The IT challenge many forget about

So let’s see, there’s the cloud, security breaches, bring your own device … what are we forgetting here?

Oh, right. Email. That thing that still takes up huge amounts of IT’s time and resources every day. 

In many ways, email is a microcosm for the department. It can be a security risk, a productivity tool or one of the first things you move offsite in order to better manage it. And a recent survey by SolarWinds shows managing email is no small task.

According to the survey, 46% of companies have two or more full-time equivalents dedicated to managing email. And it isn’t getting any less demanding.

Logically, 86% of respondents said that with an influx of mobile devices, the volume of email they’ve had to manage has increased. The difficulty of managing it is also significant:

  • only 15% of respondents said they’re confident using one management tool for email, and
  • 53% said they need three or more management tools.

Cloud to the rescue?

Given that SolarWinds provides management tools, the results aren’t exactly surprising. But perhaps the most telling part of the survey dealt with how companies are handling their email.

  • 72% store email in-house
  • 13% use only cloud-based email, and
  • 12% use a combination of the two.

And 37% of companies plan to switch to a cloud-based email service in the next three years. Another 22% see the move coming in the next five years.

But the cloud may not be the end of email headaches and problems.

Reasons for caution

There’s little doubt that moving email off-site is seen as a way to get one time-consuming task off your plate. But be prepared for risks:

  • Uptime and security. True, no in-house system will be 100% secure and always available. But the same problems exist with the cloud, too. Just be sure everyone understands it’s no magic bullet.
  • Scalability. If you find a service that you can live with in its cost, be sure to look into the flexibility it offers as well. How many users would trigger a higher rate? You may hit that number without realizing it.
  • Contract terms. As always, examine license agreements carefully. SLAs will rarely work in the favor of customers on important legal, disclosure and pricing features.

 

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