By Marilena Dobre, Marketing Coordinator, SpamExperts
The end of last year has brought exciting predictions for the cloud environment in 2013. Service capabilities involving cloud computing are now setting the benchmark in every aspect of the IT industry. In the email security market where SpamExperts activates, Email Archiving for back-up and compliance is an equally hot topic of debate. The question hence arises: what are the opinions around having email archived in the cloud and where is this market moving towards?
The immediate benefits of cloud-based email archiving are straightforward: no hardware required, free up local resources, and “infinite” redundant storage capacity. However, once you dive into the subject, dilemmas around privacy and security arise.
Email can concern sensitive data and information. Company contracts, trademarks, patents, upgrades, discoveries, pricing, employees data, third parties information, and more are now circulated via email. Are traditional enterprise buyers ready to let all this crucial data moved away from their premises to the cloud, into the "hands" of a 3rd party? How about data storage legislation and location?
To answer these questions, let us look at who is using email archiving and for what purpose. In general, we can distinct email archiving users between users for compliance reasons and for back-up reasons. Typically the larger organizations, institutes, and companies operating in regulated industries look at email archiving from a compliance perspective where questions around storage location and eDiscovery are dominating deployment and product choices. Email archiving offered by hosting providers to the ‘store around the corner’/ typical SMB client tend to be focused around the back-up nature of email archiving and hence deployment and product choices are often depending on price, convenience, and availability. Typically, cloud solutions fit nicely to this latter group of email archiving adopters.
According to Symantec's "Avoiding the Hidden Costs of Cloud 2013 survey", cloud compliance is quite complicated for organizations. The study included business and IT executives at 3,236 organizations in 29 countries and revealed that nearly a quarter of these organizations have been fined for privacy violations in the cloud within the past 12 months. One-third of those surveyed have received eDiscovery requests for cloud information, out of which two-thirds were unable to timely respond and have missed the deadlines, potentially leading to fines or compromised legal actions. These findings suggest a local deployment under full control and management of the organization in question may be a preferred deployment method for an email archiving solution.
According to Gartner's "Predicts 2013: Cloud Computing Becomes an Integral Part of IT", cloud computing has fragmented public opinion into two viewpoints, and this is getting worse. The fragmentation is a split between the desire for enterprise-grade cloud computing (favored by IT departments) versus consumer-grade cloud computing (favored by business and individual users).
We can therefore conclude at this point that Cloud is new and sexy, but, as far as the Email Archiving market is concerned, it is not (yet?) for everyone. A cloud based email archiving solution is not yet a sure win. The key differentiators amongst email archiving providers will remain hybrid deployment solutions, security, compliance, and easy access to the archived data. Furthermore, for hosting providers in particular that are looking to serve the general SMB market, integration with their current infrastructure and backend are key decision making factors.