If you’re a regular visitor to the MessageStream blog, you’ll have heard me mention the phenomenal growth of cloud computing many times before. The potential to save money whilst improving business efficiency has really captured the imagination of SMEs and, as a result, cloud computing services such as Hosted E-mail seems to be one area of the economy which is not feeling the pinch.
There’s a big difference, however, between rapid growth and a trend that’s become mainstream. 2011 was the year that cloud computing really took off. Hosted Exchange 2010 led the march to take cloud computing into a whole new world of enterprises, but there is still a lot of ground to be made up by corporations and enterprises – large or small – who are yet to turn their thoughts to the cloud.
2012 will be the year that cloud services really bed in and gain real traction within the business world. Cloud computing will quickly turn from a ‘nice to have’ into a ‘business necessity’ as businesses realise that exploiting the latest trends represents the best chance for today’s SMEs to steal a march on the competition and get ahead of the curve when it comes to IT.
So, hosted e-mail will become the norm rather than the exception to the rule. With it will come many benefits – most noticeably in the key areas of cost control, security and reliability – but of course there will also be new challenges that cloud adopters will have to face.
E-discovery, or the methods by which a company ensures that they have a reliable record of the e-mails that have been sent and received by the business, will become absolutely crucial. Increasingly, legal disputes between a firm and its customers, partners or suppliers are settled using electronically stored information (ESI) or archived data.
So, when choosing a hosted e-mail provider, look for one who can not only provide reliable access to Hosted Exchange 2010 but who can guarantee to put safeguards in place to ensure your business has quick and easy access to the electronic records it needs.
MessageStream’s hosted e-mail archiving knows exactly what, and what not, to archive. Its ‘intelligent’ systems can identify spam and have proven accuracy in detecting genuine e-mails. It archives messages securely off-site to ensure that you have ready access to information in the case of data failures or disputes.
Making sure that your cloud provider supports, rather than hinders, business continuity and compliance could not be more important and it is the businesses who recognise this – and who team up with reputable, well established hosted e-mail providers from the start- who have the real opportunity to benefit from cloud computing.
As we see the continued expansion of cloud services, let’s hope that 2012 is also the year that people get serious about information security and retrieval and demand nothing but the highest standards from the cloud vendor they do business with.