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'Security and AI to be key thrust areas for us': Google Cloud chief Diane Greene

Thimmaya Poojary
26th Jul 2018
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Google Cloud sees security as a primary concern and AI as its major opportunity

Security and artificial intelligence (AI) will be key thrust areas for Google Cloud as it looks to broaden the scope of this technology with many more use cases coming onto the platform.

Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene said, “We will be going deep on AI and security, areas that Google invests in heavily. Why? Because security is the number one worry, and AI is the number one opportunity.”

In her keynote address at the company’s NEXT conference in San Francisco, she said, “Security is built into every layer of our operation. We announced 20 new security advancements in March and will be announcing another 10 new security products and services this week.”

According to Google Cloud, for productivity apps, the most secure way for organisations is to combine a Chromebook, G Suite and two-factor authentication hardware in the Chromebook USB port.

“Chromebooks for enterprise sales were up more than 175 percent last year and G Suite adoption is also accelerating. G Suite’s Gmail is able to stop 99.9 percent of spam and phishing attacks,” Greene added.

On AI, she said that the founders of the company had the vision that AI was going to be important. “Today, AI is built into everything we do at Google. From our data centre energy usage to BigQuery to Gmail, AI is applied throughout our business.”

With a data centre in Mumbai, India is one of the key markets for Google Cloud as it strongly competes with Amazon and Microsoft.

Describing cloud as an extremely complex business, Greene talked about the newer opportunities from this technology. “In health, we saw the opportunity to bring Google’s healthcare machine learning to market,” she said.

Google Cloud is working with the Broad Institute on genome processing tools and developing an API for making healthcare records interoperable, as well as a way to anonymise records.

“Healthcare is just one of the many industries that can benefit from Google’s innovation in the cloud,” she added.

As part of its effort to have a deeper engagement with its clients, Google Cloud has strengthened the engineer-to-engineer engagement model. “In the last year alone, we’ve tripled the number of engineers who work with customers, including in our customer engineering team and our professional services organisation. By design, we have more customer engineers than sales reps,” Greene explained.

Another key area of focus for Google Cloud has also been its training programmes. “We’ve tripled our training and enablement headcount. Our customers are taking more than 100 times as many GCP courses via Qwiklabs than a year ago, on topics like machine learning, big data, and Kubernetes,” Greene said.

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