Cloud computing arguably represents one of the biggest fundamental shifts in technology architecture in our lifetime. Whether your organisation is an early adopter or a laggard, it’s difficult to deny that cloud services have transformed modern business as we know it, and in doing so, have created new giants in Amazon Web Services, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud and Microsoft Azure.
However, Gartner’s prediction that global cloud services revenue from public cloud will surpass US$411 billion by 2020, combined with some clear benefits of moving email to the cloud, not all telcos and service providers are convinced. Stalled by questions and legacy systems, some industry players are choosing to play catch-up rather than to lead the conversation.
Moving customer email platforms to the cloud
Singtel (an atmail customer on our AWS Singapore cloud) and other major telcos can be praised for proactively moving their customer email platforms to the cloud. But others in the industry are resisting.
Why? That’s the interesting part. When we talk in depth to some of the slow adopters, it seems that often, decisions are not being made based on fact and/or a full TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) review, but rather, on a plethora of cloud email adoption myths.
To help inform and educate in-house teams, we’ve put together the following sample myths surrounding cloud email adoption in the telco and service provider sector, together with our responses as an experienced cloud email provider.
Myth 1: Cloud email always costs more
In calculating the cost of on-premises versus hosted email, many telcos and service providers forget to consider the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over a set period, not just the upfront asset costs and/or subscription fees.
Beyond TCO, organisations should also be assessing cost-effectiveness (namely CAPEX versus OPEX, capped versus uncapped costs, as well as lost opportunity cost).
Myth 2: Cloud email providers won’t let us use our own company branding
Unlike Google and Microsoft, we (and other reputable cloud email providers) encourage customised company branding and can accommodate unique customisation requests.
Myth 3: We can’t trust our email platform if we lose control of our physical infrastructure
It’s not uncommon for more checks and balances to be in place with a cloud email vendor than are currently in place with in-house email platforms. If not, these can be written into Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Perhaps the more important question here might be, “Why does an organisation in the age of digital transformation, want their physical email infrastructure controlled by in-house teams who are not typically experts in either email or security?”
Myth 4: Cloud email is less secure
Reputable cloud email can actually provide more security benefits than on-premises email, thanks to: a faster resolution of security issues; the removal of end-of-life security and compliance concerns; a greater ability to add more security layers; and robust security from an expert team dedicated to email.
Myth 5: Cloud email would not adhere to our strict local and/or regional compliance regulations
Cloud-hosted email providers can offer a wide range of options to ensure local and/or regional compliance to data sovereignty rules, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), lawful interception, internal security policies and more.
Myth 6: Cloud email has greater downtime
Cloud email providers take uptime seriously and can usually offer an option to use multiple redundant sites, which is something that many telco and service providers cannot afford to do on-premises.
Myth 7: We need internal, cloud-hosted email expertise
Whilst it’s wise to have an internal cloud email champion, it’s not necessary to have internal experts, when there are email providers more aptly qualified and resourced for this.
Myth 8: Our region does not have the capability for reliable cloud- hosted email
Whilst AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba might not yet have expanded to Africa (and only two have a minor footprint in Latin America), email solutions providers do offer other reliable cloud-hosted email options in these regions.
Myth 9: We are based in a developing country, so we have more barriers to adoption
In a study published in 2017 that compared cloud adoption in Norway versus sub-Saharan Africa, more adoption barriers were identified in Norway than in sub-Saharan Africa where “government policy and regulations concerning data location and restrictions are simply non-existent”.
Myth 10: We have too much email data to migrate
Cloud experts know how to migrate large sets of email data in real time, with no down time and most importantly, no loss of data. They tend to migrate email data in trial, manageable, priority batches, rather than risk migrating data all at once. They also offer the ability to rollback if and when required, if both parties are not confident in any step in the migration process.
Myth 11: We can’t move our email platform due to the lack of integrity of our current data systems
The integrity of data in current email systems (such as incomplete data, hidden devices, forgotten devices, abandoned networks and insufficient documentation detailing what data is in the current system) should not completely block a move to the cloud. Resolving data integrity should be an organisational priority regardless of whether email is kept on-premises or moved to the cloud. Maybe moving email to the cloud might just be the motivation an organisation needs to clean up their data and documentation.
[Free white paper]
The Business Case for Moving Email to the Cloud
If you’re a telco or service provider that is looking beyond the myths and is interested in moving your customer email platform to the cloud, you’re in the right place. We invite you to download our complimentary, 23-page white paper, The Business Case for Moving Email to the Cloud: Helping telcos and service providers refocus on core business.
New to atmail?
With 20 years of email platform experience, we are trusted by telcos and service providers to power 170 million mailboxes worldwide. We offer white label, user-friendly, cloud hosted email that is reliable, stable, secure and scalable. Choose from our US or (GDPR compliant) EU data centres, or stay in-house with our on-premises webmail and/or mail server options. To find out more, please contact us here.