In 2016 almost 90% of companies surveyed across the world reported still using on-premise email. For most businesses, emailing is the most vital component provided by IT. A service that was traditionally done on-premise, or perhaps by a third party host. However, in recent years there has been a huge upsurge in companies migrating their email services to the cloud.
There are some major benefits of using cloud-based email rather than traditional forms. Typically these are seen through reduced costs or operational efficiency, however, the benefits go far beyond just these.
- Cost Savings – Email services through the cloud are a subscription service model, which normally reduces costs significantly. By choosing to switch to cloud-based email you are removing a large capital outlay, and converting your email expense to a monthly or annual operation.
- Better Flexible Scalability – Cloud-based email allows for a much great degree of scalability and for a future increase in email capacity without having to make major changes in the environment. With this increased scalability, your business can easily adjust user license counts or storage capacity, while computer capacity can go up or down depending on your needs.
- Uptime Improvement – Another significant improvement is with uptime, which allows for the optimisation of email usage. With most cloud-based email providers using multiple redundant sites, coupled with your data stored in the cloud, your business will experience much better uptime and disaster recovery response time that other organisations still using on-premise services.
- A simplified administration – By using cloud-based email, you can simplify the administration of your email services. You do not need to worry about version control or maintenance issues that may arise. Like any web-based application, this simplifies all of your administration needs.
- Remote Access – Switching to the cloud gives remote workers access to their email accounts wherever they might be, meaning a more productive worker. The numbers of those working remotely have been rising for years now and are undoubtedly going to continue. Cloud-based email can be accessed at any time, anywhere in the world, a factor greatly appreciated by remote workers.
- Improvement in security – When using a cloud-based email system your corporate emails will reside in a heavily protected off-site location, making it much safer than if it was stored on site. Large cloud-based providers such as Microsoft or Google are able to devote considerably more resources to security than almost any other organisation. Therefore, businesses that switch to cloud-based email are taking a significant step in the direction of tighter security.
The pros of Cloud-based email:
- You do not need to hire dedicated IT staff to maintain and service your internal servers, which can be a huge money-saving aspect for your business.
- Completely scalable with your current situation and needs. If things change, and you need to hire more employees and so need more accounts, the process is quick and simple. The same goes if employees leave your company. A few clicks are all you need to disable these accounts.
- Always up-to-date with the latest security advancements and features.
- You do not need to purchase any kind of additional software unless you are looking for a front-end redundancy. If your system on-site goes down, you are still backed up in the cloud.
- It is considerably easier to integrate mobile devices into the workplace.
- The service-orientated model enables a considerably better relationship than the normal ‘sell and forget’ software.
The cons of cloud-based email services
- Costs per user can add up over time
- Cloud providers are not only responsible for the security of your information, but must also provide visibility of how they are doing it. If you choose a less trustworthy cloud provider you may not be able to get access to the information that you are entitled to.
- With your email now kept in the cloud, you do lose a small degree of physical control over your email services. Most obviously because it is no longer stored on-site. It is therefore vitally important that you choose a service provider that you both know, and trust.Overall it’s clear that the positives of cloud-based email outweigh the negatives. If you use a reputable provider who provides you with an honest, and transparent service, the benefits are clear to see. Whether it’s because of the security, scalability or simply ease of service, cloud-based email service is set to be how we do things in the future.