How to know if cloud email is for you

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Topics: Cloud, vCIO

Once thought to be the wave of the future, cloud computing is quickly becoming the norm. If companies are looking to upgrade their outdated computer infrastructure or set up new infrastructure, there is little doubt that they will be looking to the cloud for some if not all of their services.

Over the next few months I will be blogging on different aspects of cloud technology hoping to shed light on current and future trends on this Internet-based computing. To start off the wave of cloud-based services that are currently available, lets first look at what is believed to be the most critical technology that runs a business—email.

Why you might be ready

Email is arguably the number one technology that most businesses depend on. Email connects employees with almost instant delivery and it has replaced the majority of faxing and traditional mail services. Invoices are now delivered via email, and many internal processes tie directly into company email systems. It’s only natural to look to the cloud for electronic mail needs.

Cloud-based email solutions offer several advantages over a locally hosted email server. One huge benefit is that your email server is automatically updated when newer technology is available. This helps avoid the costly upgrades and migrations that tend to occur every five to six years. Also, organizations can virtually eliminate the cost of new hardware, new software, new licensing, and the labor and downtime required to keep up with the evolving technology.

Cloud-hosted email solutions also provide higher stability than most locally hosted servers. Redundancies, that many businesses can’t afford, are built in with the service. Some of these redundancies include:

  • Hardware
  • Power sources
  • Internet connections
  • Alternate locations that protect against building failures

Why you’re not ready

In today’s market, I can only think of a few reasons not to have your email in the cloud:

  • You have a legacy application that relies on email that must be run locally
  • You have requirements that prohibit cloud-hosted email for transmission or storage of data
  • You recently bought a mail server and you are looking to recoup the investment

Whatever the reason, the obstacles should be examined closely. Perhaps there is an update to the legacy system, or maybe it’s time to replace it with a system that may be more beneficial to your business? Are there new services that meet the requirements that once blocked your move to the cloud? Possibly the uptime and business continuity outweigh the return on investment that you were hoping to recoup from the last server you installed?

What’s holding you back?