Which large organizations use Google Apps

Google Workspace: better workflow, teamwork from anywhere

The cloud-based Google Workspace has many advantages, but also has its limits. How heavy the disadvantages are depends on the company. Every company needs different software solutions, depending on the business area, employee structure and corporate culture. It is therefore important to consider whether the Google Workspace (formerly Google Apps for Business) is profitable and actually simplifies work processes. As a decision-making aid, we compare advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of the cloud-based platform

The main feature of Google Workspace is the complete relocation of data storage and processing to a cloud. This is what sets it apart from Microsoft 365 in part Platform for location-independent teamwork virtually predestined and a useful collaboration tool. Companies whose employees are often away from home for the purpose of customer agreements, conferences or sales tasks stay up to date, access all data and take part in important meetings despite being away from home.

Those who enable their employees to work from home also ensure that they stay up to date. The same applies to companies that are spread across different locations or that have to consult with external partners, service providers and customers on a regular basis. The communication platform with the cloud storage space ensures that every activated user, wherever he is, simultaneous access regardless of whether he is using a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Especially Start-ups and smaller companies save resourcesif you do not have to install your own hardware and software; Data storage and computing processes are carried out externally. This eliminates the need for an in-house data center and its maintenance. For this very reason, Google Workspace can also be of interest to self-employed people who often communicate directly with customers and collaborate on projects from outside the company. In terms of cloud-based collaboration, Google Workspace is ahead of the curve.

Compared to Google Workspace, Microsoft 365 is only a rudimentary cloud solution. While Google Workspace all machining processes synchronized in real time, with the Microsoft counterpart, this usually only works via an intermediate step, in any case not automatically. In principle, Office initially saves locally. Only when you then set the document to the OneDrive cloud storage system or the SharePoint content management system or activate cloud functions can it be viewed and edited by others. Microsoft 365 therefore also offers an interface to the cloud and has groupware functions, but networking is not entirely automatic.

If, on the other hand, you rely on a hybrid solution and want storage on hard drive and in the data center, you do not need to fear any disadvantages with Office in this regard. The Cooperation component however, it is more pronounced with the Google Workspace.

Downside of the cloud system

A complete cloud solution is addictive. The Google Workspace always requires a fast internet connection. The model reaches its limits, especially when using mobile devices. However, if the connection is ever cut, it is possible to switch to offline mode for many functions and to synchronize files afterwards.

If you forego local copies, these will be alone stored at an external provider, in this case on Google's servers. Google employs security experts and, as a large corporation, has a correspondingly sophisticated infrastructure to prevent data loss. However, even the best system is not one hundred percent immune to technical breakdowns, temporary server failures, data theft and hacker attacks. In addition, Google reserves the right to block the account for certain reasons, which is more of a worst-case scenario.

In general, as a user of Google Workspace, you also give sensitive data in the hands of the group and have to trust that they are protected from unauthorized access. Because you can hardly make use of your right of control. It is also a fact that your data ends up on the potentially insecure servers of a third country, in which generally different data protection regulations apply. Security certifications such as ISO 27001, which certifies that Google complies with international standards in terms of IT security, are intended to allay concerns. Nonetheless, the NSA affair showed that secret services can gain access to data at the server locations.

In addition, are Google's privacy policy is not completely transparent. This suggests that the group would like to retain certain freedoms - after all, the processing of user data is Google's largest business pillar. This regularly calls data protectionists on the scene.

But it is also important that you Pay attention to data security in your company. A one-time log-in is practical, but is not a major hurdle for hackers. If the password has been hacked or accidentally got into the wrong hands, a lot of data can be viewed because it is ultimately bundled on Google Workspace. In order to provide more security, Google alternatively offers multi-level authentication methods and other security functions. You can also change the access data at any time via the admin account. With the mobile device management, you can secure data from mobile devices in the event that one is lost. In some cases, Google Workspace also allows external security tools to be included. This applies, for example, to Gmail, where you can also use your own certificates for S / MIME encryption of e-mail correspondence.

Internally, too, it is necessary to keep secrets across different departments and levels, and especially to additionally protect confidential data, in particular personal data of customers and employees. To ensure this, you can, for example, define individual access rights for each user so that not everyone can view, edit and download all documents.

The Google Workspace gives administrators many options. They can save the chat logs of the employees and manage user accounts and personal data. According to their own information complies with the Google Workspace EU data protection requirements. Nevertheless, it is advisable to have a legal expert check whether your own way of using the platform complies with the GDPR. There are also companies that have agreed their own contractual clauses with Google with regard to data processing.

Several tools from a single source

A cloud-based work platform that combines various applications ensures a better workflow.

  • Better overview: The Google Workspace makes it easier to coordinate all work processes and to maintain an overview of meetings, deadlines and work progress. This saves a lot of time, especially with large teams and when external parties are involved. A platform that combines various coordinated applications ensures that all employees are up to date. Search functions make it possible to quickly filter relevant information from a large number of data stored in the cloud.
     
  • Manage easily: There is a central point for administrators that does not require any additional configuration files. Since everything runs via a cloud, administrators save themselves the need to manage accounts and licenses for several applications distributed over different servers. There are also various options for evaluating, controlling and managing access rights.
     
  • Easy operation: All you need to do is log in to access all of the Google Workspace tools and documents. Real-time updates make it unnecessary to update various files retrospectively and to exchange them among colleagues. Since most apps, such as chat and word processing functions, are similar to familiar Microsoft applications and the Gmail account is widely used, you can easily introduce Google Workspace in your own company. In most cases it should not be necessary to train employees to use the Google Workspace. There are also numerous options for transferring data generated by other services to the Google platform.
     
  • Integrate external tools: Whether for data migration or function expansion: Google Workspace is compatible with numerous external services. This includes customer relationship systems as well as accounting programs. A list of programs that can be integrated can be found on the Google Workspace Marketplace. In addition, the Google Workspace is compatible with all Office applications. A text created with Google Docs can easily be saved as a Word document, which could compensate for one or the other disadvantage. If you miss the functionality of the Office applications, you don't need to do without them, but you should consider whether Microsoft 365 alone is possibly more worthwhile than a solution integrated into Google Workspace. You can also integrate in-house developments via an interface.