The Pros and Cons of Cloud Email

Cloud computing has become a very popular option for many businesses hoping to offload some of the expense of maintaining their own mail servers. Cloud email services are easy to setup and use, but there are both advantages and disadvantages to using them.

The Pros

  1. No maintenance – Forget about catching spam and viruses.  Your service provider will do all of that for you.
  2. Inexpensive – In many cases, you can setup cloud email for your organization at a very low cost.
  3. Cross-platform – Since these services are web-based, any device with a web browser can access them.
  4. Familiar – Most users these days use web-based email anyway.  This makes cloud email an attractive alternative.

The Cons

  1. Privacy and Security – When your data and communications are tied to a third-party service provider, you are at their mercy.  If they keep your data private and secure, you can relax.  If not, your organization could be in big trouble
  2. Little or no customization – Your service provider owns and operates the web applications that power your email.  Often times that means you have no say in how those applications work or when and how they are changed.
  3. Vendor lock-in – What happens if you decide to pack up your email users and hit the road?  Will your email data be transferable to another provider or to your own servers?
  4. Cost – While this can also be a Pro, having to pay a subscription fee indefinitely for as long as your business stays in operation might be an expense you do not want.

Like other cloud services, cloud email has benefits and drawbacks.  It is up to you to decide whether or not it is worth it to your organization.

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