Over the past few years, enterprise IT leaders have been concerned that Google Apps wasn’t a secure enough environment for communication and collaboration. The Defense Department, however, has recently enrolled 50,000 Army and DOD workers, beginning with the Army Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), in Google Apps, according to a post on Google’s Enterprise blog:
The accessibility of Google Apps from any device including thin clients was a primary driver for selecting Google. Mobile technology not only makes the Army more nimble, it is imperative for efficiency while personnel are in the field. Tablets are used by the Army for education and distance learning because they equip personnel with access to training materials anytime, anywhere. A soldier can review a lesson in Google Drive, complete an assignment with teammates in Google Docs, or attend a class via video Hangout, all from their tablet, smartphone or desktop. In addition, Army organizations can set up their own Google Play Private Channel for distributing mobile apps internally.
The move to the cloud should solve several problems for PEO EIS, which is responsible for providing “infrastructure and information management systems to the Army.” Here are a few other agencies that have moved to Google’s cloud, and a look at the results.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
When NOAA moved to Google Apps in January of 2012, they were the largest federal agency to do so. CIO Joseph Klimavicz noted that one of the reasons the agency chose Google Apps was because the migration could happen in just six months:
NOAA staff now have a set of modern tools like instant messaging, video chat, and real-time, multi-user document collaboration to help the people of NOAA work together more effectively. What’s more, NOAA estimates the cost to the taxpayer is approximately 50% less than developing a solution in-house.
General Services Administration
The GSA was the first federally agency to go to cloud email and moved 17,000 employees to cloud-based email and collaboration in less than six months:
GSA expects the introduction of Google Apps to help the agency transform its business and provide better results for its customers by promoting clearer communication and better team collaboration. What’s more, GSA projects that moving to Google Apps will lower email costs by 50%, a savings of $15 million over five years.
U.S. Naval Academy
After discovering that 4,400 of its students — about 96 percent of the student body — were using Gmail for personal communication, the Naval Academy made the move to the cloud. After migration, the college found that users were creating more than 5,000 new Google Docs each day:
Google Apps provides USNA with flexibility and enables management of the constant change of midshipmen turnover at a lower cost than before. The mobile access alone makes Google Apps a worthwhile investment at $50 per person. It lets us make better use of the taxpayer’s dollars. The greatest value is the ease of creating and sharing information between midshipmen, faculty, and other institutions making Google Apps a core collaborative asset in the educational process.
Has your agency moved to the cloud? Let us know in the Comments.