Mimecast: The Pros and Cons of Cloud Email

Today, email is a vital tool for businesses everywhere, with communication both inside and outside the office more critical than ever before. In fact, with the rise of remote working over the past couple of years, email has become indispensable, helping to keep both onsite and offsite employees connected while also providing the most reliable platforms for collaboration.

However, along with the move away from conventional office-based work, many companies are also looking to outsource other elements that have traditionally been found onsite—and email is the perfect example. Today, rather than host, manage, and maintain email servers within the office, many companies are switching to cloud email services where data and functionality are handled offsite by a third-party company.

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But why are companies doing this? And what are the pros and cons behind the switch to cloud-hosted email services? Here, we explore both the advantages and disadvantages of cloud email and why it is proving such a popular choice across the globe.

The Pros of Cloud Email

Online email offers a broad range of advantages over conventional on-premises hosting, including:

Secure Email Services

Email security is paramount for large and small companies, as a wealth of sensitive data is shared through the protocol. In addition, cloud computing has evolved to the point that standards such as ISO/IEC 27018 allow secure email services to provide evidence that they correctly handle data.

Reduced Costs

Costs are significantly reduced with no need to purchase software licenses; purchase, manage, and maintain servers; or scale up existing infrastructure for new staff. Often, cloud email services offer transparent pricing tailored to company requirements.

Excellent Reliability

Server redundancy is a feature of most cloud-based email providers, meaning if one server goes down, another steps into its place so email access is always guaranteed. As a result, reliability is assured with top providers, and companies can expect over 99% uptime.

Easy Backup and Archiving

Most cloud-based email providers will offer automatic backup and archiving of data as part of the package. This means the whole process is taken care of, with offsite data storage providing an extra layer of redundant security.

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Simple Scalability

As any company grows, scaling becomes an issue. Cloud-based services make scaling email simple as companies pay for only the level of functionality they need. As such, fast and efficient upgrades and expansion are rarely more than a phone call (or an email) away.

The Cons of Cloud Email

While cloud-based email has plenty of pros, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind. These include:

Less Control Over Data

It stands to reason that a company will have less control over its management when data is stored offsite. This means that a third party is working with potentially sensitive data and information rather than a company using its own employees.

Reliant on Internet

Sadly, if the Internet goes down for any reason, it also means losing access to email. Unlike on-premises email where internal emails can still be sent and received, cloud-based email requires a full Internet connection to function.

Fees May Add Up

While cloud-based Internet services are generally thought to be cheaper, the fees can add up over time. Therefore, particularly for the largest companies, it may still be preferable to run an on-premises server to manage costs more effectively.

The Bottom Line 

Weighing up the pros and cons of any significant shift is important for any business. However, as cloud-based email continues to develop, it’s likely to become even faster and more secure, with other technological advances adding to its appeal.

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