Enterprise Email in the Cloud: Are You Ready?

email in the cloudAnyone using the internet is familiar with cloud-based email use. From AOL to Hotmail, Gmail to Yahoo, internet users can set up and utilize these email in the cloud services without having to purchase or install software on their home computers.

So, why not have email in the cloud capabilities in the corporate world?

While it has been slow to adopt, Gartner reports in a recent study that 55% of enterprise corporations are expected to adopt some form of cloud based email and collaboration services by the year 2020.

The reason for the less-than-enthusiastic corporate adoption of cloud based email is a mixed bag of justifications. Resistance has been slowly dwindling though as cloud based email and collaboration services focus on more robust offerings for businesses.

Is it time for your company to consider email in the cloud?  Consider these pros and cons:

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  • PRO – Gartner reports that with over 5 years in the enterprise email space, Google’s Gmail product is gaining momentum with corporations. Market share for more traditional email providers such as Lotus Notes/Domino or Novell GroupWise continues to decrease.
  • CON – Google is not as willing to make customizations or feature requests that are specific to a particular company. Instead Gmail focuses on vertical markets such as the financial sector and meeting the needs of a market holistically.
  • PRO – Email in the cloud is significantly less expensive to maintain and support for an enterprise operation. IT resources that were once dedicated to maintaining and troubleshooting Exchange, for example, could be diverted to other more value add IT activities or initiatives.
  • CON – Any backend integration requirements would be solely the responsibility of the enterprise.  While there are numerous plugins available, all of the work for any customized integration would fall to your internal IT group.
  • PRO – Deployment and administration of email in the cloud is extremely simple and can be utilized on any internet enabled device. All of the work to migrate email for mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets has already been accomplished.
  • CON – There is a slightly higher risk regarding security and corporate compliance issues, but these can be reviewed by the individual corporation to determine if the risks can be mitigated or offset.

While Google’s Gmail is the predominant player for enterprise email in the cloud, Microsoft’s Office 365 is a hearty cloud based collaboration tool that provides not only email services but also various web conferencing and document sharing options.

Email in the cloud for the corporate enterprise is emerging as a viable alternative to help corporations reduce routine office application maintenance.  This allows internal IT departments to focus more sharply on specialized initiatives. Download our free whitepaper on migrating your email to the cloud to understand the criteria for a successful migration.

Photo: dampeebe

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