Email is one of, if not the most, important communication tool that businesses have on hand today. It is a critical business application, and so when choosing an email solution for your company it is important that you choose the one that fits best.
There are two major options when it comes to email services: On-premise and off-premise (hosted/cloud).
On-Premise Email Solutions
An on premise email solution means that you have localized, internal servers to which your staff is connected. These servers are maintained by an in-house technical manager or staff.
Some benefits of or reasons you might choose an on premise solution include:
- Capital expenses are preferred over operational expenses. Some businesses prefer one larger, lump sum investment into systems and equipment versus recurring monthly charges. Beware that the initial investment to get your email set up can be steep.
- You prefer to own software and hardware outright.
- You need your email to integrate with other business applications. Accounting applications or ERP applications to tie in to email.
- Flexible storage and specific security are desired. Because you own your servers, you have the ability to fine tune to exactly your specifications versus being caught in the confines of a pre-determined package or having to up a monthly payment if and when your storage needs change.
While there are a lot of great benefits to on premise, it is important to remember that the costs associated with software licenses for staff, hardware, network capacity, storage capacity, labor and backups are entirely the responsibility of the business and can be considerable up front. On top of that, there can be extras associated with safeguarding your email against downtime.
Off-Premise (Hosted/Cloud) Email Solutions
An off-premise email solution simply means that your email operates on external servers owned by a third party (Such as Gmail, one of the most common hosted email solutions). This third party is responsible for providing set up, technical support, maintenance, and in some cases overall management.
Your business will benefit from a hosted email solution if you prefer:
- Predictable monthly cost. Hosted email solutions are typically subscription based, meaning you have a fixed monthly price. This allows for budget control and easy financial planning.
- Superior uptime. These large-scale hosting providers have huge, robust infrastructures, which means no disruption if something goes down. With an on premise server, you may not suffer disruption to your business if you have backups, but there will still be server downtime while an IT staff works to get it back up.
- Easy and immediate startup. Not only does on premise require a large capital investment up front, but it requires a lot of time to get everything set up and running. Hosted solutions require little to no wait time.
- Automatic upgrades to the most recent version. When managing your own email solution on site, every five years or so you will have to take on the major project of upgrades. With a hosted solution, everything is automatically done behind the scenes, without any disruption to service.
There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to which solution should be used. The final determination is based on what type of business you are, what line of business applications you are using, and what you use your email for. Even if leaning towards on premise, it is always a good idea to reach out to an IT service provider for a needs analysis to ensure you are making the best choices for your business.
Our goal for this blog is to answers the questions that you have! For more information around IT and managed services, please feel to contact us. If your business is centrally located in Texas and you are interested in hearing more about our services, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.