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Posted by Ted Schadler on January 6, 2009
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:
Chris's report on infrastructure and operations has the details on the hurdles to overcome, the key integration points, and which email workloads to move to the cloud. In particular, email filtering and archiving are prime candidates to move out of the data center immediately.
And both reports lay out a strategy to segment and provision different worker groups to optimize the email spend:
Chris & I are also doing a pair of teleconferences for Forrester members on January 26th and 28th to review the analysis. The registration should open up in a day or so. Please send me an email if you want the heads up once registration opens.
Our take is that particularly in these recessionary times, you can save money by segmenting your workers based on their email and collaboration needs, calculating your fully loaded email costs, and moving some or all of it to the cloud. Disagree? Have thoughts? Please comment.
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