Google’s CIO On The “Consumerization” Of The Enterprise
The Wall Street Journal has an interview this morning with Google’s Chief Information Officer Douglas Merrill. He discusses the company’s attitude toward security and the freedom that Google permits its employees in terms of choosing software applications, phones, computer operating systems, and so on.
From the article:
The Wall Street Journal: What’s the structure of the IT organization at Google?
Mr. Merrill: We’re a decentralized technology organization, in that almost everyone at Google is some type of technologist. At most organizations, technology is done by one organization, and is very locked-down and very standardized. You don’t have the freedom to do anything. Google’s model is choice. We let employees choose from a bunch of different machines and different operating systems, and [my support group] supports all of them. It’s a little bit less cost-efficient — but on the other hand, I get slightly more productivity from my [Google’s] employees.
Merrill goes on to argue that consumer applications are now as good or better than enterprise apps in many cases. He also explains that Google had to rethink its approach to enterprise security to provide employees with the choice and flexibility that the company wanted to offer. In many respects, it’s a fascinating metaphor for Google’s larger culture and how Google is different from its competitors and most traditional companies.