With Google’s new Chrome browser gaining lots of attention, it’s inevitable that some businesses will ask whether Chrome is a suitable replacement for their browsers they currently have deployed.

Google claims that Chrome is faster and more secure than Internet Explorer and Firefox, while E-consultancy’s own Graham Charlton gave it a test drive and came away with favorable impressions.

But is Chrome ready for deployment at your business? Let’s take a look at the considerations.

Chrome is Beta Software

Even though Chrome has been two years in the making, Google still makes it clear that it’s beta software.

Businesses need to understand this. Early reports highlight various issues – from web pages that don’t work properly to browser-based applications that don’t work. This, of course, is all to be expected.

An important consideration – if your business relies on ActiveX applications (which many web-based applications used by businesses do), Chrome is realistically not viable since it does not support ActiveX.

Security Flaws Have Already Been Discovered

It didn’t take long for security flaws to be discovered in Chrome. The most recent is extremely serious – it could allow an attacker to take over a user’s entire computer.

While no browser is perfect, with the spotlight on Chrome there can be little doubt that hackers and security analysts alike are busy testing it.

The real question is – will Google respond to security flaws quickly enough? Microsoft and Mozilla are no strangers to having to deal with these issues. Will Google show that it’s willing to respond as quickly as they usually do?

The Interface Is Different

Training requirements are always a consideration when businesses deploy new software.

In the case of Chrome, there are some significant differences between its interface and those of Internet Explorer and Firefox. While early adopter types will have no problem using Chrome, other users might.

This of course could lead to greater support requests. Therefore businesses need to consider whether deploying Chrome would require additional training and support.

Chrome Currently Lacks Compelling Features for a Business Environment

Initial tests of performance and efficiency show that Chrome may be a faster browser in some areas, but Mozilla is already touting that the next version of Firefox will eliminate any advantage Chrome currently has in terms of JavaScript performance.

In my opinion, Chrome’s performance advantage (if one exists) looks fairly marginal for the average business internet user and would not be so great as to justify overlooking the issues above.

In addition, while Chrome does have some interesting features (especially Google Gears for web applications), right now few of these really prove compelling in most business environments. In fact, in some areas it’s lacking.

While Chrome may eventually turn out to be an excellent browser worthy of deployment in a business environment, at the current time it is far too early to recommend that businesses look to deploy it in an enterprise environment.

Corporate IT departments should keep an eye on Chrome but until such time as the browser proves stable, secure and offers discernable advantages over existing browsers, I see no legitimate need to deploy Chrome.