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Chrome is easing the enterprise’s transition to hybrid work. Here’s how

It’s been quite a year. In general, and for work. Just the other day, I read a new study from Pew Research that shows 71% of people are currently working from home, and 50% of employees say they want to continue working from home at least three days a week. That’s more than half of people wanting to be remote over half the time!

As we’ve been navigating our own return to the office here at Google, one thing has become more clear than ever: the browser is no longer just a portal to the internet—it’s one of the most critical components of our tech stack. And we know we’re not alone in this. As our organization, and other organizations of all sizes, transition to a more hybrid way of working, it’s absolutely key to have a modern browser that’s built to support both admins and end users. 

The good news is, Chrome is made for this! Literally. It’s purpose-built for flexible work—and as the future unfolds and businesses’ needs continue to evolve, we’re committed to making sure our browser is even easier to manage, even more secure, and even more helpful, so all of us can be more productive. 

What’s next for Chrome

As we design and build Chrome to be a stronger asset for the enterprise, we are focused on these key areas:

Simple managementModernized security Productivity enhancements Helpful integrations 

We’ve already made great strides in all four areas, with more exciting releases to come soon. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new and available right now, what to look forward to, and how each feature is equipping Chrome browser-based businesses (and their users) for what’s next.

When it comes to simple management there have been a lot of exciting developments—Chrome Browser Cloud Management is built for this new hybrid reality, giving IT teams the advantage of powerful and flexible management capabilities both in the cloud and on premises, so they always have the visibility and insights they need to make more informed decisions, quickly. 

With recent new releases admins can:

Track all versions of Chrome from one place. Our new daily version report allows IT teams to see all versions, including minor versions, in a single report to support compliance and make it easier to see and manage their entire deployment.

Report on apps and extensions across the organization. A new Apps & Usage report provides helpful visibility into all installed extensions, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), Chrome apps, and Android apps. You can see versions and permissions for each individual app and even force install or block, right from the report. 

Remotely troubleshoot and clear browser data. This is one of my favorites because not only is it incredibly helpful, it was created from customer requests! Admins (and a lot of service desk employees) told us how useful it would be if they could clear an end user’s browsing data, cookies, and cache remotely – and our team made it happen.

Extension management improvements. Coming this summer: extension request workflow will empower admins to change the behavior of Chrome Web Store so that end users request extensions and admins then approve or deny the installations from a centralized list in Admin Console. Another new release is extension details, where admins can now find out exactly what extensions are installed where, who makes them, what resources they’re using, and all other extension-related details – also right from the Admin console.  

Of all of our priorities, modernized security often feels most urgent. In a recent security report, 65% of US and UK employees said they received a phishing email during the remote working period initiated by COVID-19.  Further, a study by the Ponemon Institute found that 41% of responding organizations had dealt with an attack involving the compromise of employees’ passwords, costing an average of $267,408 per organization. Between the regular emergence of new threats and the increase in targeted mobile attacks, our new ways of working definitely demand a fresh approach to security. 

BeyondCorp Enterprise, our new modern zero trust solution, enables secure access to critical apps and services with integrated threat and data protection, all delivered through Chrome browser, was introduced in January 2021. Its agentless approach simplifies the admin and end-user experience. We also just launched BeyondCorp Enterprise protected profiles to help organizations protect their extended workforce, including contractors, frontline workers, and anyone working from home who needs to securely access corporate resources from shared or unmanaged devices. 

To learn more about Google’s approach to modernizing security, tune into the Wall Street Journal’s Advancing Security in the New Business Environment event tomorrow from 10:35 am – 10:55 am EST, with very own Parisa Tabriz (Head of Chrome Engineering, Product Management and UX) and Phil Venables (CISO of Google Cloud). 

When it comes to productivity enhancements, I’m proud to share that we’re consistently releasing features that support users no matter where they’re working. Now that the browser is where so much of our day-to-day work happens, it’s more important than ever before to build in new ways to save time and work together while apart. 

Recently released productivity-boosting features include:

A faster way to take action right from the address bar. Chrome Actions is a feature we launched last year,  where you can simply type in commands such as “clear browsing data ” or “open incognito window”and get down to business in just a few clicks. We’re excited to announce new Chrome Actions are now available through our beta channel! Try one of these actions to check it out: “ Run Chrome safety check,” “Create doc,” and “Manage Google Account.”

Link directly to highlighted text. If you like to share snippets and quotes from articles or websites with your colleagues, you’re in luck. Now, instead of sharing the URL link from the address bar, you can take advantage of the new “link to highlight” feature in Chrome to point to the specific content. Simply choose the content you want to share, right click, select “Copy link to highlight,” and then send the link – to the exact part of the page you want people to see. It’s available for desktop and Android now, and coming soon for iOS. 

Decreased Chrome CPU usage. This means more battery life, less heat coming off of your device, and less fan noise. 🎉 🙌🏻

And there’s more! To explore additional productivity features, check out this blog post. 

Our final area of focus is all about giving Chrome customers more choice with helpful integrations. We’re actively partnering with best-of-breed organizations to bring integrations —and your favorite tools— into Chrome, to create a more seamless and productive experience across the board. Stay tuned on this as we’ll have more to share later this year. In the meantime, hear from our Modern Computing Alliance partners, such as Box, HP, RingCentral, Okta and VMware, as they explore many of the most important questions about returning to the office.

We’re constantly thinking about how we can help people and organizations adapt and thrive as they begin to return to the office. See below for three events from the team that cover how to make the transition to hybrid easier for your team, be sure to check them out.

Modernizing Your Approach to Security session at the Wall Street Journal’s Advancing Security in the New Business Environment event

Tomorrow June 2, 202110:35 – 10:55 AM ESTRegister here

Chrome Insider: Browser tips & tricks for IT admins

June 10, 202110:00 AM  – 11:15 PTRegister here

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