Google Apps partner BetterCloud polled its customer base and came up with a profile of customers and adoption behavior. According to the company, Google Apps has very quickly become the critical foundation of the cloud application stack.
BetterCloud, which focuses on evangelizing and selling apps on the Google (GOOG) Apps platform, released the results of its quarterly customer survey. Based on 1,537 responses from the nearly 25,000 Google Apps for Business administrators the company deals with, the survey has come up with a Google Apps customer profile, as well as data that shows Google Apps has become the critical foundation of the cloud application stack.
Keep in mind that BetterCloud has bet its livelihood on Google Apps, so the company is gaining data from those who are already sold on the platform. But still, its survey came up with a few highlights worth examining.
The typical BetterCloud customer, which uses BetterCloud's FlashPanel and Google Apps, is an IT director or system administrator who manages a domain with an average of 631 users. According to the survey results, 59.2 percent of Google Apps admins have more than 10 years of experience working in the IT field, and 67.9 percent advocated for or drove their company's decision to adopt Google Apps. Additionally, 25.2 percent of respondents noted they have managed a Google Apps domain in the past.
It's interesting that a quarter of Google Apps admins already had previous experience administering and managing a Google Apps domain. That figure is likely to increase over the next several months or years, and one has to wonder how long it will be until that number represents a majority of IT staff in general.
There's also a very clear indication that the business overall is listening to administrators when they are moving to the cloud. Maybe that shouldn't be surprising, but I've heard enough stories from techies about being ignored when they take their technology recommendations to The Powers That Be to make me nod approvingly.
As David Politis, CEO of BetterCloud, noted in a blog post, CIOs "are usually not responsible for evaluating, implementing and managing the technologies that make up their strategy." Instead, they're focused on long-term strategies and look to their teams to run proofs of concept, chat with cloud vendors and roll out new technologies. That means significant portions of the decision are being driven by the system administrator and IT director, he wrote.
"We believe that the execution of a company's IT strategy lives and dies with the system admin and we think it's important for the ecosystem to understand who these customers are: experienced, knowledgeable IT professionals who support the move to the cloud," Politis wrote.
Politis also commented on the role of Google Apps resellers.
"The move fully to the cloud is already underway. You were an integral part of the migration to Google Apps and as such, you now have the opportunity to work up the stack over time and leverage the trust you earned with your customer base. You are in a position to help customers realize the 100 percent cloud vision," he wrote.
For more details on the survey results, see Politis' blog post.