Do I Really Need An Email Server?

30 January 2017

Not too long ago, one of the requirements for a modern business was having your own email server. It was the only practical alternative to email services like Hotmail or Yahoo. These services were not ideal for businesses since they had a number of limitations such as tiny attachment sizes and inbox storage that ran out at the drop of a hat.
An in-house email server had to be setup, a process that involved costly hardware, software and expertise to keep it running smoothly. A robust infrastructure was also needed to maintain quick email sending and returning which meant expensive internet bills to support maintaining your own email server. All in all, this was a major expense for a business that couldn’t be avoided if a company wished to be competitive.
For some time now, this is no longer the case. With the advent of better infrastructure and resulting high bandwidth and speed for internet in general, the need for a company to host their own email server is a thing of the past. Now we have robust cloud based email services that have none of the limitations of online based email services of the past.
Having your own email server in this day and age has no practical value for most businesses. While easier than before, it is still a lot more complicated and painstaking than the cloud based services available.  You have to worry about things like Spam Filters, Antivirus and making sure the webmail component are working when setting up the server. This is in addition to the basic components such as the Mail Transfer Agent, Mail Delivery Agent and IMAP and/or POP3 server.
The maintenance can also be expensive and more importantly, time consuming. After the setup you then have to deal with maintenance which involves tedious tasks like staying off blacklists and troubleshooting any issues that may arise. All of these are just extra expenses and manpower that can be done without.
Cloud based services allow the use of company email with almost the same level of customization and control that having an in house email server provided, with the added benefit of extra services and integrations, as well as better security. Any issues that pop up are addressed by the service provider as part of the monthly and provides business the quality of email service that they require with minimal hassle.
Some examples of such services and service providers are Google with their Google Apps or G Suite and  Microsoft with Office 365 as well as lesser known ones like Zoho and FastMail. There are multiple plan options and pricing to suit businesses at multiple levels which provides flexibility.
So, before you invest in a pricey in house email server setup, maybe look at the much better alternatives that can now be readily found and integrated via such cloud based services. Ease of mind and easy on the company budget, why wouldn’t you? It is pretty much a given at this point.

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