The company where I am embedded like a thorn in the thumb has decided to embrace google by migrating their Microsoft Exchange email to Gmail, their Microsoft Office applications to google docs & sheets, their corporate file shares protected by Active Directory security to Google Drive. I am part of the “Product Validation” phase.
This testing ignores the tenet I hold to be most true – test with bog-standard users on bog-standard hardware. Almost all the participants in this phase of the project are IT staff with Admin level access and exotic hardware. Most of the user base is on tatty laptops running Windows XP or using Thin Clients to connect to Citrix published desktops. There will be tears.
Actually the situation will be further complicated by the fact that only 40% of the user-base will migrate, the others will remain, maybe forever on Microsoft.
Already several things have become clear. Gmail has a very inefficient use of screen-space, you cannot access Multiple mailboxes simultaneously**, and the only way to prevent users sharing documents with strangers is to re-word the Computer Useage Policy and hope for the best.
It has also shown how important it is to ruthlessly edit your Active Directory to keep it up-to-date, remove old accounts and un-necessary permissions.
Fortunately, my main role in all of this has been to sit on the side-lines and shake my head sadly as I watch a very slow-motion train wreck, and practise my smug told-you-so smirk.
** OK you can, but not in a way that is convenient or that allows for a low-blood pressure lifestyle without recourse to using an email client which negates part of he reason for “going google” in the first place.