Microsoft Windows is prime target for cybercriminals, and the daunting cadence of patching places businesses at great risk. Factor in the unsettling thought that critical business systems still run on Windows operating systems that have reached EOL years ago. IT pros like to point the finger at Microsoft and, while one would think that exploits like WannaCry ransomware should negatively impact Microsoft’s credibility, the vendor is not likely going to be held accountable. However, the skyrocketing valuation of cybersecurity IT vendors as a result of WannaCry also has the potential to create a similar ripple effect for Google Chromebooks.
First, let’s agree that if a business system is written and designed around the Windows operating system, it’s likely going to involve an application migration and/or re-platform. Typically, projects like these are associated with a high cost of change that halts investment. Now, let’s factor in the race to the cloud for applications, data, business intelligence, and improved security. With this technology shift, the conundrum of an application being written to run locally on a client OS is diminishing—thus creating an ideal environment for companies to consider Google Chromebooks. WannaCry has indeed generated an opportunity for Google to:
- Put a stake in the ground about how their approach to security differs from the traditional Windows approach, and then tie this into the business benefits—reduced risk, improved productivity, and favorable economics.
- Raise awareness inside of enterprise IT with a message to IT professionals focused on manageability and security, coupled to an accompanying message directed at business executives concentrating on risk reduction, identity protection, and a productive workforce.
- Squelch the real (and perceived) security and privacy concerns coupled to high priority IT initiatives such as Windows 10 migration, BYOD, and threat detection.
Google tends to tie too much weight to businesses using G Suite. While this is obviously an ideal launch pad for Chromebooks, the opportunity exists without companies having to make the move to G Suite. Exploits like WannaCry pose the perfect opportunity for Google to step outside its comfort zone in the consumer world, and demonstrate what kind of muscles it can flex amongst IT and business professionals. For those businesses considering Google Chromebooks, think about Google’s response to WannaCry as a measuring stick to evaluate how serious and committed the company is to providing effective business solutions.