We know you've been waiting a while for Google Drive and other G Suite apps. 

Well, we've got some good news. 

Google Drive is coming June 25University leadership has given OIT approval to enable Drive for students, faculty and staff over the summer. We'll do just that June 25. And there's more: In addition to Drive, we plan to enable the following G Suite apps for the university community as well: Google Hangouts, Google Sites, Google Classroom and Google Keep. 

As we did with the transition to Gmail and Google Calendar, we'll focus first on making Drive available and useful for academic use. That said, we know staff may also find Drive and other G Suite apps useful for their own individual productivity — and we welcome that, too. 

What Took So Long

Over the last two semesters, we've been doing quite a lot to prepare for the rest of the G Suite.

During the Fall 2017 semester, OIT — along with a number of other university departments — evaluated Drive to ensure it met security and privacy requirements and did not introduce any new risks into our technology ecosystem. 

As for the Spring 2018 semester, we examined university business processes and the ways Drive — and all of the G Suite apps — could be used to support them. 

What This Means Going Forward

Some of you may be wondering about our other cloud storage tool, Box. What's happening to it? Box isn't going anywhere — immediately. 

We continually evaluate how any campus technology meets our community's needs — particularly when tools perform similar functions, like Box and Drive. While we have no plans to discontinue the use of Box right away, the implementation of Drive means we will be assessing Box's role at St. Edward's over the next calendar year. 

But this isn't just about Box. G Suite offers a number of services that overlap with technology already in place here. Sometimes that overlap is fine; in other cases, we may be able to make our work together work better by consolidating tools. 

In short, Google may not always be the answer, but it will be the question. Because of the breadth of G Suite, as well as how easy it is to use and its cost-effectiveness, our approach going forward will be "Google first" when evaluating technology gaps or needs. 

What Comes Next

Box vs. Drive

As far as Box is concerned, we'll work one-on-one with staff areas — particularly those with complex workflows or established processes — to make the decision about which tools serve the need best. In a future project, we'll meet with offices to assess how they're using Box (or other collaboration tools) for their administrative work, how Drive might be able to support those needs and what other gaps might exist. 

Consumer Apps

In addition to G Suite's Core Apps, there are a number of Consumer Apps (also known as Google Services) that can be helpful. We have enabled the common, most-used Consumer Apps in G Suite, including Google Maps, Google Earth, Youtube and Google Analytics. That said, Google regularly introduces new apps and features for their products. If there are additional Google Services (Consumer Apps) you feel would be beneficial if enabled for the university community, we encourage you to submit a request to OIT Support. 

An Important Note

These Consumer Apps are not governed by the university's contract with Google. Instead, they require a contract between the user (you) and Google. However, anyone using these apps through their St. Edward's account still needs to comply with all university policies and procedures. Note: These Consumer Apps don't meet FERPA standards. We ask that you help maintain the privacy and security of university data by only using these apps for information appropriate for public access.