Google seeks to sell agencies on hosted software

Google's foray into business software applications last week will give government employees at every level the means to exchange and collaborate on documents over the Internet, according to Google officials.

The ever-evolving search giant just began selling software products on demand to government and industry. The "software as a service" or "hosted software" approach is not new in the business world, but government has not yet adopted the technology. Online software involves buying access to Internet-based software that is managed by an outside vendor.

"The idea of using software as a service is gaining a lot of traction in corporate America," Michael Lock, the head of Google Enterprise North America, told Technology Daily. However, he acknowledged that the intelligence world may not be interested.

Google's Web-based office software suite, which it calls Google Apps, includes word processor, spreadsheet, e-mail and calendar functionalities similar to Microsoft Office.

During a breakfast seminar for agency decision-makers and information technology managers, Lock said the system's e-mail application was developed to comply with federal records-management regulations.

Government is widely perceived as being reluctant to embrace cutting-edge technology. But Lock told Technology Daily that increasingly, in his discussions with government personnel, "they're [now] looking at innovation ... whether you're talking about it politically or economically."

He added, "If the government's going to stay as being a late adopter of technology, then it's going to fall behind."

Right now, government and industry outsource only about 10 percent to 12 percent of their computer applications to hosted software vendors, according to Lock. "We're betting that in three to five years," the percentage will be much bigger -- with enterprise Google Apps now out on the market, he said.

Lock added that one reason for the increased interest will be the price. Large organizations, like government agencies, cannot afford enough licenses for desktop suites to accommodate every employee. With Google Apps costing about $50 per worker, all employees could literally be on the same page in the office or on the go.

Managers will be saying, "Hey, $50 a user, I can stop sending these people snail mail," Lock said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.