E-mail outsourcing has been highly criticized and has also been highly acclaimed. E-mail outsourcing involves the use of the internet to enable the delivery of business process outsourcing. This approach takes advantage of the Application Service Provider (ASP) delivery model. Due to the growth in demand for email services which has grown exponentially, this has caused a continued strain to the IT experts who now find it difficult to meet these demands due to their limited resources. The following outsourcing pros and cons explain the functions of this approach.
The outsourcing pros and cons weigh against each other and vary according to the critics or those that highly applauded this approach. One of the many advantages of outsourcing enterprise email is that it frees up the IT resources. The IT department is allowed to focus on other projects but the major downside of hosted email is that you lose control of this function. Since you’ve outsourced, that particular company has the complete control and hold of all the data. It is important to therefore note that if you choose to use this approach, you must be ready to set compliancy rules and regulations and the security issues with the outsourced agency.
Another explained outsourcing pro and con is that that this approach allows centralization of all functions. It’s a great plus because it is more cost effective for the company since servers are no longer required in each office location. All email resources can be found in one data center. The con of this is that there may be conflict created in the functionality of the premise-based gear that relies heavily on expensive office equipment and the cloud-based service which improve the agility and eliminate the IT equipment costs.
Email outsourcing has allowed various organizations whose core competencies do not include IT services to have the opportunity to provide these services to their clients. Though this has been made possible security of incoming and outgoing email is not guaranteed. Viruses have been acquired through this approach. Machines are infected daily because of this. Another upside of this approach is that it makes it easier to monitor traffic across different users, domains and networks. Threats can be easily detected.
Though there are many outsourcing pros and cons, once a company decides to outsource its email, it becomes relatively simpler to focus on key areas of the business such as team collaboration, VOIP, web audio, enterprise instant messaging and video conferencing. All these additions make the communication gateway easily accessible to the staff in the company.
In summary, the pros of using this approach include: the costs met are fixed based on the number of users; it frees up the IT staff to tackle other issues; it adds layers of security to the emails; and it allows consistency with the trend to outsource non-core business operations. The major con of using this approach is that a 3rd party is entrusted to operate critical email operations and there are various security issues that affect sensitive data due to the involvement of a 3rd party.
Daven Michaels Author of the book Outsource This!