Shift to Google Workspace for Smoother Collaboration While Keeping Your Data Secure

As companies embrace flexible and remote work, providing tools to connect distributed employees and teams is key. Yet collaboration can‘t come at the cost of security. Google Workspace delivers on both fronts.

With integrated email, storage, document editing, and video chat capabilities, Google Workspace enables seamless teamwork regardless of physical location. Meanwhile, enterprise-level measures like access restrictions, encryption, and malware protection keep company data safe.

This article explains the tangible benefits Google Workspace provides over legacy setups for email, file sharing, and company communication based on Google‘s security model and emerging IT best practices.

Google Workspace Improves Team Management from Anywhere

The pandemic forced companies to support fully-remote or hybrid in-office/remote work. But even as offices reopen, enabling seamless collaboration remains crucial given ongoing partial distributed teams.

Unfortunately, combining existing apps like Microsoft Outlook, Zoom, Slack, and cloud content silos creates integration hurdles. Email threads referencing outdated files get confusing fast. Constant video call platform switching hampers meeting momentum.

Instead, centralizing core communication and collaboration capabilities within Google Workspace streamlines interaction by eliminating app-hopping. Whether in-person or thousands of miles apart, employees utilize the same real-time comment and editing features for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Common struggles Google Workspace alleviates through workspace consolidation include:

  • Hard to schedule meetings across disparate calendars and incompatible video call platforms
  • Version control difficulties when circulating files via email rather than centralized editing
  • Security gaps through unsanctioned cloud storage and messaging apps opened by employees

Transitioning to Google not only nudges your team‘s workflows closer to contemporary remote-friendly standards but also builds immediate efficiencies through template sharing, meetings joined faster via calendar integration, and the ease of always-accessible cloud document co-editing.

Plus with companion efficiency enhancements like AI-generated file summarization, smart compose for emails, and built-in translations, it equips employees to accomplish more individually while uniting everyone behind a common digital workplace framework.

"We are already seeing improved collaboration and productivity by deploying Google Workspace during COVID-19. Our workforce is now better connected regardless of whether they are in an office, at home or anywhere else."

– Shekhar Jitkar, Head of Enterprise IT Applications, Siemens Limited

Key Google Workspace Apps and Use Cases

Google Workspace weaves together messaging, document creation, file sharing, email, and video meetings within integrated apps. This section unpacks key components and typical usage scenarios.

Gmail – Professional Email Tailored to Teams

We all use personal Gmail accounts. But business Gmail within Google Workspace steps up features around:

  • Custom email domains associating addresses like [email protected] with your brand
  • Generous email storage over legacy exchange servers
  • Tracking engagement via opens, clicks, and email annotations to see who‘sdigesting what
  • AI productivity enhancers like Smart Compose suggesting full sentences as you type messages

Despite living within Gmail, company emails remain segmented from personal accounts. And everything transfers over if migrating from legacy clients like Microsoft Exchange.

With the Gmail foundation established, employees never get locked out from business conversations, since the mobile apps and web access mirror what‘s available to consumers.

Drive – Your Content Hub for File Sharing and Sync

Relying on local hard drives for storage no longer cuts it given remote collaboration needs. With Google Drive, organizations centralize content in the cloud for company-wide access without device tethering.

Simultaneous multi-person document editing eliminates version sprawl involving emailed attachments. Everything saves automatically, so employees avoid losing work should connections drop.

From a security perspective, admins maintain firm oversight governing access controls and external sharing privileges based on user roles or groups. With Drive Auditing, they trace things like file deletions, view history, and permission changes – critical for regulated industries.

Average companies now catalog over 200,000 files in Drive illustrating its versatility as a company content hub even with structural complexity.

Docs, Sheets, Slides – Collaborative Editing Powered by AI

Content creation fuels businesses. When teams collectively brainstorm strategic plans, design product requirements, compile financial projections, craft marketing decks, or manage projects, productivity hinges on smoothly compilingmission-critical documents.

