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Employee choice in technology is something I applaud. Technology is deeply personal for many people, so using the tools you’re comfortable with improves morale and streamlines productivity. Unfortunately, employees’ choice of technology hasn’t always been considered by employers. Many people credit the iPhone for driving employee choice because it created a halo effect. The iPhone helped with that, but I want to say that Google deserves a lot of credit here too. Read on to learn more about how Google helped promote the concept of employee choice through technology.
About [email protected]: Bradley Chambers managed a corporate IT network from 2009 to 2021. With his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, mobile device management system, Wi- Fi company, hundreds of Macs and hundreds of iPads, Bradley will highlight the ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories trenches of IT management and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.
Today’s IT landscape involves numerous different platforms. An organization can use software like a service tool for accounting, a tool for team chat, SalesForce like CRM, a hosted email service, and maybe a tool like Okta to tie them all together under a single sign-on protocol. . The concept of using tools from multiple vendors was alien over 10 years ago. The goal for many IT teams was to use everything Microsoft offered and tie everything together through ActiveDirectory.
Microsoft’s all-in-one strategy made a lot of sense at the time. The concept of using a tool integrated into your existing infrastructure has simplified training and troubleshooting. Many teams added a few extra tools, but most of the “professional work” took place in Outlook, Microsoft Office, and the company’s “Shared Drive.”
Google Apps for your domain
Google launched Gmail in 2004, and Google launched “Google Apps for your domain” in 2006 as a way to use Google services with your own domain name. Many people connect their personal domains to Google to stand out with a unique email address, but companies started paying attention to the product slowly.
While it started out having a hosted email address and calendar, it slowly evolved over the years. As Google created Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Slides, it made its way to Google Apps for your domain. When Google Drive was created, it became a hosted file sharing solution for small teams. Later, Google would rename the product to G Suite, and it would eventually turn into Google Workspace.
Somewhere around 2009/2010, business customers began to pay attention to the product as an alternative to Microsoft Exchange. This period took place before Microsoft 365 also became the default model for Microsoft customers. Google Apps for your domain/G Suite/Google Workspace was a great enterprise email solution for small businesses that didn’t want to hire an IT team to manage an email server.
How Google helped Apple in the business
If you thought this article would demonstrate that Google Apps was easier to set up on an iPhone at first, you’d be wrong. While this is true, it is not the reason that has led to the increase in employee choice. Instead, what led to increased employee choice was IT departments not choosing Microsoft for messaging as a whole.
An organization that broke the “all-inclusive” mold on Microsoft on the software side was more likely to allow employees to choose elsewhere. When an organization has used Microsoft to all software, it made sense to use Microsoft as the operating system for workstations. As organizations replaced Windows PCs with Macs for a few employees, the trend escalated. As the 2010s progressed, more and more employees began to have Macs. They would use Macs with G Suite and probably barely touch the Microsoft infrastructure an organization had in place except for authentication.
The concept of employee choice, in my opinion, started with the idea that IT departments had choice for corporate email. It used to be that Microsoft and a few smaller companies were the main options available, but no one was ever fired for choosing Microsoft – so Exchange dominated the market. As Google has become a clear option for IT teams, the concept of choice has become an obvious option for everyone.
Applicationthe @ Work is brought to you by Kandji, the MDM solution designed exclusively for organizations that run on Apple. Kandji is a modern, cloud-based platform to centrally manage and secure your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices, saving IT teams countless hours of manual labor with features like one-click compliance templates and 150+ pre-built automations, apps, and workflows. Request access.