3 Ways to Know if Google Apps are Right For Your Business

by | Jun 8, 2011 | Cloud & Hosting, General Tech

Have you checked out the latest Google Apps?

Like most people these days, you’re hearing a lot of buzz about Google apps and wondering to yourself, “Is Google apps right for my business?”  There is no right or wrong answer and there is no easy answer.  Each case is different, but what you have to do is either work with an IT consultant or go through a step by step process and determine for yourself.  Unfortunately there isn’t a 1800 # to call for Google, so you’re on your own, or need to turn to an IT consultant.

For those of you who want try to do it on your own, here are some things you will need to address for your company:

1) What are my alternatives? Depending on the size of your business and whether you have an IT staff or internal staff, you may already be handling your email, collaboration, calendaring, etc.  You can either manage in-house (i.e. Microsoft Exchange) or a hosted solution such as Google Apps or a Hosted Exchange.  Hosting internally will require more IT resources — it’s not recommended to host your own exchange without IT support, and rather focus on your business.  There are a wide range of IT providers that provide Hosted Exchange services, and the pricing is slightly higher than Google apps.

2) How Reliable is Google apps? For the most part you should be fine, but you are taking a risk for anything that is stored outside of your control.  One issue I have with Google apps is the fact that if something does happen, or go down, you don’t have a number to call.  For most Microsoft hosted solutions, you are working with a solution provider and have a direct rep to contact.  Google did have an outage a couple months back, and even Sony was hacked into.  My point is that it happens, and you will likely be faced with the situation some time or another, be prepared to deal with it and without your data for a period of time.

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3) Is cheaper always better? I am a strong believer, you get what you pay for.  If communication and access to your documents is “CRITICAL” to your business organization, perhaps going the cheapest route isn’t the best solution here.  On the other hand, if you can live without your email or docs for a period of time every now and again, then the cheapest route may be for you.  It all depends on your business objectives.

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Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.