Google Workspace streamlines real-time editing within Docs, Sheets, and Slides thanks to its web accessibility and changetracking down to specific user contributions. No more circling back to incorporate feedback from static Word or Excel file versions. Hospitality company Best Western utilties Google Sheets as a primary database enabling13,000 hotels to update details instantly.

AI enhancements eliminate administrative friction during high-intensity collaborative writing, analysis, and presentation design like:

  • Smart commands in Docs to reformat common structures like turning bullet points into a numbered list
  • Citations added by Google Scholar within reference managers in Docs
  • Formula autocomplete in Sheets speeding up calculations immensely
  • Presenter mode in Slides helping navigate slides and speaker notes privately while the audiences only views slides

And with proprietary assistive features from Google‘s Workspace customization tools, teams construct tailored apps faster aligning to existing company data and processes.

Meet – Secure Video Meetings Integrating Team Messaging

Video calls remain an essential conduit enabling visual communication for distributed teams. Google Meet provides a secure enterprise-grade environmentoptimized for business meetings versus informal consumer chat tools.

From directly within the Gmail sidebar, employees can launch or join meetings while accessing conference details saved to their calendar. This avoids the need to juggle services like Zoom, WebEx, or GoToMeeting depending on which tool various clients or colleagues use.

Presenting slides and spreadsheets is as easy as screen sharing live docs from Drive. For larger crowds, events support up to 100,000 viewers through live streams registered attendees can engage with via Q&A and polls.

Meet stands apart through its tight integration with Google Chat for unified communications. Participants toggle between messaging teammates privately via chat windows or video calling the entire assembled group.

Google Meet Integrates Secure Video Meetings with Chat

Ongoing security hardening gives employees confidence in Meet‘s underlying protections aligned with other Google Cloud services:

  • Video calls use end-to-end encryption by default for 1:1 meetings with keys controlled by meeting creators
  • Attendees in larger groups gain verbatim transcriptions saved directly within Meet for reference
  • Session host controls determining sharing permissions, recording privileges, and removal capabilities

For ad hoc discussions, employees may casually chat via consumer apps. But when conversations transition into brainstorms meriting meeting minutes, strategic decisions influencing downstream work, or confidential interactions with clients, Meet provides an enterprise-grade container. Its security posture improves as more Google Cloud customers like the Mayo Clinic demand advanced controls like HIPAA compliance.

Chat and Spaces – Instant Team Messaging

Email alone can‘t support real-time conversation across multiple participants necessary to resolve issues spontaneously. While consumer apps like WhatsApp enable chat, data privacy concerns prompt companies to limit usage.

Google Workspace natively provides two integrated messaging options securing data internally:

Google Chat for one-on-one and group conversations with text, audio, files, and screen sharing. Its web and mobile access mirrors consumer messaging apps for ubiquity.

Spaces as topic-based rooms supporting teams through threaded conversations, shared docs, and task assignments visible within each space.

Both facilitate direct messaging or assemblies of domain users as needed. Employing company chat through Google prevents teams from spinning up fragmented groups in Telegram, Discord, or other external tools.

Standard archiving, eDiscovery, and retention rules apply enterprise-wide. However, temporary rooms expire after 30 days by default while chat history deletes after 24 hours unless policies preserve this data.

Security Controls Critical for Enterprise Deployment

Enabling collaboration means little without locking down data access to ensure confidentiality and regulatory compliance. Google Workspace exceeds legacy setups by comprehensively securing cloud content via layers of persistent controls versus sporadic patches:

End-to-end encryption across services like Drive and Meet means data stays private from other cloud tenants and Google itself. Workspace clients control encryption keys on their encrypted data now too.

Zero trust security model with contextual access barring logins from untrusted devices or networks. Steps confirming user identity via security keys or prompts act as friction ensuring high authenticity.

Data loss prevention through machine learning detecting potential data exfiltration or actions like copying customer records or sharing unauthorized files then alerting security teams.

Intrusion detection systems working non-stop to flag suspicious activity across the cloud environment indicating insider risks or account compromises from phishing schemes.

Google Workspace Security

Analyst firm Gartner consistently rates the Google Cloud Platform among the most secure compared to Azure, AWS, Alibaba, and others. Google also assembles its elite cyber protection team called Project Zero to lock down bugs.

