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Interop 2012: Google talks up cloud to combat “anti-productivity”
Cloud-based apps give new possibilities for greater productivity says Google keynote speaker.
Business IT still suffers from the “burdens of yesterday” and could benefit more from moving productivity apps to the cloud, according to a Google executive.
Speaking in a keynote speech at this year’s Interop conference in Las Vegas, Jonathan Rochelle, product manager for Google Apps at Google, said that current non-cloud based tools failed to allow users to work on project collaboratively.
He said by writing applications that worked in the cloud “We discovered that we could redefine productivity, address problems created by previous generations of productivity tools.”
However, he said this showed up the failings of on-premise productivity tools: “this created more problems, people weren't collaborating.”
He said that Google set out to “reboot” productivity and singled out one of the root causes of “anti-productivity” – the attachment.
“Attachments are evil,” he said. “This led to so many symptoms of anti productivity -people working on several different versions of the same file.”
He said that this problem was “very hard to solve with the current set of tools”.
Rochelle admitted it has only been in the past few years that the infrastructure in the cloud has been up to the job of handling online productivity tools.
He said that the company experimented with putting spreadsheets online “to prove that you could make desktop quality apps available on the web. But browsers weren’t quite ready in 2005.”
He then moved onto some of the successes the company had in convincing companies to move productivity apps to the web. One of the biggest was pharmaceutical firm Roche. It moved its email and caledaring system to Google Apps for its 90,000 employees worldwide, ditching two different platforms that had interoperability issues.
He said that when the IT organisation got rid of that part of their infrastructure, it meant it could then “apply themselves to other problems”. It also meant that companies could shift infrastructure from a capital expense to an operational one, and this was a benefit to companies using this model.