infrastructure and applications within a customer data center.
With 100% web, both the applications and the data are stored centrally and are served from a highly scalable, secure and reliable multi-tenant infrastructure. Devices like notebooks, tablets, and smartphones are portals to the data that help people be productive from anywhere, at any time. Additionally, upgrades aren’t necessary to get access to the latest innovation, just refresh the browser. Businesses no longer own or manage servers and client software: they purchase integrated applications and development platforms from others, and can devote valuable resources to solving strategic business challenges that create competitive advantage.
While we recognize that not all businesses will be able to make the 100% Web model a reality today, we do believe that starting the journey can help businesses realize significant improvement in costs, speed, flexibility, and productivity. To make this more tangible, we will outline the current context of enterprise IT, illustrate the solutions available today and highlight the bridging technologies that can help businesses start this journey today.
The change imperative
This is a profound yet necessary change from the technology most businesses use today. The current IT paradigm was designed decades ago for a world where users worked on a single computer, in a particular office, on a secured physical network behind a corporate firewall and assumed that users did most of their work individually.
Today, a majority of employees worldwide work outside the office at least some of the time (according to IDC 35% of the worldwide workforce will be mobile by 2013)1, and many work with corporate applications and data using a variety of devices, including mobile devices (according to iPass, 50% of mobile workers now carry three or more devices)2. The model of delivering software over the internet has become very common (according to IDC, 85% of new IT vendors will be focusing on developing SaaS applications)3.
Productivity, mobility and collaboration
Users want the tools that make them most productive but are too often left waiting for the next big upgrade cycle. Users are required to use work-arounds, such as VPN and memory sticks, to be productive when away from the office, added complexity that can hinder productivity while mobile. The ability for employees to collaboration in real-time is becoming increasingly important, both within and outside of a business, yet the products available in the workplace are optimized for individual content creation.
Evolving the role of IT
As systems have grown increasingly complex, IT is less and less able to respond with the agility and flexibility required to keep users happy and productive. According to Gartner, 80% of IT spend is simple to keep the current systems running. IT administrators need to escape the endless cycle of patching, upgrading, and managing servers and desktops. IT developers will be able to quit worrying about backups, scalability, reliability, and performance. Instead, IT will be able to focus its resources on partnering with the business to design and build solutions that create real competitive advantage. This will allow IT to move from a world of large capital outlays based on estimates of future needs to smaller operational expenses that match actual usage.
Moving to a 100% web world will help alleviate these problems. Users will be able to work in whatever way is most productive for them, without being limited by technology. They will be able to seamlessly transition from any device to any other device, without losing access to their applications or data. Applications will always be up to date, and with the power of HTML5, web applications can now be as rich and interactive as traditional client software, if not more so. Finally, all of their applications will enable real-time interactivity with other users from both inside and outside the company, seamlessly and securely.
Making this a reality today
Google offers solutions based on a wide range of products that help businesses realize the vision of 100% Web. Here are the core elements:
Google Apps is our core suite of communication and collaboration applications including email, instant messaging, calendaring, documents, spreadsheet, presentations, drawings, web sites, video sharing and more. We will continue to expand and improve this core set of capabilities targeted at all employees.
Google App Engine lets companies build their own applications for internal or external use and host them on Google infrastructure. This allows for faster and easier development, virtually no ongoing maintenance, and the ability to easily scale to meet capacity needs at short notice.
Apps Marketplace provides third party applications customers need to build their business on the web, integrated with Google Apps and installed in a few clicks. The marketplace has more than 250 applications and make it easier for businesses to find, evaluate, and purchase the best non-Google applications on the web.
Android is one of the fastest growing mobile platforms in the world, designed to drive innovation and choice. Companies can now manage Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile, and other ActiveSync devices right from the browser. We are developing a new version of the platform that addresses the unique aspects of tablet form factors and use cases.
Chrome is an open source web browser developed to provide users with a fast, simple, and secure web-browsing experience with web applications. Chrome includes features to make managing enterprise deployments easy. Also, companies using older versions of Internet Explorer for their legacy applications can use Google Chrome Frame to access modern web apps that rely on technologies like HTML5.
Chrome OS is a new operating system built and optimized for 100% web. By building an operating system that revolves around the web browser, we can deliver computers that are faster, more secure and easier to manage, at a lower total cost of ownership.
Starting the journey to 100% Web
Not every company will be able to adopt this 100% web world immediately due to substantial investment in on-premise infrastructure. In order to help business make this transition, we have developed a variety of products to bridge on-premise and Google’s 100% Web products:
Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft® Office brings the power of Google Docs to Microsoft Office (2003, 2007, and 2010 versions on Windows) to enable real-time collaboration for users within the client applications.
Google Apps Sync for Microsoft® Outlook allows businesses to take advantage of the power of Google Apps while allowing users to continue using the Microsoft Outlook client.
Google Sync for Blackberry Enterprise Server allows IT administrators to integrate Google Apps with BlackBerry devices using the familiar BlackBerry Enterprise Server administration tools.
Google Directory Sync and Single Sign-On enables customers to continue leveraging their existing LDAP or Active Directory infrastructure to manage users and passwords and authenticate users. These tools will push all user updates to Google Apps, and can allow users to authenticate directly against current systems when accessing Google Apps.
Google Message Continuity is a very cost-effective form of disaster recovery that lets Microsoft Exchange customers leverage the reliability of Gmail to back up their servers.
While there are a variety of paths that lead to 100% Web, every step a business takes towards this model can deliver dramatic improvements in costs, speed, flexibility, and productivity. Google is committed to helping businesses make the transition to this new paradigm and we firmly believe that this will be a huge improvement for both users and IT departments in all businesses.