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CIOs Shun SaaS Unfairly, Says Google Exec

NEW YORK -- Interop -- The shift to software as a service (SaaS) is at risk from overly zealous data center managers, according to Matthew Glotzbach, head of products at Google's Enterprise division.

"Some companies have taken something of a fear-based approach, which is 'I am just going to block as many of these capabilities as I can,'" Glotzbach said during a keynote here today. While he made clear he's not advocating a "free for all," he warned that a number of CIOs are making all the wrong moves when it comes to SaaS.

"That really gets into a downward spiral of fighting with your user base," added Glotzbach, who drew a parallel with the early days of removable media. "When thumb drives became all the rage, there was a whole mass of people that tried to block the USB ports on all the machines so that you couldn't put the thumb drives in."

Touted as a way for firms to better utilize their internal resources by accessing services like email via the Internet, SaaS has been gaining momentum over recent months. A number of vendors, including EMC, Evault, and Symantec, are currently fleshing out their SaaS portfolios in areas such as online backup, messaging, and data security.

Communication and trust are key to building a secure SaaS infrastructure, according to Glotzbach. "As you look at Web-based applications, you have to have the [security] policies in place that have been clearly communicated," he said. "But to some extent you need to trust your employees."

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