This is the time and especially this week where everyone and their brother are publishing either predictions of the trends for the next year, or the infamous ‘10 Best’ lists. This year provided an interesting extension to these list discussions; ‘The 10 Best Best 10 Lists’, how’s that for wringing the last possible drops from a topic and providing a humorous example of these trends taken one step too far. So, I thought on this last day of the year I would provide my thoughts on the Google Eco-system for a change of pace.
First of all I love the concept that is conveyed by the eco-system phrase; and in this context I think the phrase is especially appropriate. Google is developing the tools and capabilities to support all of your communications, social networking and business tools based on the concept that you should be able to access all of your information and communications from any device and be assured that updates you make from one device are immediately available from any of your other devices that are connected to the Internet. I think this eco-system concept will become the giant killer in the near future of their competitors because of Google’s capabilities to focus on the activities and not the devices.
What do I mean by this? Well if you look at Microsoft, or Apple, or HP or IBM you find organizations that were born with the software to support the physical devices. Now if you look at Amazon, Facebook and Google you find organizations that were born with the Internet and they only depend on connectivity to the Internet and not the physical device that is used to provide the connectivity. I would argue that the first are examples of the last vestiges of the 20th century’s practices and business concepts clashing with the first vestiges of the 21st century practices and business concepts.
As recently as the beginning of this year I will admit that I believed that Google was playing a losing game of catch-up with Facebook with their Google+ and i thought it would be only a matter of time before Google would drop this product. I must admit now that I see I was completely wrong and I’ve made a complete about face in my acceptance and belief in the Google eco-system. Here is the point where I changed my mind and fully bought into the concept; my laptop ‘died’ and I was not looking forward to recreating the configuration and personalizing a new laptop. I came across the Google Chromebook in my research and was intrigued so I went to see for myself. That research was the beginning of my conversion, I realized that since Internet connectivity is so pervasive, a tool that requires Internet access to even work would easily be viable. Then add to this the ability of the Chrome browser to provide seamless configuration on any device that you use simply by logging into Google and I was convinced.
I know that Apple is marching in a similar direction but I think Apple has a compelling challenge that is not shared by Google and that is the Apple dependency on the physical storage in the device. Apple’s Cloud service will synchronize all of your devices via the Cloud. The key differentiating factor for Google is the freedom provided from the physical device. In my opinion the freedom from the device is the giant killer concept that Google will use to propel them past their competitors. This was also the factor that convince me to accept and buy into the Google eco-system. As luck would have it, when my laptop died I was well into a project to convert my local file storage to the cloud, first in DropBox and finally in Google Docs, or Drive now. Then the Chrome Book allowed me to drop my dependence on Microsoft for Office and with the security tools like Norton. With the Chrome Book you get regular and frequent updates to the operating system (and it just works in a couple of minutes rather than the long involved process from Microsoft), and the security is build into the Chrome operating system. So I took that plunge and i must say that I have not been sorry and don’t look back!
Now for the audience participation portion of this program…….
Have you thought about converting to the Google eco-system?
How many different devices to you own and how difficult is it for you to synchronize?
Happy New Year!