Monday, May 31, 2010

Going Google & The Truth About Digital Privacy

Going Google is the nickname for outsourcing your business communications to Google. They can handle your company email, chat, document creation and storage, calendars and websites for free if you have fewer than 50 employees. 

But the idea of outsourcing your technology infrastructure to Google is intimidating. There are complex privacy issues that must be addressed. Some people are very sensitive to the fact that Google scans all your email in order to place relevant ads in the margins. Advertising is how they defray the costs of their free services. Some believe this is a privacy issue.

Pardon me while I make an awkward segue...

Like most couples, I get into arguments with my wife. She’s an intellectual property attorney which means I haven’t won an argument in 15 years. Anyway, I believe that the internet has irrevocably damaged copyrights. Of course, she disagrees. My point is that when you can’t protect something, it’s worthless. I can claim to own the moon but I can't stop someone else from landing there. How valuable is my claim? 

In an era where you can copy music, books, anything and send it to millions of people…let’s just say, I think copyright is dead. There's no way to enforce it other than tedious and costly lawsuits which only push your audience away. Because its so easy to share, its impossible to prevent -- ergo impossible to protect.

But it goes much, much deeper. It also means digital privacy is a myth. What do I mean by digital privacy? I mean the belief that we all cherish that the computer files you share are private. The minute you hit send on an email that information is easy to share with anyone in the world. Ben Franklin said it best – 3 can keep a secret if 2 are dead.

If it’s juicy enough, if it’s nasty enough, if it’s remarkable, it will get out. Accept it. And be smart about it.

But what about all the stuff that isn't interesting? All the tedious stuff that isn't juicy? 

I’m willing to bet 75% of what you email in your company isn’t critical. No one is going to share last week's aged inventory report. But something cool out of R&D, or that new top secret project that will kill the competition? All it takes is one angry or careless worker and it’s all over the internet.

That means maybe 25% of your communications are really critical. If that’s true, then why pay to protect the 75% that isn't? Get rid of it. Let someone else pay for servers and technicians and upgrades. Instead, you pay a consistent fee for zero headaches or nothing at all if you have fewer than 50 employees. 

FYI, in my experience, most companies have more like 90% Who Cares to 10% Top Secret ratio.  

I completely understand if you don't want to outsource your mission critical communications. It makes perfect sense to me. But chances are, that's only 10-25% of your total email volume. Do yourself a favor and let someone else handle the other 75%-90% and you pocket the money you'll save instead.  

Are you ready to Go Google? Find out more!

Louis Rosas-Guyon's FREE 5-week e-Course for Eliminating Tech CostsR-Squared Computing - Business Technology Experts
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