Google Apps – The Ultimate SaaS?

On the face of it, Google Apps Premier Edition is the future.

Software as a service (SaaS) has many attractions and the subscription model that Google has announced has made it particularly attractive from a financial perspective.  Why have an expensive corporate network and storage infrastructure when you can use the World Wide Web?

Staff can log onto their personal productivity tools from anywhere in the world…. ah hang on, is that the problem?  Staff can log on from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.

Here in the UK the wireless world is growing but still has a long way to go.  I can get a GNER train from Leeds to London and get a limited bandwidth wireless connection but invariably it is painfully slow.  Last time I got a Virgin train from Manchester to London, there wasn’t even a service available!

I genuinely believe in the future of the SaaS model but one of the attractions of having client software installed locally is that you can still work when things go wrong.  It’s not just Google that needs to provide a reliable service, availability and reliability of whoever provides your internet connection is also at stake.

In the building where I work we do sometimes lose connectivity and this is not a problem for short periods.  I can’t help thinking that with Google Apps, I would have to down tools until my connection was restored.

For larger organisations, maybe data security will be the larger issue.  For smaller organisations like mine, the main issue is access and productivity, we all do a lot of offline activity.  So I do think we will consider Google Apps but I would like to see a better wireless infrastructure around the UK before we jumped in with both feet.

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