I get that for some organisations there are certain security and governance reasons why email stays on-premises (they’re using a specific product for secure mobile access, legacy archiving or document management, etc), but I really think the majority of organisations could eliminate a ton of headaches and unlock flexibility by just putting their email in the cloud already. Here’s my view on why.
A relief for IT
Smart people working in IT shouldn’t be fighting fires. They could be working on so many more important things that deliver value to the business. Moving your mail to Exchange Online means messaging admins don’t have to worry about things like:
- Keeping servers running or adding additional capacity
- How much storage is available and if it’s performing properly (“do we need to upgrade the SAN next year?”)
- If the Client Access Server is securely published to the internet and hasn’t been compromised, or an update the reverse proxy/HLB is going to take down mobile access
- Going into damage control when someone sends a 120 MB file to 2000 people (this happened to a customer this week and it crippled email for all 7000 staff)
- Maintaining a highly available and secure email ingress/egress
Better for Skype for Business Online
Skype for Business Online does work with Exchange Server on-premises, but it’s not without issues. Gremlins in your legacy Exchange environment can cause complications with authentication such as being prompted for credentials after sign-in, playing havoc with your Skype for Business experience.
Are you thinking about Cloud PBX?
If you’re looking at getting rid of your old PABX for the new Cloud PBX voice features in Office 365, you should really have your email in Exchange Online to use the automatically enabled voicemail features. Exchange Server 2013 CU12 is supported, but I’m finding a lot of companies that are a few CU’s behind, so it makes more sense just to move to Office 365.
Email is just better in Office 365
The rich experience you get in Office 365 Groups, Teams, Planner, Delve, MyAnalytics and SharePoint when mailboxes are in Exchange Online sends productivity into overdrive. Not to mention that you never have to upgrade or patch your email systems anymore, meaning when Microsoft add a new feature to Outlook Web App, you see it straight away and don’t have to submit an RFC to the CAB to patch your 15 Exchange servers. Evergreen service, low overhead, what’s not to love?
Also – 99 GB mailboxes. Need I say more? 🙂
What’s Stopping You?
I’ve seen IT teams in modern companies go from looking at Solarwinds dashboards every 10 minutes to make sure the mail queue doesn’t go red (“let me just log into Gmail and send a test message to my work account… ok we’re good”), to thinking longer term about how IT can benefit the business, and that I feel is a huge career enabler.
I know I’m likely preaching to the choir here, but if your email is still on-premises, I’m genuinely intrigued to know what’s stopping you from moving it to the cloud.