The Importance of Updating an Aging E-mail System

Despite the growth of short-form communication platforms, most businesses today still prefer the longer form, familiar e-mail. Messages, however, have morphed into something else that aging e-mail systems aren’t any more convenient and safe to use.

E-mail Statistics in the Workplace

According to market research firm The Radicati Group (PDF), the total number of business and consumer e-mails sent and received each day worldwide will hit 269 billion in 2017. This number is expected to increase at an average yearly rate of 4.4% over the next four years, hitting the 319.6 billion mark by 2021.

The number of e-mail users in 2017 worldwide is expected to reach 3.7 billion – nearly half of the world’s population. By 2021, this number is projected to reach over 4.1 billion.

The “E-mail Use 2017 – EMEA Report” (PDF), a report commissioned by Adobe Systems Inc. and carried out by market research firm Advanis, revealed that e-mail, followed by face-to-face conversation, is the most common primary communication tool used by businesses.

E-mail Uses

1. Getaway to Other Communication Platforms

Even with the increase of other online communication platforms, such as chat and social networking, e-mail use continues to grow as all other online communication platforms demand that users have a valid e-mail address to access these platforms. Moreover, all e-commerce online transactions – banking and shopping – need a valid e-mail address.

2. Notification Purpose

According to The Radicati Group, e-mail continues to see a strong adoption in the business community, as well as with consumers, as this is primarily used for notifications.

3. Used for Quick Questions

For quick questions, the Adobe-Advanis report revealed that the preferred communication method is split among e-mail, phone call and face-to-face conversation.

4. Used for Different Types of Work Discussions

For many different types of work discussions, the Adobe-Advanis report showed that e-mail and face-to-face conversation are considered as the most appropriate communication methods.

Cloud-Based E-mail Service versus In House E-mail Server

In House E-mail Server

In house server refers to the hardware and software program that host office applications, including e-mail, file sharing and other office essentials.

Traditionally, small and medium-sized businesses rely on in house server as cloud-based services were not viable options a few years back. For an in house e-mail server, your company needs capital investment. Your company needs to invest in hardware and infrastructure, including space – a room or closet – for the e-mail server. You also need a dedicated IT support to troubleshoot on-premise e-mail infrastructure.

The advantage of an onsite e-mail system is that your company has physical control over this e-mail server. As such, critical data are kept in-house and no third party has access to your organization’s information. This system, however, does not guarantee uptime – defined as the period of time when the e-mail system is being used without any problems.

“The e-mail server has always been the most critical piece of a typical SMB [small and medium-sized business] IT infrastructure,” the International Data Corporation (IDC) said in the report “How the Hosted Exchange Server is Redefining SMB Cloud IT Adoption”. “From a single server sitting underneath an office manager’s desk to one in a closet of like-sized servers partly or fully virtualized to a fully built out datacenter, supporting e-mail has been the top mission-critical responsibility for IT management.”

Cloud-Based E-mail Service

The cloud-based e-mail service has the following benefits:

1. No Capital Investment Needed

This e-mail system does not require onsite capital investment in hardware and infrastructure. This is suitable if your company outgrow your infrastructure too quickly.

2. Accommodates Mobile Devices

With the cloud e-mail system, your staff can have e-mail access from wherever they are, using any smartphone, tablet or laptop. Your company can implement bring your own device (BYOD) policies.

3. Reduces In House Server Load

Migrating your organization’s e-mails to a cloud-based service is one of the ways to reduce the load of your in house server.

3. Minimizes Data Loss

In the cloud e-mail system, data is backed up regularly. This minimizes data losses against some of the worst-case scenarios, including natural disasters or critical failures due to malicious software, also known as malware.

According to The Radicati Group, even as anti-malware solutions become more and more comprehensive and effective against the latest malware threats, the number of successful e-mail borne malware attacks is trending up in 2017.

The market research firm reported that most common types of malware attacks are blended attacks – defined as a combination of two or more methods of malware delivery, such as via e-mail and web access, to infect an organization’s internal network. For instance, a blended attack may start via e-mail. This e-mail may not contain any malware, but it might provide a link to a compromised website or a site that contains malware.

In a 2015 study, computer security software company McAfee, formerly Intel Security, found that 97% of people worldwide cannot correctly identify phishing e-mails.

“Cyberscammers use phishing e-mails to get consumers to click on links to websites they’ve created solely for the purpose of information theft,” McAfee said. “Once the malware is installed, hackers can easily steal the victim’s information without their knowledge.”

Office 365

At GenX, we recommend updating your organization’s aging e-mail system to newer, more efficient platforms such as Microsoft’s Office 365.

Here are some of the benefits of Office 365:

1. Office 365 Frees Up Considerable Staffing Resources

No more late nights troubleshooting an in house e-mail server. An aging in house e-mail server has to be individually managed, troubleshoot, and patched on-site. Office 365 enjoys the benefits of instant updates that do not require individual patching.

“The value of this in the eyes of these managers cannot be overstated, as they have spent many weekends and late nights troubleshooting on-premise infrastructure,” IDC said. “Their quality of life, both at work and personal, dramatically increases.”

2. Office 365 Offers Stringent Security

Office 365 has built-in malware and spam filtering capabilities that protect your organization’s inbound and outbound messages from malicious software and spam – unsolicited (mostly unwanted) e-mail messages. Your organization’s e-mails are also automatically encrypted when they’re stored and when they travel over the network.

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