Is Hosted E-Mail Right for Your Organization?

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2008-07-30 Print this article Print

Control, performance, reliability and scalability are key points to consider when evaluating the hosted e-mail model.

Whether you call it hosted e-mail or e-mail as a service or utility e-mail, alternatives to traditional on-premises e-mail have been growing in prominence recently.

And it makes sense: At best, e-mail services represent a simple cost of doing business-something that diverts a portion of IT staff resources away from projects more closely aligned with an organization's goals. At worst, keeping the e-mail lights on in an organization that lacks  sufficient storage capacity, data center space or e-mail management know-how can actually make it more difficult for a company to get things done (as those who've put their work day on hold to delete enough old mail messages to return to their server's good graces can attest).

The idea that IT services-particularly mature, well-defined services such as e-mail-will tend toward a utility model is a convincing one. However, deciding whether today's crop of hosted e-mail services is suitable for use in all, part or none or your organization depends on identifying your needs, nailing down the effectiveness and cost of your current e-mail solution, and then determining whether a third party could satisfy these goals as well as or more efficiently than you can do in-house. 

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. Jason's coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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