GSuite header
I’ve written about G Suite and other cloud productivity tools or a while now. Furthermore, I’ve had the chance to explore the intersection of Microsoft Office and G Suite for technical writing and user productivity.
G Suite can represent some significant cost savings for *some* organizations. It’s not going to happen by taking G Suite live and sending your enterprise users a URL. Outside of a solid implementation plan, the role of the G Suite Administrator plays a crucial role in the successful launch of G Suite.

G Suite Administrator duties and responsibilities

When staffing the G Suite Administrator role, remember the key role this person has in making G Suite successful within your organization.
I recommend taking a holistic approach to filling this important job. The G Suite Administrator could find themselves involved in some business critical functions including:

Applications management

Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Sites, Gmail and the other applications all have their own management tasks.
Post-implementation you should allow your G Suite administrator time to tweak G Suite application settings. If you are moving from Microsoft Office, expect to receive some user feedback!

Business Analysis

Office productivity applications such as word processors and spreadsheets power many business processes making it helpful if the G Suite Administrator has a bit of a business analysis bent. Such a bent can go a long way to help users adapt their existing business processes to G Suite.

Application integration management

The Google Apps Marketplace is a game changer for creating enterprise productivity solutions. Your administrator can integrate G Suite with other apps without needing to write a line of code!

Security management

The introduction of Google Apps is going to change how your organization manages security over documents. Gone are the shared network drives and SharePoint sites you are already familiar with and in comes the new model that Google Apps uses. There are also security considerations for deploying Google Sites for collaboration.
While online collaboration is valuable for productivity and communications it can still be new territory for organizations implementing G Suite for the first time.

Enterprise mobility knowledge

There are G Suite apps available for iOS and Android devices giving your enterprise an onramp to mobile productivity. The better G Suite administrator needs some mobility expertise to troubleshoot issues that might arise.

G Suite/Microsoft Office compatibility knowledge

Microsoft Office is never going to go away regardless of what the technology journalists and pundits say.
Even if you drop Microsoft Office from your organization, you won’t be able to cut it from your customers, partners, and vendors.
Your G Suite Administrator is in the ideal role for taking the lead in managing G Suite/Microsoft Office compatibility issues. They can do the following:
  • Educating users on the limitations of G Suite
  • Managing expectations about file conversions and application capabilities
  • Troubleshooting issues as they may arise

Technical writing/user assistance

The introduction of G Suite is also going to have an impact in user assistance. There might be new end-user documentation and training required. While Google does a credible job with their own online documentation, your G Suite administrator is going to have to fill in the gaps including:
  • Pinch-hitting for the service desk about G Suite questions
  • Resolving support tickets about G Suite issues
  • Serving as a SME for G Suite job aids and training
What are some other important duties of the G Suite Administrator that enterprises might overlook?

3 responses to “Building the better G Suite administrator”

  1. Lori Avatar

    Will, what is the impact to Technical Writers such as myself, who use Word and have libraries of documents in Word, Powerpoint, Visio, Excel, etc., when asked to convert to G Suite?

    We tech writers write our docs in Word, publish in PDF, and also upload Word docs to SalesForce for our Knowledge Base. As you can imagine, turnaround times are often shorter than we would like.

    My extremely large company is moving to G Suite mid-year (Outlook first, then decisions will be made about MS Office). Unless our TW team engages proactively, I assume higher levels of management (we have many levels) will make decisions without much input from us. Did you have this experience? Are there documents available to help us determine what we would need to plan for, or what we need to address with management, should we be asked to convert to using G Suite instead of Word, etc.?


    1. Will Kelly Avatar


      I would measure the impact based on the complexity of your Word templates especially custom macros. While G Suite templates have seen some advancements, Word and Microsoft Office templates still have them beat. If I were you, I would see if you can get access to G Suite. Convert the documents from .doc to native format and see what you have to work with. I’ve yet to see any real documentation or other coverage of moving technical documents from Office to G Suite.

      Hope this helps,


      1. Lori Avatar

        Thank you, Will, I’ll follow up as you suggested!

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