Google at odds with the locked-down enterprise

By , IDG News Service |  Software

We obviously believe in this idea of the Web 2.0, where you're collecting different kinds of applications together to meet consumer needs. The firewall is one line of defense, and it's still useful, just like locks on front doors are still useful. But you need other kinds of defenses as well. You may need application development standards, you may need inter-organizational understanding of things, like Stopbadware.org. It's no longer that security is something you can write a check for. Security is a process. There are no lasting technical solutions to social problems. You can't write a check to solve a social problem. So Niels is absolutely right. We think security of the future is a far more complex community based activity. It takes a village. We want to be part of the village.

IDGNS: That's interesting because it is in opposition to the trend of locking out social networking sites and locking down the functionality of the PC. It sounds like you guys believe that that's not going to work.

Merrill: We believe that in the long run, enterprise technology will be consumerized. We have over 100,000 domains in Google Apps so far. So 100,000 different domains have decided that the right way for them to run their enterprise applications is to have us do it. And to have us do it with consumer-grade applications, because the consumer-grade application involving search, free text unstructured search, involving things like conversation views and connections of threads in e-mails, involving secure document storage and access control, those things are so powerful that enterprises can use them.

IDGNS: But do you see yourself in opposition to the trend of locking down the PC?

Merrill: I think we see ourselves in opposition to that trend. Obviously you have to manage things like bandwidth utilization. So in some sense, some of the locking down is done for that reason. Sometimes it's done for regulatory or other reasons. But in general we believe that the world where your business computer is very tightly coupled only to business use and business applications are very complex and really rich and complicated and are very hard to use, we believe that those days are coming to an end.

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