Google Apps for Your Domain – Should a business trust a free service?

September 6, 2006

I’m sure most of the people reading this will have heard of Google’s Google Apps for your domain. This service allows a business to intergrate with Google’s Gmail free email service by allowing a company to use their registered domain name with a gmail account.When this was released I realised the great benifits of this to small businesses / organisations but was a little hesitant over the fact the data is not stored locally.

I read the post: Google & Windows Apps for your domain, the killer app for small businesses? Which gives a good overview of the service and highlights the trust issue. In the authors opinion, and my own, why not trust a third pary? Well it depends…
On the surface it’s easy to say it’s better to have your data stored in house as you have complete control. A counter argument could be that it would be better to have your information stored on Googles secure and highly maintained servers, off site. I think the later is much more appealing, backups, outages, and access become much less concern.

In my opinion it comes down to research; there is nothing wrong with entrusting your information to a third party (Accounting for example) as long as you have done some research on the company and are sure they are trustworthy. It’s also best to keep in mind Google Apps would be one of very few free services worth considering. I believe Google is trustworty and if the data is really that mission critical email may not be the best option anyway!

Google Apps for your domain looks like a great service and I’d reccomend it to a small company. One thing that would be nice to see is the ability to ensure all your data is deleted from Googles server when the account is deleted, even if you have to pay for it. I’m not sure what the procedure for deleting emails currently is.

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