Our thoughts: Google Next ’21 Opening Keynote

15 October 2021

Day 1 of Google Cloud Next kicked off on Tuesday with the opening keynote, led by Google Cloud’s CEO Thomas Kurian. We hosted a watch party in our offices for team members to share their thoughts on the new product launches, partnership announcements and how we can make sure that our customers are benefitting from Google’s latest updates and ideas. 

Key themes of the conference:

Understanding data with Google tools.

Google technology helps businesses tackle data problems to simplify how teams work with data and derive value from it faster. At the opening keynote, Thomas Kurian talked about how different industries are innovating using Google Cloud. The ability and speed to access purpose-built industry solutions are helping businesses to build robust execution plans, create great customer experiences, optimise business and modernise their infrastructure. 

Improving workflows & empowering your teams.

Just one of the updates that excited our tech teams were the significant enhancements to Google Workspace. Developers can now build applications and integrate with Google Meet, Chat and Spaces. Google released a new Jira integration for Google Chat and Spaces that will let users create new tickets quickly, see actionable previews, and monitor issues as they come into the app they’re already using for collaboration. Google also announced the integration of AppSheet into Gmail, allowing anyone—regardless of their coding experience—to reclaim time with custom, no-code apps and automations.

Investing in security.

Google also announced that they will be investing $10B in cyber security. On top of this, they released Google’s new Work Safer program for email, meetings, messaging and documents, helping businesses to collaborate and communicate securely in the new world of hybrid work environments. 

Latest initiatives:

Announcing the Tableau, Looker and Sheets partnership. 

This incredible new partnership brings together the top BI tools on the market, enabling continuous learning and experimentation for users that want a holistic view of their data. Tableau and Looker can integrate into Google Sheets, meaning teams can use familiar formulas to get insights faster. By leveraging insights from all three tools, you can analyse data and make quick decisions.

New capabilities within security.

To strengthen security and privacy in the workplace, Google announced four new capabilities:

  • Client-side encryption (CSE)  now available in Google Meet. Google also announced new tools to enable customers to manage their own encryption keys. This brings together Google Workspace and cyber security keys, making work safer with Google.
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Chat is another layer of protection, without impacting the end-user, that prevents sensitive data and information from leaving an organisation. 
  • Drive labels are now generally available so organisations can now classify files stored in Drive based on their sensitivity level. Labels integrate with Google Workspace Data Loss Prevention, making it easier to manage external sharing, downloading, and printing of sensitive files. 
  • Improve your detection and response capabilities with Google Cloud and Cybereason. This new strategic partnership will provide Extended Detection and Response (XDR) tools to businesses for easier, faster threat detection. 

Go green with Google’s Carbon Footprint Monitor. 

Sustainability has been a core value for Google, which provides the cleanest cloud in the industry, for more than two decades. In 2017, ten years after becoming carbon-neutral, they matched 100% of its electricity consumption with renewable energy, and by 2030, they want to become completely carbon-free. Google uses technology to enable organisations around the world to transition to more carbon-free and sustainable systems. They launched their Carbon Footprint tracker that integrates directly into Salesforce. This new tool makes recommendations to reduce emissions and shows users their carbon footprint in the cloud, empowering their customers to act on this data to make simple, greener decisions. Learn more about Google’s solutions for climate change.

What that means for our customers:

The new features, updates and announcements focus on solving business challenges that leaders everywhere face, from reducing their carbon footprint to maximising data strategies to grow profit. We are excited for the latest insights around data and sustainability, which are key to our clients and will help their business strategy, not just IT.  

“In my opinion, one of the long-standing unique aspects of Google Cloud, especially in the enterprise, has been the theme of integrated tools and services. Google’s unique cloud-native suite of products and services have always led with developer-friendly, open standards, API’s and commitment to open source and resulted in an incredible user experience.

I am excited to see the continued drive for integrations from Google, two stand out exciting announcements are the Looker / Tableau / Google Connected Sheets announcements as well as the Carbon Footprint / Salesforce Sustainable Cloud integration.

Coupled with the announcement of Google Distributed Cloud and continued investment in Anthos / hybrid cloud we can continue to work with customers to pick the best tools and services to help solve our customers’ challenges.” – Guy Ellis, Professional Services Director, Netpremacy.


If you would like to watch the whole keynote and build your own content playlist, explore the Google Next ‘21 catalogue here.