Google Needs to Focus on Security, Privacy, the Enterprise
5. The iPhone's enterprise push Google has made it abundantly clear with its latest Android OS version that the company wants to appeal more to corporate customers. Android 2.2 users will have better access to Exchange, as well as several other enterprise-related options to get more out of the open-source operating system. But Apple is also making a push for the corporate world. So far, thanks to the iPad and the iPhone, the company is doing a better job of it. If Apple continues to perform well and it realizes the immense value of the enterprise, it will do everything it can to stop Google from gaining a footing in that space.Windows Phone 7 is very much a wild card right now. Although Microsoft's mobile strategy is about three years late, the company still has significant influence in the corporate world. With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft will finally be delivering an operating system that can compete with the rest of the market. Google should be especially concerned with the impact Windows Phone 7 might have. Microsoft's strategy is to allow vendors to license its software and offer it on their own phones. That strategy is the same as Google's. If Microsoft's mobile operating system proves to be better for consumers and enterprise customers, all the success Google has enjoyed with its platform will be gone as vendors leave for Microsoft. It's something that Google must keep an eye on. 7. Google's privacy problems Google's privacy troubles could come back to haunt its mobile platform. Over the past year, Google has been criticized for the way in which it allowed any Google user to see another person's most-contacted friends on Google Buzz. Furthermore, by collecting data from open WiFi networks with its StreetView service, some are wondering if Google isn't being as "good" as its vaunted motto states. For now, those privacy problems are being kept out of the headlines. But if they persist and the company continues to experience trouble, it might only be a matter of time before consumers think twice about buying a product from the search giant. Privacy means something to today's customers. Google must keep that in mind. 8. Poor enterprise focus As mentioned, Google plans to make a significant push for the enterprise with Android 2.2. But some critics say that the company isn't doing enough. It's currently weak enterprise focus might hurt its mobile platform. It's an understandable concern. Over the past four years, Apple has consistently improved its platform to make it as enterprise-friendly as possible. And RIM's BlackBerry OS is widely considered the best enterprise software on the market. Meanwhile, Google's Android OS is just now starting to target the corporate world. Even with Exchange support, there is much more that needs to be done. It's nice to see Google target the enterprise, but if it doesn't act fast, it might be stepped over. 9. Bad tablets Google's Android OS is slowly but surely making its way to tablets. The devices are mainly targeted at consumers, with the exception of the Cisco Cius, which is designed for corporate customers. There is a lot riding on those Android tablets. If they're successful, Google will have another platform with which to target customers. But if they fail and consumers find out that the same operating system is running in smartphones, it could be disastrous for Google. Android tablets must be a success-or else. 10. Google's vision Google's vision is all over the map right now. On one hand, the company knows that it's a provider of a mobile solution. But on the other hand, it sees that mobile solution as a way to turn a profit through its advertising. Every company needs a business model, and Google's certainly seems to work fine, but if the company spends too much of its time worrying about advertising and not enough time considering the implications of that, it will have trouble. Mobile products are only as good as their latest refresh. If Google neglects Android, it will suffer. There is no debating that.
6. Windows Phone 7