CIO Jury: IT leaders don't trust Google hardware in the enterprise

Nearly two-thirds of tech decision makers polled said they remain skeptical of the value of products such as Google Pixel and Google Wi-Fi in the enterprise.

Google Wifi ... in less than two minutes

Last week, Google unveiled its new Android phone, Pixel, with built-in Google Assistant, as well as a Daydream View VR headset, and a new Google Wi-Fi mesh router. The Pixel phone was created by Google's new hardware group, with AI at the center of its operations. The blue edition is already hopelessly sold out.

However, TechRepublic's CIO Jury has come down against Google hardware in the enterprise.

"Enterprises need four things in a mobile device: Security, ecosystem partners, integration capabilities, and support," TechRepublic writer Brandon Vigliarolo wrote. Pixel could be a good choice for businesses in terms of Google Suite integration, 24/7 phone support, and unlimited cloud storage, Vigliarolo reported. But Apple products are still perceived to be more secure, and the company already has enterprise-level partnerships with tech giants such as IBM, Cisco, and SAP.

CIOs will ultimately help decide whether or not to transition to Google-based hardware for business purposes. When asked, "Would you trust Google hardware in the enterprise?", seven of our IT executive panelists said no, while five said yes.

SEE: Google Pixel phone: The smart person's guide

"Google in nature is too open, and the company focus is to share as much as they can with third parties and who knows who," said N'gai Oliveras, director of the information systems division

office of the comptroller of Puerto Rico. "This is their main business, selling information. [The hardware would] need to be evaluated and tested."

Mike Ferris, global IT director of infrastructure at Lincoln Electric, agreed that he would not trust the hardware--at least for now. "Obviously, that's my initial gut response," Ferris said. "We'd have to learn a lot more about it to make a credible decision."

The problem for Simon Johns, IT director for Sheppard Robson Architects LLP, is Google's reputation. "They have a track record of being fickle with their products," Johns said.

Whether they said they would trust Google's hardware in their business or not, most respondents answered with a caveat. Cory Wilburn, CIO of the Texas General Land Office, said he would put faith in the company's offerings, "but we would closely review the terms and conditions to look for any language about gathering our data."

Google's presence in the tech and business world will likely be difficult to ignore, said Dan Gallivan, director of IT at Payette. That being the case, Gallivan said he would trust it after a careful review of the use agreements. "Like most BYOD policies today, I feel it will probably be harder to keep them out, so why fight it," Gallivan said. "Learn to adjust and work with it."

SEE: Google Assistant: The smart person's guide

Michael Spears, CIO and chief data officer of the National Council on Compensation Insurance, said it depends on the Google hardware's ability to integrate with other solutions. "I'll trust the Google hardware and, equally important, the OS, only if it can be adequately managed by current Mobile Device Management solutions," Spears said. "I wouldn't relax my MDM standards for any hardware or OS maker."

Some said they already use Google products in the enterprise, and would continue doing so. David Wilson, director of IT services at VectorCSP, said his company currently uses Android phones, and has had "wonderful success" with the devices.

Bottom line? CXOs remain skeptical of Google's offerings for enterprise use, but most aren't completely counting it out for the future. As Corey Peissig, vice president of technical operations at Optimal Blue, who was not part of the jury, answered, "No--not yet."

This month's CIO Jury was:

  • Simon Johns, IT director, Sheppard Robson Architects LLP
  • Dan Gallivan, director of information Technology, Payette
  • David Wilson, director of IT services, VectorCSP
  • Michael R. Belote, CTO, Mercer University
  • N'Gai Oliveras, IT director, Office of the Comptroller of Puerto Rico
  • Mike S. Ferris, global IT director of infrastructure, Lincoln Electric
  • Eric Panknin, IT manager, DMJ & Co.
  • Olchawa Arkadiusz, IT director and CIO, Itaka
  • Mark O'Brien, CTO, Kurado Inc.
  • Michael Spears, CIO and chief data officer, National Council on Compensation Insurance
  • Kurt T. Schmidt, IT department manager, Capital Credit Union
  • Cory Wilburn, CIO, Texas General Land Office

Want to be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury and have your say on the top issues for IT decision makers? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director, or equivalent at a large or small company, working in the private sector or in government, and you want to join TechRepublic's CIO Jury pool, click the Contact link below or email me, alison dot denisco at cbsinteractive dot com, and send your name, title, company, location, and email address.

Also see

Image: Stephen Shankland/CNET