Email can and should be “always on”

With businesses becoming more and more reliant on their email systems it would seem obvious that resilient business email systems are a necessity, not a ‘nice-to-have’.

Email outages are costly, and not just for the obvious reasons. Yes, there will be a loss of productivity whenever a mail server goes down, perhaps £50 per day per employee for each occurrence.

But there are greater, hidden costs. There is missed opportunity, damage to reputation and customer relations and a security threat when users who can’t use their corporate mail system start sending corporate emails via Hotmail and Yahoo.

Then there is the business continuity issue. What happens when a site goes down or staff can’t get in to run the systems? In this case even a secondary on-site system may be vulnerable.

Unfortunately, with the increasing demands users are placing on mail systems many IT departments are struggling just to keep a primary system operational. Providing on-site resilience is expensive and time consuming so many companies still use the tried and tested ‘crossed fingers’ method of keeping the mail system running.

Thankfully there are alternatives. One is to outsource the mail service in its entirety to a third party service provider that offers a resilient, SLA backed service. For an increasing number this option is proving irresistible. They not only benefit from a resilient email service but can also free-up resources to focus on strategic initiatives that help drive the business forwards rather than traditional lights-on needs.

For some this is, for now, a step too far. They want to maintain control of the day to day operation of the mail system. In this case an email continuity service could be a great option.

Cloud-based continuity services ‘layer over’ existing email systems, continually checking their availability and stepping-in in the event of an outage. Users know of the switch, but can still perform all their usual email-related activities from their usual mail client or web browser.

So now there really is no excuse – email can and should be “always on”. So uncross your fingers, check out the best service providers and stop having sleepless nights worrying about the next mail server crash.

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John is Senior Product Manager for Star’s security services. He has over 20 years’ IT experience, initially in software development and has held senior Product Management positions for the past 7 years. John joined Star from Mimecast Services where he was Director of Product Management and was previously Head of Product Management at Iron Mountain Europe. For the past 10 years he has developed and delivered Software as a Service solutions in security focused organizations that have included internet startups and large multi-national companies.