Google Web Store Pushes Cloud Computing Apps

Mar 11, 2010

By George Anderson

Google is operating in the cloud and the company is looking
to get the rest of us to do our computing up there, as well. The company announced
the launch of an online store for business applications that run over the internet.

than 50 companies have agreed to sell software through the Google store. For
each sale made, Google will take a 20 percent cut. Software services available
on the site range from $50 a year to several hundred dollars on an annual

Vander Mey, product manager, Google Apps Marketplace, wrote on the Google
, “Once installed to a company’s domain, these third-party applications
work like native Google applications. With administrator approval, they may interact
with calendar, email, document and/or contact data to increase productivity.
Administrators can manage the applications from the familiar Google Apps control
panel, and employees can open them from within Google Apps. With OpenID integration,
Google Apps users can access the other applications without signing in separately
to each. The Google Apps Marketplace eliminates the worry about software updates,
keeping track of different passwords and manual syncing and sharing of data,
thereby increasing business productivity and lessening frustrations for users
and IT administrators alike.”

Google claims that roughly 25 million people in
more than two million businesses use its online applications. According to
an Associated
Google’s revenues from software licensing grew from $181 million in 2007 to
$762 million last year.

Discussion Questions: What effect will the Google Apps
Marketplace have on internal company application management? Do you see this
as a smart solution for both large and small businesses? Are there
inherent dangers in relying on Google for important business applications?

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7 Comments on "Google Web Store Pushes Cloud Computing Apps"

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Marc Gordon
Marc Gordon
12 years 2 months ago

In theory I could see cloud apps being the way of the future. No more worries about losing files, or hard drive crashes. But the big question remains about speed, security, and ease of use. If the applications are crap, then it doesn’t really matter where they’re installed.

Max Goldberg
12 years 2 months ago

Cloud-based applications are a smart solution for large and small businesses. The primary benefits are to give everyone in a company access to the same software at the same time and to eliminate the hassle of upgrading each computer when software is upgraded. Another benefit is the ability to have that software be able to interact with other Google business programs.

Is Google a threat? Are there inherent dangers? I don’t think so. Google Apps will encourage software development, just as Apple apps have encouraged development for the iPhone and as developers have been developing programs to work with Microsoft’s office suite for years.

Bill Emerson
Bill Emerson
12 years 2 months ago

We’ve now come full circle. In the ’70s (yes, some of us are that old), there were data centers. They allowed companies to avoid the significant capital and technical payroll while getting the benefits of IT systems. As computing costs dropped and technical skills became more ubiquitous, most companies grew uncomfortable with the growth of “pay per click” expense and also began to look at IT systems as a competitive edge. Data Centers that survived tended to migrate to the more prosaic applications, like payroll.

Now we call it cloud computing. Will it work? Sure, depending on your particular needs and financial circumstances. Will it take over the IT world? Doubtful. There are still too many circumstances where proprietary applications provide a competitive edge. There is also the very real issue of data security (ask TJX).

Carol Spieckerman
Carol Spieckerman
12 years 2 months ago
Cloud computing is a done deal. The success of iPhone apps, many of which are increasingly business-oriented, prove the readiness to adopt “cloud” apps. Security issues are the exception, not the rule, and speed-of-adoption can often give small to medium sized businesses the agility to they need to compete with larger companies that are heavily invested in server-based applications that may require months of modification to meet the functionality of cloud apps. Let’s not forget that cloud computing is “greener” than localized network management…fewer servers and corresponding hardware in small to mid-size businesses means less waste and power usage. Google will have to face off with Microsoft’s own virtual mega-app, Office Online. Users have access to familiar applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, in the “cloud.” Google is attempting to mitigate this with plug-ins that integrate their apps with Office; however, adoption of a third party app will raise a few eyebrows with users. Price and timing (Office 2010 is in beta and most people are skeptical of any Microsoft upgrade) will be critical in… Read more »
Rick Boretsky
Rick Boretsky
12 years 2 months ago

Cloud-computing is definitely the way of the future. Just look at companies like or Freshbooks. More and more business applications will be moved to the cloud and eventually will be used by larger and larger organizations. No software to install (use form any PC), no files to lose, scalability, cost-effective (only pay for what you use) are just a few of the clear benefits of cloud-computing. Certainly need to work out security, private networks, etc, for larger orgs to jump in, but that will come over time. This is NOT comparable to anything we have seen in the past and it will be the way of the future, especially with companies like Google and Amazon leading the way.

Gene Detroyer
12 years 2 months ago

Oh, how I wished I would have used the cloud back-up offered by several very reputable sites before my hard drive crashesd forever!

Shilpa Rao
12 years 2 months ago
One of the biggest threats with cloud computing is the security of such applications. Yes, Google is doing all it can to make it very secure, but putting all your company data up there opens many avenues for security breaches and threats. Cloud computing, is relatively new and still in nascent stages and the security aspect of it is not fully explored. However, for non mission-critical applications, this could be the way to go. Not only for small businesses but also for large ones. I have been stating this for a while now, that most of the workforce is now computer savvy and have had a very active life on the internet. They have personal email id, they tweet, they are on Facebook and MySpace, they communicate and collaborate in a million ways. But when they get to work, the boring applications, and probably a blue and white screen, does not enable them to do so much. With adoption of the Google cloud, all the things they were able to do outside work, can be… Read more »

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