I got schooled by Google

Earlier today at the Gartner Information Security Summit, I sat in on a session offered by Google(you may have heard of them before – my friends tell me they have apopular search engine).  The session was a case study of how a localpublic school group made the transition over to Google Appsfor mail and other services.  I was only moderately interested atfirst, but I figured that I’d at least learn Google’s latest plans forworld domination.

In the end, the presentation turned out to be really interesting. The guy from Google spoke for a few minutes in order to give theaudience a background in just exactly what Google Apps are available,but then promptly turned it over to the people from Prince George’s County Public Schools(PGCPS).  What followed was a frank discussion of how aresource-strapped educational group with over 22,000 employees and130,000 students was able to deliver a better user experience for a lotless money.  From an information security perspective, they werecareful to resolve data ownership and retrievability issues up front,and are pleased to avail of continuous security upgrades via the“G-cloud”.  Granted, not everything went smootly, and they are stillusing Active Directory and Exchange for a few things that Google hasn’t perfected, but they seem very satisfied.

Not only is PGCPS satisfied, but they also seem proud of what they have accomplished.  They make their presentation available onlineand invite people to contact them for more information.  If any of youare thinking of making the move to Google Apps, you really should takea look at the presentation to see how the challenges faced by PGCPScompare to your own.  Regardless, you can take comfort in knowing thatsuccessful use of Google Apps in a larger organization is not a myth.

Dave Morgan, Director of Privacy Research at Camouflage Software Inc.
Guest blogger for ComputerWorld Canada at Gartner Information Security Summit 2009
Regular blogger for Cogitatio Privatim by Camouflage

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