Google Apps Could Hurt Your Career

Dennis Faas's picture

Google Apps may be a bad career choice for architects.

The communication and collaboration tools, released less than a year ago, can be described as a no-frills version of Microsoft Office that sells for a lower price. Unfortunately, a research and consulting firm, the Burton Group, has found that those who have high expectations for the program may face career-limiting consequences. The group's report confirms that Google Apps is only useful in a limited set of circumstances. Small businesses should only rely on it as a basic tool rather than an important suite for collaboration. It can also be used instead of Microsoft Office in situations where users only need access to basic email, word processing, and spreadsheet capabilities. (Source:

But what about the businesses that only care about saving a bit of money?

Although Google Apps runs at a lower cost and is easier to use, customers are warned against giving into marketing ploys. In the words of Burton analyst Guy Creese, "Don't be seduced by Google's low price point. The product's rudimentary feature set combined with Google's unique company culture could spell disaster if unwisely deployed." Basically, you get what you pay for. The product lacks important features such as user roles and departmental categories. (Source:

While small businesses may opt for the economical choice, Office will not take much of a hit. As outlined by the Burton Group, Microsoft's program has a few key features that most companies cannot live without. For one thing, Google documents will not look as professional because they do not support headers, footers, or a table of contents. Microsoft Office is also the winner in terms of spreadsheet functions and formulas. With Google, you cannot employ database functions that allow you to hide rows or columns. Also, Google does not even offer a presentation function like Microsoft does. Finally, Microsoft takes the lead in terms of customized applications. Though Google offers some programmatic control, it does not provide any of the broad level capabilities that Microsoft does. (Source:

Google Apps seems to be a good choice if you are in a pinch but don't expect it to do anything great for your career.

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