Google enterprise exec predicts IT dept shakeup

IT departments that recognize and embrace the increasing commoditization of collaboration and communication tools within the enterprise will ultimately reap productive employees, said a Google exec.

Google strives to facilitate the relationship between the IT department and end users by providing applications that come with the security and manageability that organizations want, said the company’s vice-president for enterprise, Dave Giourard who was in Toronto to discuss the company’s push towards corporate customers.

The degree to which IT departments will manage these easily accessible employee tools will certainly vary, however, in the end users will likely not have complete autonomy over their choice of software. “But hopefully they’ll have choices to have tools that are appealing to them and help them be more productive.”

There is an overall trend where employees are starting to either create or bring their own IT into the enterprise, said Tom Purves, co-founder of Toronto, Ont.-based provider of enterprise social media Firestoker. “They might make the decision to say ‘I don’t feel a need to do a business case to buy this software because it isn’t a $100,000-piece of software.”

Purves said with the commoditization of collaboration and communication tools, IT’s role will change, becoming less about everyday support, backups and passwords, and more about coaching users as to the best tools to choose to enhance their performance on the job. “There is an opportunity for IT departments to add a higher level of value because as much as Google is coming out with these tools, everybody else is coming out with great tools too.”

According to Giourard, Google’s presence in the enterprise vis-

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