When it comes to email hosting for your business, there are two options – cloud-based email services or on-premise solutions. While on-premise solutions have historically been the norm, cloud email solutions like Microsoft 365 offer businesses a number of benefits. These include lower upfront costs and easy access to the latest software. But, they also have their drawbacks.
Not sure if cloud-based email services are right for your business? Here are a few pros and cons of hosting your email in the cloud.
Pros of Cloud-Based Email Services
Lower capital expenditures and operating costs.
Hardware for on-premise email servers can be pricey, and they typically have a three-to-five-year lifecycle. When you move your email to the cloud, these costs are deferred to the email provider. The provider will also cover the “unseen” operating costs. These include things like the cost of electricity and internet that power email servers at your desired level of performance and speed.
Flat cost per user.
Running email on-premise means that each individual employee will need purchased and/or licensed email software – such as Microsoft Outlook – installed on his or her computer. With cloud-based email services, businesses pay for a subscription per user. Rather than paying higher up-front charges to purchase software, the costs are spread out over a monthly subscription model.
Access to the latest software.
Traditional email software requires upgrades usually every several years, if not sooner, depending on the needs of the business. With cloud-based email services, software upgrades happen automatically, without additional costs to users. This means you always have the latest and greatest features, including cybersecurity protection, at your fingertips.
Additional productivity tools.
Most businesses need more than just email software to function. If your organization is hosting email on-premise, you may also need to purchase additional software upfront. This could include software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and possibly other programs. Most cloud email solutions offer upgrade options to add various types of software to the email subscription, all with the same benefits of the cloud-based email services.
Cons of Cloud-Based Email Services
Loss of control.
Despite the many benefits of cloud email solutions, some businesses prefer to host their email on-premise because they can control the environment. When hosting your email in the cloud, you depend on the service provider to perform regular upgrades to their hardware and software. If the vendor misses these upgrades or does them incorrectly, your service could be interrupted.
Limited backup and email recovery.
If you’re considering a cloud email solution, know that most don’t have a robust backup system in place, if any. That means that your IT team may not be able to recover company emails lost due to accidental deletion, cybersecurity breaches, and other internal and external threats. However, third-party business software exists that can integrate into and back up cloud-based email programs to a separate storage solution.
Reliance on the internet.
When your email is hosted in the cloud, your business depends on a strong internet connection to successfully send and receive emails both internally and externally. While on-premise email solutions require an internet connection to send emails externally, internal emails can still be sent when that connection is lost.
Complexity of migrating from previous email client.
The benefits of moving to cloud-based email are many. But making the switch from on-premise solutions to cloud email solutions isn’t necessarily simple. One wrong move, and all your company emails could go down. The good news is that managed IT service providers like Atlas Professional Services can manage your migration to the cloud to ensure a smooth transition.