Myths About Migrating Email to the Cloud

February 20, 2017 The TNS Group

How many business emails do you send per day?  Do you consider that your primary gateway to conducting business in this day and age?  Personal conversations are still important, but email seems to be the ticket in most day-to-day exchanges.  It allows for a quick communication and provides documentation of business exchanges that can be referenced in months to come.  Reliable email functionality has become a priority in the businesses of all sizes.

A number of business owners still prefer to host company emails on servers that are physically located on premise.  Being able to see and touch the actual equipment can bring peace of mind to many.  Do you still feel that comfort in the face of a calamity such as a fire or break-in, or unauthorized employees or outside hackers accessing the server, to name a few?  These types of safety concerns make the argument for migrating email to the cloud that more enticing.  According to Gartner, the adoption of cloud gaining traction of enterprise level companies.  The scalability and flexibility of cloud services opens the door for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to take advantage of the benefits of hosted email. 

So, I have to ask, why have you not moved to the cloud?  For many,  the thought of a migration, causing potential downtime, is too much of a risk or perhaps you are concerned that the email functionality will be different from what you are used to.  Whatever the reasons, I want to take this opportunity to debunk 4 myths related to moving email to the cloud.

“An Email Attack? My Business is Too Small to Worry About That”

Businesses should live by the credo; it is not a matter of “if but when” will an email attack strike.  The harder it is for a hacker to “break-in” the more likely they may move on.  However, no business is too small for an attack.  As a matter of fact, hackers prey on the lower defenses established by these companies due to lack of resources. I am sure you have heard of the social engineering attacks out there today, such as; phishing, whaling, spoofing, and baiting to name a few.  As I write this, I can assure you that there are a number more in the works.  Want to take a guess on the name of the next one?  I am going with “casting” to stay with a common theme. 

What is the cost of a phishing attack?  One might focus on the financial stipulations associated with it, such as, compliance fines, cost to contain malware and retrieve company data, to name a few.  What about downtime that can result in a lack of employee productivity. According to the Ponemon Institute’s recent Cost of Phishing and Value of Employee Training study, lost employee productivity is the largest cost associated with successful phishing attacks.  The productivity losses from phishing equated to $1,819,923.  Hosting your email in the cloud can help safeguard your business against these types of attacks.  Since email threats are constantly evolving, it’s important to have the most up-to-date security protection. 

“Migration is a Pain Point that I Can’t Afford”

Let me start by asking, if you have an email server on premise, do you want to budget for a new server and installation every 5 years.  That could equate to some hefty capital expenses. Not knowing what goes into migrating to the cloud, could lead you to believe that the perceived upfront infrastructure costs and downtime are too costly.  It is quite the opposite.

When moving to the cloud, you no longer have to house expensive hardware and cover the cost of maintenance going forward.  Moving your email to the cloud will reduce your capital expenditures.  Outside of the one-time cost to migrate data, you pay one monthly cost per user to host your company emails.  In addition, a subscription service model allows for increased scalability to allow for future increased email capacity without impacting your environment. This prevents a large capital outlay and converts email to an operational expense. 

In addition, servers are complex and can prove costly if not managed and maintained properly. Moving over to cloud email instead of server-based email means moving this portion of your IT costs from variable to fixed (much to your accounting department’s delight). Cloud-based email is a great solution for companies on a budget.

“Downtime is Part of Business”

Working with an experienced Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) will work collaboratively with you to plan for downtime as it relates to email migration, if necessary at all.  Properly scoping a project and planning are required to ensure a smooth transition.  Business uptime equates to increased profitability and productivity.

Do you know the cost of downtime to your business? It does depend on the size of your organization and how fast you can recover.  According to a report conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC), network downtime costs 80% of small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) at least $20,000 per hour.  For 20% of those SMBs, one hour of downtime can cost at least $100,000.  Do you still consider that business as usual?

“My Email No Longer Lives at the Office”

If the worst case happens and your server is hacked into, breaks down or is compromised in any way, your email is free game.  Think about all of the documents, personal and professional information that can live in your email archive. How would you function if someone else got a hold of it? 

With hosted email, you don’t have to worry about this.  As noted earlier, having a server onsite may not be in your best interest. In moving to the cloud, hardware becomes a non-issue.  Even if you destroy your laptop, MacBook, iPhone, whatever it may be, your email is still accessible.  Physically looking at a piece of hardware – such as your server – may not always bring “peace of mind.”

Moving your email to the cloud can improve your business operations and create a better workplace. Providing employees with the tools to access email anytime from any place can increase overall satisfaction and productivity.  Contact The TNS Group today to determine if moving email to the cloud is the right decision for your business.

By:  Chris Carlson, Client Services, The TNS Group

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