Back in 2011, a report by the Radicati Group revealed that 73% of email archiving users used on-premise archiving solutions, as opposed to 27% that relied on their cloud-based counterparts. A lot has changed in the archiving industry since then. The terminology itself has been updated ‒ email archiving became information archiving ‒ and vendors were busy expanding their archiving portfolios by adding archiving options for digital communication beyond email (primarily social media, but also instant messaging, text messages, voice and files).
In the following years, the market for cloud-based archiving services continued to grow at a quicker pace than on-premise archiving solutions, primarily because cloud archiving required smaller initial investments. Nowadays, almost every archiving company offers both deployment options.
Cloud solutions might not be suited for everyone (see this blog post for a detailed comparison between on-premise and cloud archiving solutions), but they certainly have advantages that now cause a large number of companies to move to a cloud archive.
1. Fit for Small Businesses
Most on-premise archiving solutions are a convenient choice for enterprises with 500+ employees. Such companies already have the IT infrastructure to support the on-premise setup and need considerable storage capacity. But what if your organization needs to archive information, but doesn’t need so much storage space? What if you don’t even have a proper IT department?
Opting for a cloud-based archiving service would be the logical next step. However, before you go all-in for the cloud, remember that you need to include other factors into the equation, especially retention periods. Remember that every company is unique and that only a detailed analysis of your needs can help you decide whether to go with the appliance or the cloud.
Buying an on-premise archiving appliance means buying fixed storage space. Although select archiving companies offer excellent and affordable expandability plans, the flexibility offered by cloud solutions is difficult to match. Cloud solutions are often advertised as bottomless or having unlimited storage space, which means that you won’t ever have to worry about hitting capacity. They allow companies to scale their capacity up and down based on their changing needs. This high level of operational agility is a major point in favor of cloud solutions.With cloud-based archiving solutions, you won’t ever have to worry about hitting capacity. Click To Tweet
The way we do business is experiencing some major changes as well. An increasing number of companies embrace telecommuting, promote agility and wish to remain mobile in their business. With a cloud-based solution, end users, legal counselors and compliance officers can access the archive from various devices and operating systems.With a cloud-based solution, end users, legal counselors and compliance officers can access the archive from various devices and operating systems. Click To Tweet
4. Lower Initial Costs
Because of the way the cost is structured, an on-premise archiver can be a costly venture, especially if your organization is willing to afford the real deal ