Picture this: You’ve just landed a job as a system administrator in a small business with a promising future. So far so good, right? Not so fast. As the company’s go-to guy for all things IT, you’re faced with the biggest challenge of your career, which is to pick up the pieces of a faltering Exchange 2007 email infrastructure that was obviously thrown together by non-experts. And here’s the kicker: You possess little to no Exchange experience. This leaves you with two options: Either rebuild the entire infrastructure and upgrade to a more recent version of Exchange, or move your email solution to the cloud.
Does this scenario sound familiar? If so, then you have probably already tried to weigh the pros and cons of the hosted model. Odds are, after perusing the Web and asking fellow IT experts on online communities, you found more cons than pros. Ironically, most of these so-called downsides are nothing but misconceptions. For many organizations, teaming up with a cloud hosting provider can be a much safer, more cost-effective and time-saving solution. Don’t believe us? These facts might change your mind…
Myth #1: Migrations to the cloud can easily go wrong
Fact: Most well-established cloud hosting providers employ a dedicated team of experts and highly qualified technicians who do nothing but migrations, day in and day out; they’ve been through every type of migration possible. They also use proven methods and processes that enable them to smoothly transfer data from virtually any platform, from IBM Lotus Notes to GroupWize.
Myth #2: Hosters are not liable for problems like loss of data; they’ll blame Microsoft or whoever they get their solutions from but can’t help me retrieve my data.
Fact: Look at it this way: when a hosted services provider works in close collaboration with a manufacturer (such as Microsoft), they can communicate directly with the manufacturer, be proactive and anticipate problems instead of just being in reaction mode.
Plus, like any other business, hosters have a moral and legal responsibility towards their customers and have to take action when something goes wrong.
In that respect, things are no different in the cloud than on Earth…
Myth #3: If I migrate to the cloud, I won’t be in control of my data.
Fact: Who said you won’t be in control? In the cloud, you get 24/7 access to your emails, files, services and user accounts via Outlook Web App or your web-based service management portal, for example.
A good hosting provider will also give you a little something extra: customized service to meet your specific needs.
Myth #4: In the case of power outages, I can still maintain an internal email service with an in-house solution, which is not the case in the cloud.
Fact: When downtime strikes, it’s true that you can still operate an in-house email solution… but that could take a while to set up.
With a hosting provider, you have seasoned system administrators working quickly to fix the problem for you. Providers that offer a 99.999% SLA will do a good job of guaranteeing you’re up and running in no time.
Myth #5: Hosting providers have horrible customer service.
Fact: If you’ve encountered mediocre customer service in the cloud, you’ve been dealing with the wrong hoster.
The better providers build their service around the needs of their business customers. This means 24/7/365 expert support to ALL customers; some also use a system called the Net Promoter Score, which ensures concrete follow-up to all customer feedback.
Particularly for many small and medium sized businesses, the hosted model can lead to better agility and security, along more streamlined IT resources (and therefore costs). But basing your in-house vs. hosted analysis on myths can be a very costly mistake. Now there’s something to be afraid of.
About the author:
Charles-David Racine is an online marketing specialist at SherWeb, a leading provider of cloud based email and collaboration solutions for businesses and organizations around the world.
#Cloudmigration #emailmanagement #cloudcomputing #Hostingmyths