Almost any start-up company today will choose to host their emails in the cloud – simply because the cost (not to mention the reliability) is really not possible to argue with. Put simply – no company faced with the choice of spending countless thousands of dollars on an in-house email server will choose that route over the vastly more cost effective option offered by an almost limitless array of providers.
However, having said that – the equation is often viewed differently for companies which have pre-existing email servers in-house. The cost proposition can look different for those companies (at least on the surface) because the enormous expense of setting up onsite email servers – often done in the days prior to externally hosted email being widely available – is a sunk cost. The cost of keeping that server online and servicing users can look cost effective on a month-by-month basis against the option of going hosted.
But have you ever considered what hosting your email on-premise does to your internet connection? Email is one of the absolute worst things which you can host onsite in this respect. An otherwise perfectly adequate and fast internet connection can be almost entirely consumed by sending, receiving and distributing emails. Take for example sending out a PDF to a list of 10 or 20 people – when your email is hosted onsite that PDF has to upload from your office a full 10 or 20 times (out to the different mail servers of the recipients). Of course when you’re on hosted email it has to do so as well – but only once!
Take another example which is more and more common – your staff who are syncing their emails on multiple devices outside the office (home PCs, Laptops, Tablets, and of course the ubiquitous smartphones). When the central store of their mailbox is in your office, this creates the same problem. A single email with a simple attachment arrives (downloads) and then has to sync to all those devices (uploads) – so again that one attachment might have to upload across your internet connection 3 or 4 or more times. When hosting in the cloud the email arrives and distributes to all those devices without even crossing your office internet connection – except of course just once to download to the PC in the office.
This is all worth keeping in mind when it comes time to look at options for the internet connectivity at your premises. Yes, of course it is fantastic to have ultra-fast fibre or similar but if that isn’t an option then the other side of the coin is to ask what capacity can you free up – and if you’ve got a ready-for-retirement email server in the back room – it is definitely target number one.