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Comment of the Day: Google Apps Still Needs the IT Dept


In her post Google Sites the Next Sharepoint? Maybe Not…., Sarah Perez argues that Google’s strategy with Google Apps is to “subvert the IT department altogether and appeal directly to the worker.” But commenter benkepes said that IT is still key to Google Apps’ success: “any success Google has within an enterprise setting […] would seem to be to be a comment on the efficacy of the IT department itself.” It’s a fascinating discussion and thanks Sarah and benkepes – and all our other commenters – for putting the Google Apps hype under the microsoft microscope. Congratulations bennkeps, you’ve won a $30 Amazon voucher – courtesy of our competition sponsors AdaptiveBlue and their Amazon WishList Widget. Here’s his full comment:

“I have to say I can’t agree with you Sarah, Google is clearly empowering operational level employees within an enterprise. In the event that their IT department hasn’t the funding (although given the fact that GApps is free this is a non starter anyway) or the time resource, operational and team level personnel can deploy the broader GoogleApps products to make the most of their collaboration potential. The way I see it, if IT departments were doing their jobs (and some are) there would be no need to be having this discussion. They would be sufficiently user-centric to decide on the best product for their users needs, be it MS, Google or anything else.

In all this discussion around circumventing, or not, corporate IT departments, people seem to have lost sight of the real issue here. Corporate IT’s role is to assess and implement solutions that provide the functionality to the users that those suers require. It isn’t to build empires or create silos. Any success Google has within an enterprise setting (and I’m not going to wade into the argument about whether or not Google apps is having enterprise level success) would seem to be to be a comment on the efficacy of the IT department itself.

For too long CIOs have been technology centric on the one hand and compliance driven on the other. Between cuddling up to the big software vendors and spending time worried about the skins with regards Sarbanes Oxley compliance, they’ve lost site of the fact that their existing offering to the business are lacking.

Rather than finding ways to block their users making individualised and decentralised decisions, they should be partnering with the business units to truly asses their requirements and the best solutions to fulfil their needs.”

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