Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 25th May 2010 21:37 UTC
Google Looking at the past few week of Google news, you'll be forgiven for thinking Google doesn't do anything else beyond making Android. While there's sexier stuff going on within Google, the company is also still trying to improve its core user service: search. They've launched encrypted search today, and it will be rolled out across the world in the coming days.
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DISCLAIMER: Google employee here, working in Apps "ops"

I used to work in "corporate IT before joining Google and the reality is that the pace, processes and development models of IT organizations are radically different (and I'd go farther to even say incompatible) with "cloud/internet/saas/insert preferred moniker" software companies.

Consider today's typical IT org, with more process managers (Change Control Manager, Change Control committees, infrastructure requirement form, etc... ad nauseum) and the protracted deployment for even the most basic application. In one of my previous companies, it now takes up to a MONTH, for a simple DNS change to be done because it needs to be done first in a form, where it is reviewed by a CC process manager (no clue on what it does but has to approve it), submmited to CC commitee where it is "reviewed" by several directors that have no clue what it is either. Then, a report of approved changes comes down and only then it can get executed. <Snore...>

Contrast this with the typical pace at web companies: . This, maybe in not so extreme ways, is very typical.

All of the major Internet apps we all love have almost weekly, if not daily, improvements, some too small to notice, some quite significant. None of that is possible in a "standard" IT organization. Even if it was even possible to decouple the apps from their underlying special infrastructure (a topic which I'm not even going to explore).

The solution to this different gears problem between corp IT and internet apps, would be to do a Point In Time feature freeze, "package" for corp deployment and the manage the patching, upgrades, etc...
But this is very, very costly, would force the companies to maintain legacy versions and adds so much overhead that it would no longer be cost-effective, at all. It is a model that, I believe, is not possible to sustain profitably AND affordable.

In the end, the question becomes: does a company want to get bogged down by this huge anchor, slow down, spend tons of resources for little return OR make fast progress, take the 80-20 rule for the market and (in the case of Google) hope that good ethics, transparency and good internal security & reviews addresses the (valid) concerns of the community?

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