About 10 or even 5 years ago, the standard IT setup for small businesses was a physical server located inside the office. This server would store files, databases for software programs and email, among other things. When something would go sideways with the server, it could bring the entire company to a screeching halt.
Fortunately, technology has been evolving, and many small businesses are taking advantage of cloud services to host desktops, software and more. Moving your company’s email to the cloud is an easy way to start out in your cloud transformation. Using a service like Google’s G Suite or Microsoft’s Office 365 can have some significant benefits.
Benefits of Cloud Email:
Reliability – When your email is located in the cloud, any issues with the local server will have no effect on your ability to send and receive email. If the power is out or the internet is down at the office, you can still conduct business through your mobile device.
Safety – The cloud servers are generally much more secure and protected than a local server as well. These large email hosting providers place a lot of safeguards in place to make sure your data is safe and secured. You can rest easy knowing that you will not lose the thousands of irreplaceable messages stored in your email, which assurance you may not have with a local email server.
Access – With your email stored on a local server, you would have to create a VPN connection back to the office to retrieve messages to your desktop, or set up a server that would allow remote connections. With cloud-based email, you can access your messages from any device in any location. Often you are able to just log in via a webpage and find messages, or use your mobile device.
Compliance – Especially for businesses in the financial or healthcare industry, there are strict government regulations that determine how long and what data your company needs to store. Microsoft, for example, has added controls for helping customers comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) automatically. With a local server, it can take a lot of effort and cost to remain in compliance.
Fixed Cost – With a cloud-based email subscription, you know exactly what the cost will be every month for the service. With a local server, you could end up spending a lot of money trying to repair damaged or broken parts, or other complications the hardware or software presents. Every few years you will be looking to replace the server as well, which could cost thousands of dollars. A fixed monthly fee can help you keep your budget intact.
When you are ready to make the leap to a cloud-hosted email solution, be sure to let your IT support provider know about your plans. When it comes to your email, you want the transition to go as smoothly as possible, and we are experienced in making that happen.