8 Reasons Cloud Email Is A Smart Move Now - InformationWeek
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2/22/2016
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8 Reasons Cloud Email Is A Smart Move Now

If you've been dragging your feet on migrating your company's email to a cloud service, here's why it's time to reconsider.
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(Image: paisan191/iStockphoto)

(Image: paisan191/iStockphoto)

Earlier this month, Gartner reported that cloud email adoption is picking up significant steam in the enterprise. Additionally, the research firm said that those who haven't yet looked into migrating their internal email to a cloud provider "should question assumptions that public cloud email is not appropriate in their region, size, or industry." In other words, the benefits of a cloud-operated email system likely outweigh the drawbacks.

Gartner reports that 13% of publicly listed, global companies use cloud-based email -- almost exclusively from Microsoft or Google. So clearly, the market has plenty of room to grow. But many IT decision makers are not even considering the idea of cloud email because of preconceived notions and misinformation about reliability, ease of management, security, and industry regulations.

As with any new technologies, someone has to be the test case. In the United States, it's common for early adopters to be found in educational institutions. A few universities sought to adopt cloud email early on, sometimes with incentives from the provider. And while some schools ran into issues with migration, uptime, and accessibility, the majority of those problems were quickly resolved and the lessons learned have made the transition smooth these days.

Slowly but surely, a handful of enterprise organizations noticed the benefits gained by universities -- as well as by small businesses that were early adopters. It only took several successful cloud cases in the enterprise for adoption to really start to take off.

Here, we offer eight views on the current state of cloud-managed email services. You'll find information about various benefits, debunking of inaccurate beliefs, and details on the conveniences of cloud-hosted email. Our goal is to point out why cloud email is worth considering -- as well as put to rest any misinformation floating around regarding reliability and security concerns.

The bottom line: Many organizations are recognizing that email is becoming another commodity application that's more at home in the hands of a trusted partner versus a private data center.

What's your opinion on cloud email? Has your organization already migrated? If so, how did it go? And if you still don't think that cloud email is right for you, please let us know why and share your concerns with the InformationWeek community in the comments section below.

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Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the ... View Full Bio

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Infinize
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Infinize,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/1/2016 | 8:22:21 PM
Cloud = Someone else's computer
there are only two types of businesses. Those that have been hack by the Chinese and those that don't know they've been hacked by the Chinese. The coroprate bravado is deafening. It's only a matter of time until a crypto locker style virus roots its way into a large cloud system and takes out its online backups. You'd think some people would remember the PC revolution. Large decentralized systems will always win out over time. Cloud adoption rates will decline within the next 5 years due to large scale decentralization of networks.
lmasseus
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lmasseus,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/24/2016 | 11:22:28 AM
Government
I am not suprised that it's only at 13% adoption. I've worked at many companies where i've touted the benefits of cloud based email. A frequent concern was government snooping without the companies knowledge. This dovetails with why many companies are supporting Apple in it's fight with the FBI. No matter how secure the Cloud Email may be, Government Snooping with/without a warrant is a major concern for many enterprises.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
2/23/2016 | 8:43:20 AM
Re: 13%?
No doubt a slow moving corporate hierarchy can be bad but that doesn't necessarily go away, in some cases I've found in the past that when updates were due there was a lot of questioning "Can't we just choose not to have them update us?  or  "We don't need any of these new features tell them to wait.".  In every case this involved a web service that was not charging for the update and we weren't losing any features there would just be some new features to communicate out to the end users.  Those who are resistant to change will stay that way no matter where your services are hosted.  On the plus side you may gain a team of technical folks who can have your back during these discussions but sadly I haven't seen that it makes those types of managers any more comfortable with change. 
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 2:22:12 PM
Re: 13%?
It's a tough choice to make - hosted or on-premises. Legacy systems and out-of-touch systems managers can be more trouble than waiting on updates from a third-party provider...
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 1:59:29 PM
Gmail?
"migrating from Gmail". I guess I don't know what is considered "cloud" anymore. What the heck is difference in Gmail and a cloud email service?

I'm also curious how spam filtering works in these cloud services. Is it your choice to contract a 3rd party spam filter and run your mail thru it or are you stuck with whatever the cloud provider using? How easy is whitelisting if you are not in control of filtering?

Can you SMTP relay off these cloud email gateways? Our IBM i5 LoB server sends application alerts to our Lotus Notes users and emails business documents to our vendors/customers by relaying off our Corp SMTP gateway. That still possible in this cloud environment?
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 8:37:59 AM
13%?
Well I can't say I'm totally surprised, I've been inside some large companies that do somewhat foolish things with mail servers.  I  turned down a job offer from one in particular when they announced to me how proud they were that Microsoft was keeping public folders alive in Exchange just for them.  If you're not locked into a process like that then putting your mail servers to the cloud is one of the easiest services to move.  Latency doesn't kill it and uptime tends to be quite good.  The one down side is that IF there ever is a problem all the talk about how much sense it makes to let someone else manage those servers and how easy it is to move will echo in your head while you're trying to get status updates until your service is back to normal. 
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 7:14:23 AM
Privacy
All of this does make a lot of sense, but consider that organisations like Microsoft and Google are much more twinned with and beholden to intelligence agencies and government due to their size. If you use those companies rather than internal email, your information will be accessible to government authorities.

For most businesses that shouldn't be a problem, but don't be surprised if someone abuses that power. 
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