There’s been a change of thinking among CIOs, a new openness to alternative software models such as Google’s online e-mail and productivity suite. That’s the idea behind this week’s InformationWeek cover story. This rethinking is driven by new capabilities in the cloud, but even more so by the grinding recession of the past year, which made the tradeoffs of online software more palatable.
That opens the door for Google. But Google needs to prove once and for all that it’s deadly serious about enterprise IT business. It’s time for one of the company’s founders, Sergey Brin or Larry Page, to take personal responsibility for the enterprise business. One of these leaders needs to lash his incredible intelligence and creativity and passion and personal credibility inextricably to making Google Enterprise a multi-billion dollar business.
Google can be an effective service provider to businesses without this level of leadership commitment. Or, with it, it could become a strategic partner to businesses, one of the four or five vendors that IT works hand-in-hand to solve entirely new problems. To be that strategic partner, the world’s largest CIOs want to know someone like Brin or Page is right there with them, that his future is tied just as firmly to this effort as the CIO’s.