Editors note: This post is part of a series that explores the top ten reasons why customers trust Google with their business data. A complete top ten list can be found here.

One of the myths surrounding cloud computing is that you lose control of your data when it’s stored in the cloud. In fact, the opposite is true. When information is stored in Google Apps, administrators have access to management tools that give them the visibility and control they need without having to manage IT infrastructure. The Google Apps control panel offers a host of management tools, and over the past year alone we’ve added capabilities that let administrators manage multiple domains, configure specific administrative roles, and set user policies, to name a few (a complete list is here).

Starting today, the Google Apps control panel will also provide access to an audit log which permits an administrator to view details of administrative changes that have been made to their Google Apps domain. Some examples are:
  • Changes made to users, aliases and organizations
  • Changes made to various application settings in Gmail, Google Docs
  • Changes made to mobile settings
  • Changes in delegated administration

To save administrators time and make it easier for them to find reports, we’ve also moved the reporting section (including the audit log) to the top-level of the Control Panel. This section is now immediately visible within the Control Panel.

Debbie Farley, a Business Analyst with Caraustar, Inc. comments: “The Admin Audit capability provides our company with insight into key administrative tasks such as who is creating users and changing passwords. We also appreciate the new location of the Reports tab. It makes it easy to get to the audit log.”

David Cifuentes with Eforcers.com added, “With the Admin Audit feature we were able to gain visibility into changes that are taking place in the admin panel of our Google Apps domain, in a very easy and informative way. It even displays the changes that have happened months ago, letting us filter by action, date and administrator. The ability to export the information in a file was also helpful, in order for us to analyze the data deeper outside the panel.”

These reports are available today to users of Google Apps for Business, Education and Government. Together with other Google Apps APIs these tools give administrators the visibility and control they need to effectively manage their Google Apps instances.