Because email is considered the primary communication tool for business, more and more companies are moving away from inhouse server-based solutions and heading to the cloud. It’s estimated that around 60% are using Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite.
The biggest reason for moving email to a cloud service, is cost reduction. But like everything in I.T. there’s always other factors to consider before you make the switch.
Bitglass 2016 Cloud Adoption Report stated that, in the year between 2015 and 2016, Office 365 and G Suite usage rose 11 percent. The advantages of cloud based email solutions include:
- Safety & Security: Cloud based data is now a relatively secure practice. There’s now a set of standards (e.g., ISO/IEC 27018) that service providers can follow to prove they’re handling your data safely.
- Less CAPEX, Less Support: Admin work is still required, but there’s no capital outlay on extra equipment. You don’t need to buy a new server for cloud based email. Nor do you have to pay staff to manage and support any hardware.
- Reliable and Available: Most cloud-based email is built using redundant systems. Both Office 365 and G Suite guarantee 99.9 percent uptime.
- Backups and Archiving: The larger service offerings can automatically take care of regular backups, or help with archiving. These files can also be stored offsite, an important aspect for your disaster recovery plan.
- Scalable: Being cloud based means you only pay for the email services you currently need. If your business grows, your service provider can scale up your email service to suit.
Of course cloud-based email sounds good! But you need to know what’s not inside the glossy brochure:
- Controlling Support: If your business hosts their own email, you know who’s responsible for managing and supporting that environment. With cloud email, that’s up to the service provider. You have no control over who is working with or supporting your service.
- Offline means offline: If your office internet goes down, your ability to receive emails from the outside world, or to send email internally and externally, goes down with it. You’ll need to find another working internet connection before you can do anything.
- Admin overhead: Unless you have a qualified person who can manage your email users, mailboxes, and permissions, you will find the administration overhead quite involved. You will then be at the mercy of the service provider to make all your requested changes.
- Fees: If you’re not careful, they can add up quickly. Service providers will charge you for any admin work you ask of them. Also, when you scale up in size and service requirements, the fees scale up accordingly
Consider All factors
Do your homework. There’s a lot to consider before moving to a cloud based email environment. Cost factors are all impacted by such things as the number of employees, types of emails sent and received, data sensitivity and security requirements. Then there’s the ability to support your email solution. As always intellect IT can help you weigh up all the pros and cons for your business needs.