Google, the new information bank?

The 12.23.06 issue of the Economist has an interesting article about the migration of Arizona State University’s technology infrastructure (starting with email) to Google’s Apps for Your Domain. My friend, Cole, talks about this much more articulately and thoughtfully, so check out his blog if you want deep thinking on these issues. I really liked one of the analogies used by Google’s Dave Girouard, when talking about security issues. He said that is going to be an “evolution in trust” similar to the one that occurred when “people reluctantly accepted that their money was safer in a bank than under a mattress”. To me this makes perfect sense. As we increasingly want to access data anywhere, it is going to become the information management companies like Google that will have to make a convincing case that the data is safe with them, because if they can’t make it safe their business will collapse. I don’t know if PSU is headed down this road, but it seems like an inevitable part of Web 2.0. Interestingly, the other implication of this is that IT bosses will disappear as their functions are increasingly done by information management firms. The Marc Benioff of implies in the article that this may be one reason universities are moving so slowly to this notion of email and application management offsite — the IT bosses are simply protecting their own jobs.


~ by sbmcdon on January 11, 2007.

2 Responses to “Google, the new information bank?”

  1. I think my great fear is waking up one day and finding all my stuff gone. Either through someone cracking your account, or just a hard disk gone off. Then sending off the email, and waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to put the backup in place.

    it’s the biggest difference between electronic media and the old traditional “graven” forms of information.


  2. I can understand that and I think it speaks to the shift that Girouard talks about. There is a point in the article where the IT director for ASU is shown a Google server farm that burned to the ground. The point — no one noticed. The data continued to flow without a hiccup. I don’t know about you but a fire in my house on the wrong day (i.e. when my laptop is there) would lead to me loosing a huge part of my life data, and I feel like I am working harder than a lot of my colleagues to keep my things backed up.

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