Google secures its infrastructure, lets users roam free

Why is Google so darn smart on IT? Probably because it can afford to be such, given the kind of people it employs, says CNET Blog Network contributor Matt Asay.

I found this article on how Google manages its internal IT fascinating. Google basically sets its users free to download software from the Internet, among other things, and take care of themselves. Imagine that.

Of course, Google can do this because Google is, well, Google. Google is heavy on engineers who understand security. This is becoming less and less true over time, however, which brings to mind the real reason Google can have a policy like this:

It trusts the system, not the nodes within the system.

Done right, this sort of policy reflects the obvious--there's not much IT can truly do to protect users from themselves--and sets employees free to experiment, which is critical to a company like Google's success.

Maybe for a financial services company it's less important that it experiment in this way. But for a technology company...critical.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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