“Having greater control and visibility when protecting sensitive assets should also be a top concern in today’s world. That’s why starting today, we’re giving customers the critical control and visibility they expect in G Suite. . .”
— Reena Nadkarni, G Suite head of product management
When you think of Google, do you think “underdog?” If not, you should.
In at least one particular department, Microsoft has a profoundly significant edge.
Google has been making some serious strides in charming enterprise corporations to employ G Suite’s offerings. Despite its best efforts thus far, Google still seems to be playing second fiddle to Microsoft Office as far as large businesses are concerned.
One of the single biggest challenges the company faces in this arena is that its G Suite tools are not identical to Microsoft’s popular programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others. Gartner senior research analyst Joe Mariano points out Google’s struggle quite effectively:
“Enterprises have been ingrained in the Microsoft stack for essentially the beginning of time, it feels like. . . [Enterprises] have problems shifting away from that, because they have a lot of investments, either in customizations or how they’re using the tools.”
Certain enterprises have made the shift, however, and seem to be benefiting from the transition. Telus International and its 25,000 employees switched over to Google’s productivity suite four years ago and is quite pleased with the outcome, as noted by the company’s chief information officer, Michael Ringman:
“The reality we’ve seen, we’ve seen better collaboration, better communication and frankly had better [employee] engagement. . . We actually measure our engagement scores . . . and have seen an increase in our engagement scores somewhat directly as well as indirectly due to our rollout of the Google G Suite.”
Google is making another push to convince enterprise companies to adopt G Suite in place of current toolsets.
On Jan. 31, Google published a blog announcing various security upgrades to its G Suite products that are currently leveraged by more than three million organizations.
The main goal of the upgrades is to make its users are better protected against phishing scams and data hacks.
The most significant enhancement is that IT administrators are now enabled to require company employees to carry physical security keys to gain access to company data.
While Google already implemented a two-step verification process in 2011, the company seeks to ensure that its user’s information is further protected with its applications.
The new feature would demand (for those who chose to employ it) that a physical key would be needed to login and access information instead of a pin code. This makes hacking into corporate data much more difficult because hackers would need to physically steal an employee’s access key; a great deal more effort than most are willing to go through.
In addition to this added layer of G Suite security, Google is expanding its data loss prevention (DLP) technology (which is already present in Gmail) to Google Drive.
This means that system administrators would be enabled to set rules which makes files that include sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, ineligible for download or sharing.
The DLP technology will effectively examine the content within files, searching for sensitive data formats and will flag those documents so that management can remove the data.
As far as e-mail is concerned, Google is also improving security offerings in that department:
“Unfortunately, other e-mail services that you exchange e-mails with might not take similar measures to protect your data. That’s why we’re offering additional protection by giving you the option to bring your own certificates for S/MIME encryption. Administrators will be able to enforce S/MIME usage and can set DLP rules based on specific organizational unit needs.”
Additionally, Google is adding BigQuery integration with Gmail. The BigQuery analytics data warehouse is a system that allows admins to analyze user activity habits. With its unification with Gmail, dashboards can be created to display the number of e-mails sent per day, where the e-mails were sent to, as well as other pertinent data.
What makes this integration especially significant is that it also adds the capability to track and report violations to a company’s information sharing policy. Enterprise companies can now enforce these rules across Google Drive and Gmail.
This feature, however, is possibly most potent when it comes to restricting the data that can be stored or shared in Drive folders because they tend to contain larger amounts of sensitive information. It is crucial for companies to have such intimate control over employee data access and activities because it is common practice for large businesses to share data with colleagues and partners, creating a greater threat to the materials potentially being compromised each time they are shared.
All of these new security features are only available to users of the premium G Suite Enterprise edition.
All of these additions should poise Google to be able to better compete with Microsoft Office tools. There is still a great chance, however, that large corporations will be hesitant to convert to Google’s offerings due to their entrenched history with Microsoft. Transitioning to a new set of tools would prove to be a massive undertaking for large corporations with gargantuan amounts of files and data. Many have no desire or motivation to convert and transfer all this data to Google; but these latest upgrades could do the trick.
The new security features make the idea a much sweeter prospect seeing as major brands like Linux, LinkedIn, Oracle, and even President Trump’s organizations, were hacked in 2016.
Do you think the added security will be enough to convince enterprise corporations to move to G Suite?
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.