I recently had the opportunity to speak at both CloudFest and CloudTalk Online, two yearly gatherings of cloud professionals and experts.

After what could only be described as one of the most productive experiences I’ve had at online events, I left with a growing feeling: cloud-native infrastructure and cloud computing, in general, are the future of IT.

Think about it: in 2018, Forbes predicted 83% of businesses would be in the cloud by 2020. How do you think that number changed during the year of remote work?

As the CEO of an ISP-focused email server software company that provides cloud-native K8S & Docker deployments, this made me stop and think. I had to reconsider the immense benefits of cloud-native systems for ISPs, and so I started writing this article.

How ISPs Can Directly Benefit from Cloud-Native Email Servers

The first thing to consider is that ISPs running a cloud-native infrastructure significantly optimize their operations simply because of the reduced friction, reduced costs, and reduced reliance on physical systems.

A basic breakdown of cloud-native benefits for ISPs, ordered by their importance in the current remote-work business landscape:

  1. Significantly better support for mobile workers. A 2021 survey shows over 90% of people would like to continue to work from home and recommend it to others. The global remote work drive needs robust cloud infrastructure to back it up. ISPs are among the first businesses that need to do everything in their power to provide it, starting with their own workforce.
  2. Optimized administration. Cloud-native systems, including cloud email servers, are much easier to install, optimize, and manage remotely. Looking ahead, this will be one huge advantage for enterprises that chose to maintain remote work as a core part of their business.
  3. Greatly improved scalability. Scaling while using on-premise systems can be a nightmare for CTOs. Cloud-native scalability is a no-brainer. The renewed need for reliable internet service throughout the world means the need for efficient scalability will also grow!
  4. Cost reduction. Stats show that even if enterprises overspend on unoptimized cloud services, the overall costs are still significantly lower than having to maintain on-premise infrastructure.
  5. Significantly better uptime. Cloud systems are generally speaking more stable and reliable than on-premise ones. In fact, most cloud email server providers like us pride themselves on their increased uptime compared to the on-premise competition.
  6. Better antivirus and antispam systems. Antivirus and antispam technology solutions can be integrated directly into the cloud solution. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing at Axigen. Our customers don’t have to worry about security or going to third parties to secure their email servers. We jump that step and provide fully integrated antivirus and antispam solutions.

The IT world is systematically moving towards cloud computing. CTOs are adapting the approach to their specific use case. With over 62 zettabytes of data stored and transferred throughout cloud systems and networks in 2020, I firmly believe ISPs that are hesitating are already losing.

Benefits for ISP Customers

But it doesn’t just benefit to ISPs from a business perspective. Their clients will also benefit from a range of clear-cut improvements, regardless of whether they’re business customers or end-users.

  • Better service no matter the location. One of the things we learned in 2020 is that the internet is a necessity rather than a utility. Using cloud-native solutions, ISPs can offer a full range of services, including email, to consumers where on-premise infrastructure can have significant limitations.
  • Support for more remote-model businesses & consumers. Remote work support is a benefit not just for the business side, but for the consumer side as well.
  • Better security due to API approach. Because of our cloud-native mail server, we’re able to provide an API approach to email security, meaning customers are able to adjust and improve protection as they see fit. Not only can our ISP clients do the same, but they can also use the same approach for other cloud-native systems within their business.
  • More control over personal email data. By switching to cloud-native email systems, ISPs are able to provide an alternative over public cloud email options for their subscribers.
  • Ability to easily customize/increase subscriptions. Getting bogged down by relying on on-premise systems too much can be a huge hurdle for most ISPs when it comes to subscriptions. With a cloud-native approach, subscribers can easily customize the services they pay for, such as adding email with the click of a button. Another great advantage of cloud-enabled subscriptions is that SMB customers can easily scale and change their model.

How Your Business Will Grow After Switching to a Cloud-Native Email Server

Now that we’ve seen the many benefits above, it’s time to think: should you provide the option for cloud-native email software to your users? In the following part, I’ll show you precisely how and why your business will grow as a result.

Your Customer Loyalty Will Increase

By providing your own cloud-native email solutions to customers, you’re offering them a custom, high-quality, and highly adaptive alternative to other email providers. Not only that, but couple that with some excellent customer support and customer success tactics, and you’ll be driving up customer loyalty in no time.

Think about it like this: instead of focusing on retaining subscribers, your focus will be on how to reward the loyalty of your subscribers so they never even consider your competitors. Done right, this will lead to clients becoming true brand advocates.

Your Subscriber ARPU Will Go Up

By assembling a more attractive service package that includes email, you’ll be able to increase the subscription cost.

At the same time, the business cost of providing a cloud-native email service usually is significantly lower than the returns from subscriptions. The cost balancing is much trickier to navigate if you’re running on-premise systems.

Customer Churn Will Stop Being a Problem

Providing a cloud-native email server as part of your ISP subscription leads to an insane level of user stickiness because of the simple fact that nobody wants to lose their inbox. Combine this with the increase in loyalty and customer churn will quickly become a very unusual concept for your business.

Your Business Costs Will Go Down

A recent report about the 2021 State of IT signals clear changes in how businesses spend their money on IT. Overall, IT budgets are in a downward trend, and the bulk of the money is shifting from hardware to cloud and managed services.

It’s very easy to see why. Cloud-native systems are overall much cheaper to maintain, and according to our analysis, hardware costs drop by up to 50% when our clients switch to cloud email servers.

Next Steps to Go Cloud-Native

So to recap, I believe you’ve read a strong case here for why your business could drive growth in the cloud this year. ISPs can benefit greatly from a cloud-native email server, especially in the wild business landscape that is 2021.

What are the next steps?

  • Analyze your current email server solutions: do they exist, are they on-premise, hybrid?
  • Analyze your business capabilities: are you able to invest in a cloud-native email server?
  • Check out the available offers for cloud-native email servers. For example, Axigen can be installed and secured in just 10 minutes with automated migration options that make switching extremely convenient and hassle-free.
  • Enjoy the benefits of offering cloud-native solutions to your customers!

By using a cloud-native email solution based on Kubernetes and Docker clusters, service providers and telcos can stay ahead of the trends and navigate the age of remote work while focusing on growth and expansion.

With such a reliable cloud framework in place, I believe you’re securing a successful cloud strategy and making room for your business to expand.