I was chatting to a key client today who hasn’t yet embraced Google Docs. He said “We’re power users of Word and Excel, so it’s really not going to happen.”

I pointed out that they endure stressful IT maintenance, complex backup regimes, and continual risk of calamity. But at Refractiv we have zero servers, almost no installed software, and no IT stress.

Half of us are using Chromebooks now (lightweight, low-power, low-cost, browser-only netbooks) which are truly disposable – if one breaks we fire up another. Within 10 seconds of purchase we’ll be logged in exactly where we left off.

We haven’t been troubled for years by things like:

  • Office software upgrades
  • server hardware upgrades
  • lost work when a PC crashes between saves
  • macro viruses
  • network outages (we can work anywhere).

So I asked him to review the balance between:

  • ultra-powerful (ie feature-swollen) Office software that’s designed for nuclear physicists and publishing houses
  • “IT” that runs itself remotely, with reduced stress, cost and risk

…he’s gone off to think about it!