Cloud PR Disaster: Google's light-heartedness destroys trust.

It is common in companies that only certain spokesperson are chosen that may speak in public about the company. And it is tragic when favored few to make statements leading to question marks and uncertainty. Google has entered the second time within a short time in such a faux pas. After Cloud Platform Manager Greg DeMichillie peculiar had commented the long-term availability of the Google Compute Engine, Google CIO Ben Fried commented on Google’s own use of the cloud.

We’re the good guys – the others are evil

In an interview with AllThingsD Google CIO Ben Fried talked about the dealing of Google with bring your own device and the use of external cloud services. As any IT manager may have noticed, for quite some time Google promotes its Google Apps for Business solution by hook or by crook. The more surprising is the statement of Friedman regarding the use of Dropbox, Google strictly prohibits for internal purposes.

The important thing to understand about Dropbox,” […] “is that when your users use it in a corporate context, your corporate data is being held in someone else’s data center.

Right, if I do not save my data on my own servers, but with Dropbox, then they are probably in a foreign data center. To be more accurate in case of Dropbox on Amazon S3. This applies also for the case if I store my data on Google Drive, Google Apps, or Google Cloud Platform. Then the data is located at? Right, Google. This the cloud model brings along.

Fried, of course, as already DeMichillie, didn’t mean it like that and corrected himself by e-mail, via AllThingsD.

Fried says he meant that the real concern about Dropbox and other apps is more around security than storage. “Any third-party cloud providers that our employees use must pass our thorough security review and agree under contract to maintain certain security levels,”

So, Fried was actually talking about the security of Dropbox and other cloud services, and not the location.

Google is a big kid

I’m not sure what to make of Google. But one thing is clear, professional corporate communication looks different. The same applies to building trust among corporate customers. Google is undoubtedly an innovative company, if not the world’s most innovative company. This light-heartedness of a child, Google and its employees need to continually develop new and interesting ideas and technologies, is also the greatest weakness. It is this degree of naivety in the external communications, which will make it difficult for Google in the future when there’s nothing fundamentally changed. At least when it comes to have a say in the matter within the sensitive market for corporate customers. The major players, most notably Microsoft, VMware, IBM, HP and Oracle know what businesses need to hear in order to appear attractive. And this not includes the statements of a Greg DeMichillie or Ben Fried.

Another interesting comment on Ben Kepes Forbes‘ article „Google Shoots Itself In The Foot. Again„.

„[…]Do you really think that Google management really cares about cloud app business or its customer base? Somebody at Google said that they have the capacity they built for themselves and they have the engineering talent so why not sell it. So Brin and Page shoke their heads and they was the last they ever wanted to hear about it. There is nothing exciting about this business, they do not want the responsibilites that come with this client base and they really don’t care. I bet they shut it down.

Von Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as Silicon.de and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of CloudUser.de and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.