In this article, we discuss the benefits cloud email hosting over running on-premise mail servers and shared hosting solutions.
For most businesses, email is one of the primary services supported by IT. Traditionally, managing email on on-premise servers and shared hosting platforms have been the default choice for most organizations. While it is possible to run your own internal email server, it is often not the best option for many reasons.
If you haven’t already read the reasons why, please see our article on the Challenges of Running On-Premise (Self-hosted) Email Hosting.
In the past decade, there has been an upsurge of organizations moving to cloud-based email – as it should be. Businesses can derive many benefits by switching to cloud-based email services.
Benefits of Cloud Email Hosting
Now you probably know why you shouldn’t host your emails on-premise. Let us now discuss the benefits of the alternative, cloud-based email hosting.
In a cloud environment, a third-party provider hosts all your emails for you. As with other cloud services, the advantages of adopting cloud email are often realized in reduced costs and increased operational efficiency. We discuss these as well as other non-monetary benefits of cloud-based email hosting.
1. No large capital outlay
There is no need to purchase additional hardware or software unless you are looking for hybrid redundancy. Your email lives in the cloud. Therefore, it is still backed up there even if one of your systems goes down.
Cloud-based email hosting is a subscription service model that provides significant cost savings to implement and maintain the environment. By switching to cloud-based email, you eliminate your large capital outlay and convert your email to an operating expense. With this model, expenses are paid for either monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or annually.
Electing to host your emails on the cloud means you don’t have to worry about hardware maintenance and upgrade costs. With a cloud-based email solution, your company will have no capital expenses for email management.
For organizations that plan aggressive expansion on a global basis, the cloud has even greater appeal. It allows you to connect with branches, customers, suppliers, and other businesses anywhere with minimal effort.
There is also no need to hire or outsource specialized staff to manage internal servers. Outsourcing specialized staff to manage internal servers can lead to unpredictable and exorbitant recurrent operating costs.
2. Improved security
While your in-house server may have a local antivirus running and a backup plan, it is still incredibly vulnerable. For instance, backups may be forgotten, or they may exist but are never tested. Or, virus definitions may be outdated. Also, you’re lucky if your on-premise server can survive a fire or flood.
When you use a third-party email service provider (not shared hosting), your corporate emails reside in offsite, highly-protected data centers. Effectively, this makes it more secure than hosting on-premise. Cloud-based providers can devote more resources to securing their servers because this is their core business. This translates to your hosted business emails being more secure.
Additionally, most cloud-based email systems are always up-to-date with the latest security patches and email security features, including spam filters. Your business emails are therefore protected from spam, viruses, malware, phishing, or spoofing threats. Therefore, the decision to switch to a cloud-based solution is a step in the right direction in improving your organization’s email and data security.
3. Easy to scale
With the advancement of email as the primary business communication over phone calls and meetings, the volume of information exchanged via email is staggering. As companies grow, their need for more storage space for emails may increase gradually over time.
Cloud-based solutions are easier to scale. You can increase storage space at a lower cost, unlike on-premise servers that are often limited in hard drive space. Businesses that need to increase their storage space often have to incur high costs to purchase additional storage. Conversely, as email hosting is the specialty of many third-party email providers, they have access to resources at a cheaper cost.
Therefore, hosting your email with a third-party makes it easy and significantly cheaper to increase storage capacity without having to make any changes to your environment. This ensures businesses only pay based on overall usage, user requirements, and company growth.
4. Improved up-time
Because your data is stored in the cloud, your organization will also have better disaster recovery response times than organizations with on-premise or shared hosting solutions. This is because managing emails is the core business of third-party email service providers.
Many cloud-based email providers invest in replicating their servers in multiple sites for redundancy. For this reason, cloud-based emails have proved to offer a significant reduction in email downtime compared to on-premise or shared hosting solutions. These usually come with up-time guarantees that let your business get on with essential tasks.
5. Simplified administration
Cloud email hosting simplifies the administration of your organization’s email management. Your business and IT team(s) will not need to worry about version control or server maintenance issues as a third-party provider handles these.
6. Remote access
Users or employees can access their emails remotely wherever they are, making them more productive. There has been an increasing trend of employees working from home, mobile or remote working.
Cloud-based email supports this model as email is accessed anywhere and anytime. When out-of-office, workers enjoy the convenience of accessing their email from different devices (tablets, phones, or personal laptops).
7. Continuous support
Cloud solutions are service-oriented models. They are not the typical “sell and forget” software or hardware. You have access to support services from your provider as long as they are hosting your emails.
BONUS! Team Collaboration Tools
An additional benefit of cloud email hosting is the availability of team collaboration tools such as a calendar for scheduling appointments, an address book for saving and sharing contacts with others in the organization, file sharing and synchronization, instant messaging tools (chat), video and audio call/meeting tools. Read more on the benefits of team collaboration tools in the workplace.
Owing to the advantages discussed above, it is no surprise that third-party or cloud-email hosting has grown in popularity over the past decade.
Its allure and promise offer newfound flexibility for businesses—everything from cost saving, improved security, time-saving to improved scalability and agility.
There’s consensus among many business decision-makers that it is important to leverage cloud email hosting to achieve their business goals.
Relying on a third-party email service provider is one of the best investments a business can make for a smoother, faster, reliable, and more organized emailing experience leaving the organization to focus on its core business.
Are You Interested in Cloud Email?
If you would like to enjoy all the benefits of cloud email discussed in this article, please contact us today. You may also sign up for a trial to see if it is a good fit for your organization.
Take advantage of our MailSafi Trial program and move a pilot group of your users to MailSafi (i.e., move your first 30 mailboxes from your existing environment to the cloud). This will help you determine if cloud email is the right fit. Contact us for more information.
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