SNW Europe 2010: Enterprise must leverage consumer tech

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Enterprises need to start taking advantage of consumer products rather than trying to solve all their problems in house, according to Google.

According to Philipp Karmires, Google's manager of enterprise accounts, products needed for mobile working, collaboration and tools to deal with the data explosion, are all there in the consumer space. They just need tweaks to be made suitable for business.

"You get a lot of good tools drafted for consumers that work great for the enterprise," he told attendees at SNW Europe 2010.

Karmires questioned why companies were spending cash on developing technologies such as mobile access when it was outside their core competency.

"All your budget goes into maintaining (hardware) that has nothing to do with your main (focus)," he said. "Mobile access should be like buying a company car. You don't build the car yourself, you rent one or get one from somebody who knows what they are doing."

As well as Google's public cloud enterprise offerings, Kamires pointed to other consumer technologies that are finding their way into businesses.

"Take Skype," he said. "This is a consumer technology that can be leveraged by the business for video conferencing. Yes, it is dependent on SLAs (Service Level Agreements) but it is a great tool."

A major push now for Google is to convince businesses of the safety of using its public cloud offerings, with security widely agreed to be the aspect holding companies back.

"The security/reliability issue is the same as when banks first put ATMs on the streets," said Karmires. "Everybody thought they weren't safe, would be stolen straight away... it is this deep in the stomach feeling we need to address."

To this end, Google is working on getting external certification for its security to gain more trust and has internal developers working on products.

"We have hundreds of world class security experts [and] we are the Fort Knox of data [protection]," Karmires said.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.