Email headed to the cloud

By Sonian
In Channel
August 3, 2012

Article By Sonian

Cloud storage has always been a subject of interest because of the cost savings it can offer a business. Now it appears there is a driving force behind the move to provide email services directly in a cloud environment.

Microsoft recently announced a transition away from its traditional Hotmail servers in favor of an online version of Outlook. The corporation is attempting to lure corporate users of their software-based mail program into a cloud and social atmosphere. Observers are currently unsure of the long term impacts of the software giant’s move. It is clear, however, that Microsoft is doing whatever it can to jump into the information battle by storing the largest amount of data possible in a single environment.

Abandoning corporate email servers

With Google and Microsoft offering a large amount of online space for email, there has been talk about leaving in-house email access in favor of a cloud-based system.

The problem with this strategy is it leaves your company at the mercy of a third party. Companies typically have very extensive policies in place when it comes to business communication and opening up the server to multiple access points can be an issue. Furthermore, while rare, cloud providers do experience downtime. While the amount a cloud server is offline is very low, fixing the problem is completely outside of the hands of your internal IT department. Finally, compliance issues will require careful tracking of incoming and outgoing messages, including any changes to information. Because of this, any data loss would be catastrophic but completely out of the hands of CIOs and executives.

However, the reason the cloud looks so attractive is the fact that it offers savings. Utilizing a cloud archiving service may be a more enticing alternative because it’ll instantaneously back up your information, freeing up internal server space without leaving your company at the mercy of any potential downtime. Cloud issues when relying on an archiving provider means that information will be backed up after the inconvenience is resolved. However, if your entire email system is based in the cloud, your whole communication system will be affected.

However, the cloud is constantly improving, and businesses are constantly making the conversion. Eventually Software-as-a-Service will become the predominant offering as interactions take place outside of legacy systems. As companies transition to cloud archiving and cloud databases, more corporations will offer programs allowing a business to operate entirely online at a fraction of the cost, and as we all know, technological advances that lower operating costs catch on quickly.

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Author: Kayla Krause