The most popular application on the internet and the central cog in the wheel of modern communication, email has transformed the way in which business is conducted. Statistics estimate that in worldwide business approximately 541 million workers rely on email to carry out daily activities.
The popularity of email shows no signs of slowing down either. The average business user sends and receives 133 emails daily – a figure expected to increase 17% by 2009 to 160 each day.
The lure of email is easy to understand; flexibility enables users to communicate regardless of location and for a variety of purposes, from scheduling meetings to marketing new products.
As email lies at the heart of business communications, many organisations choose to outsource email hosting to ensure reliable communication systems are in place to support day to day business operations. Hosting providers take care of all associated factors, from domain name management to virus protection.
That sinking feeling when email systems fail, information is lost and activities grind to a halt soon becomes a distant memory if email hosting is outsourced. Reliability is one of the main reasons behind outsourcing as hosting companies provide access to operational expertise that is costly and time consuming to develop in-house. A reputable hosting company uses sophisticated equipment and software, matched by the technical expertise of its staff.
Such resilient resources mean complications are increasingly avoided and 24/7 backup and support teams generally exist to troubleshoot any arising problems and resolve them as quickly as possible.
This expert support results in less downtime for users. Faulty email systems can result in lost customers and possibly sales as well as decreased employee productivity. Microsoft Exchange users experience an average of 1.6 hours unplanned and 2.4 hours planned downtime per month. Consider this in relation to worldwide business and that’s a lot of lost time! Outsourcing email hosting minimises downtime therefore increasing company profitability.
The rising popularity of electronic communication brings associated risks with over 80% of viruses distributed via e-mail. Most hosting companies provide spam filtering and virus protection solutions with backup copies of data so users can rest safe in the knowledge that data is protected and backed up ‘just in case’.
Reducing costs is another major reason behind outsourcing. In-house email hosting requires ownership of required equipment, software, operating systems and support staff. These factors require significant initial and ongoing capital investment. No technical expertise is required to
Email is synonymous with instant communication. Outsourcing helps fulfil this expectation as users have instant access to email anywhere in the world. Business communication is not restricted and users have complete flexibility whether networking in New York, negotiating in London or simply working from home.
With worldwide hosted email mailboxes predicted to increase 29% by 2011 the trend seems set to continue; organisations are sticking to what they do best and leave email hosting to the experts.
Daniel Collins writes on a number of topics on behalf of a digital marketing agency and a variety of clients. As such, this article is to be considered a professional piece with business interests in mind.