Time for a refreshChoosing Google Apps just after you’ve made a significant hardware and software upgrade doesn’t make much sense. The right time to consider a change is when it’s time to refresh your organizations technology again.
PricingCohn said the difference in cost between Google Apps and on-premise software is significant. Google Apps costs customers $50 per user per year versus on-premise solutions which can run $300 (or more) per user per year, he said. Given the economy, such savings are attractive to end customers.
Enterprise messaging requirementsCompared to on-premise software solutions, the Google Apps stack had significant gaps in features up until 2009. Cohn said those gaps have now been filled. It’s still important to make sure Google Apps will fit all your messaging needs before committing.
Reliability and uptimeThe Google Apps SLA promises 99.9 percent uptime, but Cohn said independent monitoring of the service shows much better uptime. How does that compare to your on-premise hardware and software? Would it be an improvement?
The security questionCloud computing still gets a bad reputation when it comes to security. The public cloud brings with it valid security concerns, but at the same time it locks down physical security better than on-premise software.
What’s your vertical?Heavily regulated vertical industries may be in violation of compliance regulations by putting their data on Google Apps. For instance, Google Apps is not ready for the increased compliance needs of financial services firms.
Effort vs. rewardBusinesses with investments in a lot of integration between platforms may find the effort to rewrite all the code for Google Apps is simply not worth the benefits of the cloud platform. The effort may be too great, and instead an upgrade would be a better choice than a switch in platforms.
TrainingOutlook junkies are going to find some differences between Microsoft’s popular mail program and Gmail, but there will also be differences in all applications on Google. Keep in mind training time and costs, and short term loss in productivity and factor those into your decision.
Try it outIf it seems like Google Apps is the solution for you, launch a pilot project for a few key individuals within your organization to get a feel for it. At the end of pilot, you can make a more informed decision.