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How to Get to the Cloud in 5 Easy Steps

3 minute read

Yesterday, Google Executive Chairman +Eric Schmidt posted some great tips on the Official Google Enterprise Blog for getting your organization to the cloud.

If you’ve already moved your organization to Google Apps, it’s definitely really refreshing to hear some support for Google’s enterprise platform from someone so high up. Although Google Apps is a small portion of Google’s overall revenue, it continues to grow in the market and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved!

Here’s a recap of Eric’s 5 Tips, along with some extra information like video tutorials and resources to help you implement the suggestions:

1. Start by setting up a Google Apps account for your organization. This will allow you to move your standard productivity and communications work to the cloud: you’ll use Gmail for your email (with your own domain, like; Google Calendar for your calendars; Google Drive to store files; Google Docs to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations; and Hangouts to send instant messages and hold video calls. This will free your staff from spending time maintaining servers and installing upgrades. Google Apps is free to schools and non-profits, and costs $50/person per year for businesses and government agencies.

Most of you have already moved your organization to Google Apps, so this isn’t exactly new information. What you may be looking for are ways to get more out of the various Google Apps tools. Be sure to check out each page on Google Gooru for everything you need to know about Gmail, Google Drive, Calendars, Docs, Spreadsheets, etc.

If you haven’t moved to Google Apps, now is the perfect time to start! These companies are filled with Google Certified Specialists who can help take your organization to the cloud.

2. Move your other standard business applications to cloud-based equivalents. Popular apps include Workday (HR), Salesforce (CRM), Zendesk (customer service), Netsuite (Financials), and Wix or Weebly (websites). More companies are creating and launching cloud-based business applications every day — check out the Chrome Web Store for more.

Like Eric mentioned, there are plenty of viable cloud-based equivalents to your standard business applications. These tools are often less expensive than your traditional applications, and they’re stored in the cloud so you can access them from anywhere!

The Chrome Web Store is filled with tools to fit needs in your professional (and personal) life, and they’re built specifically for the Chrome browser. If you’re a Google Apps Administrator, you should also make sure to check out the Google Apps Marketplace. In the Marketplace you can find hundreds of tools that you can apply to your entire domain, so users never need to leave their Google Apps account.

3. Move your custom applications to a cloud infrastructure. Many organizations have built their own custom applications or need to be able to do very specialized programming. Most people use Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure. Choose between the first two.

This mostly applies to larger organizations, but if you’re doing any sort of custom application development, you should definitely consider moving them to a cloud infrastructure like the Google Cloud Platform.

4. Standardize on a modern browser, ideally Chrome. Chrome is built for speed, simplicity and security — and of course it’s free. To make sure that you’re protected from the latest threats, Chrome automatically updates whenever a new version of the browser is available. You can also use Chrome on all the major desktop and mobile platforms, including Android and iOS, and sync your tabs and bookmarks between different devices. Chrome for Business includes a cloud-based management console, which lets you customize policies and preferences for your employees easily from the web, including which apps and extensions they receive, across their devices.

Most Google Gooru followers know that we push the Chrome browser pretty heavily. There are so many ways to integrate with your Google Apps account that it should definitely be your default browser. For users, you can implement Chrome Profiles to easy switch back-and-forth between your personal Gmail and your Google Apps account. While administrators have a number of browser management tools available, as well.

5. For hardware, you can now move to a flexible, “bring your own device” policy. Without servers, the only real hardware you need are computers and phones — and a true cloud architecture works well with any operating system: Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android, iOS. People can choose the device that suits them, and you can then reimburse their purchases and/or their own personal cell phone and internet bills. If you do decide to supply your staff with computers, consider Chromebooks: they boot up in seconds, have built-in virus protection and are dead simple to deploy and manage.

In the past, many organizations provided mobile devices for their users to ensure that, in the event a device was lost or stolen, sensitive information couldn’t be lost. The Google Apps Admin Console makes it easy for users to bring their own devices to work while still allowing the administrator to have control over Google Apps accounts.

If you’re considering using Chromebooks, be sure to explore all the Chrome Device Management features admins have access to!

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