There’s still a lot of confusion around cloud computing among SMEs regarding what it is and what benefits it can have for business. In this article we’re going to focus on cloud email and outline why so many companies are using it.
What is cloud email?
“Cloud email simply means that your emails are sent, managed and stored using remote servers rather than a server within your business premises. “
Common cloud email services
Services such as Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Gmail are all common cloud email services. Microsoft 365 is a well known cloud platform which includes business email.
5 cloud email benefits for your business
If you’re still not using a cloud-based email for your business communications, these six reasons will give a better idea of the benefits.
Benefit 1 – Bandwith
The bandwidth and infrastructure provided by cloud storage is a big benefit for small to medium sized companies. This is particularly relevant in parts of Scotland where some business connectivity is still atrocious.
Benefit 2 – Save Money
If your emails are still being backed up on a physical server in your office, you need to invest time and money making sure that it’s always working as it should so you don’t run the risk of losing important messages.
If you have a separate Exchange server just for email distribution, you can make a saving by moving to the cloud. If a local mail server is not required then normally a local file and print server does not need to be as powerful and therefore savings can be made on your running costs and replacement.
If your business is at the stage where you can’t yet afford to employ a full time IT support person, then making your emails as simple as possible is the way to go. You won’t have to switch the server off and on again a hundred times or pretend to know what you’re doing.
Backing up emails is one of those tasks you’d rather not have to think about when you’re trying to get on with your day job. And that’s why cloud –based email providers have become so popular over the years.
Benefit 3 – Business Continuity
If all your emails are on a server in your office and it crashes, how do you access your emails? With so many emails being sent each day, you certainly won’t be able to rely on the memories of your employees to get all the information back.
Of course you could contact your clients and explain the situation and ask them to resend emails to your personal account while things get fixed, but that hardly exudes professionalism.
Every business owner like you is all too aware that time is money. Email has become so engrained in how companies operate on a day-to-day basis that it’s pretty much impossible to function for any extended period of time without it.
With cloud email you won’t have this problem. Companies such as Google and Microsoft know how important it is to keep your emails available 24/7 and have invested a lot of money in making this happen for customers all over the world.
Benefit 4 – Easier Budgeting
Maintaining your own email server may seem like a good way to keep control of your IT, but the costs associated with this are variable i.e. you never know when something might go wrong and how long it will take to get fixed.
With cloud-based email you’re not responsible for the upkeep of the servers or the security of them. This means you can budget far more easily for this essential part of your IT requirements and not suffer from any nasty financial surprises.
The reliability of the big cloud email providers also makes it much less likely that you’ll suffer from the effects of your emails going down for any length of time and having a workforce that can’t do their jobs properly.
Benefit 5 – Flexibility
Cloud email can also provide your business with a great degree of flexibility. For example, if you win a new contract and double your workforce overnight, you don’t have to worry about how much email storage space you have left on your internal server.
The big cloud email players offer generous storage. For example Microsoft has 50GB as standard for mailboxes.
When you’re trying to build up your business, having this freedom at your fingertips makes much more sense than investing in hardware that you have to maintain and may not be fit for purpose six months or a year down the line.
Benefit 6 – Security
The level of digital security provided by cloud email companies is very good. With high-end firewalls and encryption, you can benefit from a level of security your business just wouldn’t be able to afford on its own.
The other security benefit is a physical one. You can imagine the level of security companies such as Microsoft and Google have at the buildings where their servers are stored. Again, it’s going to be on a much larger scale than any small to medium sized business in the UK could afford to implement.
There are many benefits of cloud email for businesses. The six critical ones we’ve highlighted in this article are:
- Better bandwith
- Saving money
- Keeping your business running
- Easier to manage your IT budget
- A greater degree of flexibility
- Additional security