Will your agency ever use Google Apps?

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Jay A. Allen 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #111528

    Kristin Dziadul
    Participant

    Google seems to consistently add new features to make their service more appealing for governments. Between the FISMA certification, Transparency Report, added features and a two step verification login process, they seem to be working towards satisfying all types of cautious government sectors.

    However, I recently had a discussion with a customer of mine who said that his company didn’t even allow them to have access to google.com! I found this quite surprising. He said while him and his co-workers were very frustrated, they got their paychecks from the company so couldn’t complain too much about it. I’m guessing many other companies go through this same issue, they feel afraid to speak out about security issues for fear of compromising their care for the company’s infrastructure and also for wanting a paycheck every week.
    Does your agency allow you access to any of Google’s services? Are they considering moving to GApps or already using it?
  • #111552

    Jay A. Allen
    Participant

    As, I believe, the first .gov to use Google Apps as our enterprise software, I am (pretty) happy to report that I can’t imagine NOT working in the cloud anymore.

    I’ve almost completely weaned myself off of any local C drive, even for my personal life.

    I will actually be giving a webinar on the subject, in conjunction with the ASTD DC Metro Chapter Technology Special Interest Group (chose to use BigTent) in November (see attached, webinar details to follow).

    I am curious about your customer. Not having access to Google would mean no internet access at all unless the company specifically blacklisted Google – I also find that hard to believe.

  • #111550

    Kristin Dziadul
    Participant

    Jay, I feel the same way! I use Google Apps for daily productivity at work and can’t imagine doing work elsewhere. I don’t store any documents locally on my computer anymore; they’re all on Google Docs.

    Yeah I was a bit confused about this customer as well. They seemed to be working at a VERY stringent company with little to no worldwide internet access. I didn’t get into too much detail with him as it was over Twitter, but from what he said they block almost all Google searches, Gmail and Google Docs. Very odd but maybe their company operates offline most of the time…

  • #111548

    Jay A. Allen
    Participant

    When I was with DHS, most other Google apps were blocked as well (Documents, etc.).

    I’ve wondered how crazy it would be to rearrange the URL so that everything streamed off of google.com/…… instead of flip-flopping and putting Google later in the address. Just happy to show my IT ignorance.

  • #111546

    Sterling Whitehead
    Participant

    I get Google everything…except Gmail. I don’t think we’re moving towards Google Apps anytime soon.

  • #111544

    [email protected]
    Participant

    Our agency, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), does allow access to most Google Apps currently online. However, I believe we will never utilize them for fear of security. Because we fall under DoD, there is a heightened sense of keeping information secure and behind the .mil infrastructure. In addition, we contract out to random companies to develop online, portal solutions for us to share data and communication. The problem is that rarely do the products contracted for actually meet the needs of the workforce in the field, as well as being very non-user friendly. We hear rumors that we’re going to MS SharePoint, but that’s also a dream as far as I’m concerned. It would be great to go to google apps, but I think it’s an idea that will come and go here at DCMA.

  • #111542

    Stephen Peteritas
    Participant

    Reply from Josh Hutchinson in Google for Gov Group: I tried when GApps was first released a few years back. I sure hope the GApps private gov cloud is considered. Productivity will skyrocket based on ease of access alone. I wont even touch on the licensing cost reduction.

  • #111540

    Kristin Dziadul
    Participant

    I certainly find the productivity enhancements, as I use GApps every day. It is so easy to use and accessible anytime/anywhere which I need most out of anything. And cost…yeah it beats out just about every other option.

  • #111538

    Stephen Peteritas
    Participant

    Another response from the Google for Gov Group by Rich Mariner:

    I don’t see it ever happening. Institutional IT people would completely have to change the way they think. Lets just say SA are not the most open minded trusting lot.

    Regards!
    Rich

  • #111536

    Stephen Peteritas
    Participant

    Two more response:

    I’m pretty sure that Microsoft would *give* us office licenses for every single employee before they’d let that happen. Also, since they employ a lot of voters in this area and have tremendous reach here, I suspect our elected representatives would block any effort that might make political waves. – Al Boss

    When you think about organizations and the move to a cloud / web apps environ, it is critical to look at it from the perspective of Mgmt, Ops and Tech. 2/3 of that equation will demand it for its efficiency, data access, ease of access, etc. The Techs do not have a leg to stand on when Leadership and End-Users call for it.

    Awhile back I wrote a post or two relating to this topic:
    http://agileflux.blogspot.com/2010/07/win-win-google-apps-for-gov.html
    and
    http://agileflux.blogspot.com/2010/07/enable-us-army-knowledge-work

    – Josh Hutchinson

  • #111534

    Jeff Self
    Participant

    I know it will happen. It will just take IT managers who grow up in this generation for it to happen. Remember, there were managers who came up through the “You can’t get fired for buying IBM” generation. Most of these have been replaced with a new generation of managers who are from the “You can’t get fired for buying Microsoft” camp. Only now are we starting to see IT managers who are part of the open source and Google generation. They will be the ones who move their IT infrastructure to the cloud.

    Technology in your organization is usually a reflection on the management who make those decisions.

  • #111532

    kathy kyle
    Participant

    we are launching a new federal agency and just signed up, lady! 🙂 we are excited.

  • #111530

    Troy D. White
    Participant

    Hi Kristin,

    Maybe their IT director was a former Microsoft employee? 🙂

    I worked with thousands of teachers each year, and was always amazed that *schools* blocked access to Gmail and, most predominately, YouTube.

    It seems more school districts are loosening these restrictions, though, especially with so many adopting Google Apps nows.

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