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Google Apps are Popular AND Effective

Frost & Sullivan recently conducted a survey of more than 400 Google Apps users (IT administrators, line-of-business managers acting in an IT role, and end users not in IT) to identify trends in usage and satisfaction, and the successful adoption of a cloud-based infrastructure with the help of third-party services. The results were eye opening.

Nine out of 10 admins, and almost as many end users, said they are satisfied with Google Apps; in both cases, only 5% of respondents are not satisfied with the services. We didn't do the comparison, but I imagine you'd have a hard time improving upon those scores with Microsoft Office. What's more, nearly two-thirds of admins who have been using the services for more than three months said they are an important part of the IT infrastructure--and 31% of those using it for more than a year said Google Apps are core to their environment.

One-third of admins found third-party applications to be important or very important in facilitating their migration; another third consider third-party applications to be helpful, although not integral, to their success. No wonder nearly half of admins continue to use third-party apps to assist in the implementation and adoption of the cloud--although it's worth noting that 10% didn't even know such applications exist.

Given the opportunity to install new third-party applications, most would choose those that are relevant to their business and very secure. Half would also look for applications that integrate well with the Google Apps suite. They are primarily satisfied with apps that are reliable and secure, and are only minimally discouraged by applications that require payment up front or credit card information for a trial. When choosing Marketplace apps, admins see integration between third-party applications and Google Apps, or other third-party apps, as the most significant areas for improvement.

Eighty-three percent of respondents work in organizations that support a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, with nearly all of these supporting employee–owned devices. Most BYOD networks allow smartphones, laptops, and tablets on the Android or Apple iOS operating systems.

The stat that really caught my attention, however, was this one: Most administrators are willing to spend their own money on work-related apps that help improve their performance. Admins buy an average of 2.4 workplace applications with their own money--and IT admins, specifically, buy four. Likewise, on average, 58% of end-users are willing to spend their own money on the ideal work-related application--typically owning two workplace apps that they bought on their own.

Think about that: The majority of employees--whether they work in IT or not, whether they are managers or simply run-of-the-mill knowledge workers--are willing to spend their own money on apps and services that will make their work lives easier and/or more productive. That--more than changing technology, the distributed work force, or the influence of millennials and other up-and-comers--is what will change the role and relevance of IT. Are you ready?

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