Current stats illustrate the prowess Google marshals protecting Workspace clients from external threats:

  • Gmail blocks over 100 million phishing attempts each day
  • Drive malware detection reaches over 99.9% accuracy
  • Meet undergoes regular security assessments ensuring controls keep pace with emerging attack methods
  • Suspicious logins get challenged for 2 million Google accounts daily

By consolidating your digital workplace suite under Google‘s umbrella and selecting managed device options, companies gain an encompassing shield powered by world-class threat intelligence.

Just as cities concentrate defenses around castles rather than defending each remote house in ancient times, Google Workspace concentrates your pools of crown jewel data assets behind its robust barricades. Critical business files no longer remain scattered across unprotected local hard drives or consumer cloud services more vulnerable to infiltration.

Migrate Existing Systems to Google Workspace

Transitioning enterprise workflows ingrained over years presents inevitable speedbumps as employees rewire engrained habits. Switching digital workspaces via Google Workspace further strains adjustments.

Careful preparation and change management smoothen the path focusing on user enablement over just deploying technology.

Set the Foundation for Successful Adoption

Approach Google Workspace launches not as typical software rollouts but organizational transformations. Guide colleagues to embrace cloud collaboration as a new way of working rather than forcibly imposing unfamiliar tools.

  • Involve key department stakeholders early defining needs to account for during migration planning
  • Audit existing systems to best transfer legacy data into Google services
  • Establish admin conventions for permissions, sharing settings, groups, and device policies applicable company-wide
  • Confirm integration requirements around payroll, CRM data, or service desk ticketing needing Google Workspace access

Migrate Existing Data Gradually

Even as new workflows center around Google Drive and cloud-native document creation, the legacy repository amassed over the years remains vital.

Rather than biting off data migration in one big bang, transition users and content in stages:

  • Start by setting up core shared drives in Drive organizing content as desired
  • Transfer email history from on-prem exchange or other IMAP services into Gmail including attachments
  • Through the Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Windows tool, mirror specific folders from Windows File Explorer into Drive enabling user access
  • Use priority sorting to upload users’ most relevant legacy filesfirst into cloud folders using tools like Drive File Stream

Avoid rushing a complete migration immediately. Let usage patterns and access needs guide what data gets transferred to Google and when.

Train Employees on Effective Practices

Clear inertia around former daily habits requires concerted user enablement highlighting new possibilities. Inspire colleagues through training content explaining how modern features like real-time document collaboration, AI writing enhancements, and integrated chat can empower their individual and team productivity.

Reinforce key lessons ensuring behaviors stick:

  • Store current project files in shared Drives over personal folders
  • Edit docs together via live suggestions rather than emailing revised versions
  • Begin team conversations in Chat Spaces instead of one-off instant messages
  • Review file access insights before sharing to maintain permissions hygiene

Support User Growth via Change Embassadors

Dispelling uncertainty around unfamiliar tools requires a support network for employees to learn Google Workspace best practices.

Seed power users across each department to serve as peer experts others turn to for quick questions. They then funnel common challenges to IT teams to systematically improve future onboarding.

Host open office hours for employees to receive personalized support adopting new workflows.

As the months pass, usage analytics gleaned from Google Workspace itself guide your training and support priorities based on actual adoption data rather than guesswork around what employees might need help with.

One Connected Environment for the Modern Workforce

Resulting from pressures to enable distributed teams, legacy workplaces now appear fragmented across siloed apps built for bygone eras. Companies struggle upholding security and compliance standards given increased remote access.

Migrating core productivity, communication, and collaboration systems to Google Workspace positions organizations for the future of work. Your entire digital workplace integrates securely under one umbrella.

Through sustained training reinforcing new cloud-based practices, employees collaborate seamlessly despite dispersed locations in the same set of trusted Google apps safeguarded by enterprise-caliber measures.

Now is the time to explore all that Google Workspace makes possible for your newly hybrid teams. Contact us to evaluate how Google can unite your digital employee experience through integrated communication, content creation, automation, and security capabilities – the essential pillars of the modern digital workplace.