Should Your Email Live In The Cloud?

Tedschadler by Ted Schadler

Should your email live in the cloud?

Colleague Chris Voce and I have written a pair of reports to answer that question from the perspectives of an information and knowledge management professional and an infrastructure and operations professional. For many firms, the answer is "yes," certainly for some users or some email support services.

The first report tackles the issues of cost. It turns out that most companies have no idea what their fully loaded email costs are (and most low-ball the estimates). But once you add in staffing costs; server and desktop software licenses; upgrades and support fees; archiving and filtering costs; mobile support; hardware, storage, and power costs; and financing costs, email's a big ticket item, as much as $36 per user per month for a 15,000 person company offering BlackBerry support.

Some findings from this cost analysis:

  • A mobile-less information worker can cost $25 per user per month or a whopping $300 per user per year. In a 10,000-person company doing message archiving, that's an annual budget line item of $3 million.
  • When you compare the fully loaded costs of on-premise email to the cloud-based alternatives, the cloud service wins for many worker segments in companies (or divisions) of 15,000 users or less.
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Innovation. You need two funnels.

Here’s another follow-up post to our recent jam session on using a down economy as an enabler for sustained improvements in IT.
One of our calls took on the topic of protecting and promoting innovation -- a big, squishy topic to which a blog post alone can’t do justice.  So let me touch on the highlights.
77% percent of our jam session attendees are actively cutting capital spending or planning to do so in the very near future. Not surprising. And 50% said that of the remaining budgets a smaller ratio will be allocated to new, innovative investments. Also not surprising.
Within our clients we see plenty of knee jerk cuts of anything with a “new” or “long-term” label attached. I say “knee jerk” because quick use of the scalpel is a just another of those involuntary responses that we’ve grown accustomed to in IT. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in some cases, that long-term wish list is exactly what should be cut.

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