Google keeps a tight rein on which hardware and software Google employees can use, but chief information officer Ben Fried argues that his methods of doing so give Googlers the freedom to connect with each other and ultimately to innovate for the eventual benefit of customers, AllThingsD revealed in a recent interview. Whenever possible, Google uses Google products for internal operations and employee devices. These include Google Drive, Google Apps, Android phones and tablets, and Chromebooks. However, some “thousands” of the 45,000 Googlers do prefer to bring their iPhones to the job.
Some well known Google products were initially developed for the large and growing company’s internal use. The document collaboration service Google Drive is one famous example; another is Google Hangouts, which evolved from “Google Video Conferencing”, widely beloved among Googlers.
Internal programs Google developed that haven’t (yet?) been turned into customer products include Google Moma, an internal employee project directory; Trips, a travel discount pool; and Beyond Corp., which improves internal security “by treating internal networks as if they were just as risky as the big, bad Internet,” the interview explained.
Google isn’t afraid to use external products when they serve their purpose better than Google counterparts. These include Salesforce, Smartsheet and ServiceNow.
Interestingly, the company strongly discourages the Windows OS and Windows programs and apps. Employees must fill out a special form for arguing why doing so is crucial for a project. Mac, Linux and of course Chromebooks are much preferred in the Googleplex.
Google outright bans Dropbox due to the fact that it relies on storing data on someone else’s servers. The irony of course is that Google Cloud is “someone else’s servers” to all of its customers.