Are You Ready for Life in Google Workspace?

Posted by John Lawler, Director of Cloud Professional Services

Apr 26, 2019


These days, employees aren’t always at their desk or in the office from 9 to 5. Some grab a cup of coffee from their own kitchen and sit down to work in their home office.

The demand for flexible arrangements like this...ones that allow workers to do their jobs at any time from anywhere keeps growing, but not all organizations have embraced the concept. A workforce that operates from multiple locations and time zones demands transformation and innovation.

In a survey of 150 British C Suite executives, Workplace 2020, Google and research partner Raconteur Custom Publishing checked the pulse of where the enterprise was headed digitally. While the survey is now several years old, one finding remains clear; companies that can harness the power of digital transformation to reimagine their workplace and their products or services will reap many future rewards.

To achieve this, employees need to be connected to each other and empowered by tools that foster a collaborative workforce outside the four walls of a brick-and-mortar office. It’s time to ask yourself if you are ready to make the leap to the cloud and dive into a workplace built on Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).

Legacy vs. Cloud Collaboration

What exactly is life in Google Workspace? It might be easier to first show you what it is not. Consider Jeff’s plight:

Jeff finishes a report that he needs to share with multiple people at the office before his 4:00 p.m. deadline. It’s important to note some of his colleagues work remotely, and the company uses a legacy productivity suite.

In theory, everyone could make edits by opening the document on the server and using a track-changes feature in the same document. But, in the legacy productivity world, only one person can work in the document at a time. Further, the company’s VPN connection for remote workers is down today.

So Jeff emails the document to everyone who should review it. This means each reviewer will send a different file back to Jeff with edits, some that may likely contradict the edits of other reviewers.

Jeff will need to weed through the changes, probably make some follow-up calls to clarify some conflicting edits — and then merge all of the changes into one document. He’ll have to remember to mark this document as final and make sure he doesn’t confuse the final document with the ones from the review process. All the while, the clock is ticking.

That’s not the Google Workspace workplace. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as Jeff would have learned if his organization had deployed Google Workspace.

Born in and built for the cloud, Google Workspace delivers effortless real-time collaboration. This means multiple people can access, edit and comment on a Google Doc at the same time, no matter where they are working. They simply log into their Google account, open the doc and get to work. All changes are saved securely to the cloud, but can also easily be rolled back if necessary. Google Workspace delivers a true cloud-first workplace.

It’s a huge difference compared with poor Jeff’s situation. And it’s just one example of how life in Google Workspace can transform the way you and your team work in a world where you can't go a day without the cloud.

Change Management in the Cloud

The move toward this crucial change goes hand in hand with a necessary cultural shift, a change in attitude regarding technology investments and how your workplace operates. The Google Workplace 2020 report terms this as “building a digiculture.”

To make this happen, you’ll need to ensure you get widespread buy-in across your entire organization as you transition to a culture driven by workplace cloud collaboration. Aligning your businesses’ objectives with your IT infrastructure isn’t always a simple task, but it’s necessary for success.

At Canada’s Alberta-based ATB Financial, executives knew moving to life in Google Workspace would elevate the bank to the next level. They also took a proactive approach to generate organization-wide excitement about the change, even before the actual migration took place.

The bank used special workforce training and engagement programs to keep workers in the loop about the impending migration, and to help them understand the benefits of moving from a legacy platform to the cloud. Leadership also tapped key internal influencers to help promote the change to peers, calling this team “G-Evangelists.”

Ultimately, ATB enjoyed a smooth migration to the cloud, and has since enjoyed a better way to work together across its multiple locations. Even at your company, a cloud-first strategy and Google Workplace customer success are well within the realm of possibility.

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John Lawler, Director of Cloud Professional Services

John oversees all deployments of Google Workspace and Chrome and post-deployment services that help customers see the value in the entire Google platform. He has been helping organizations go Google since 2009.

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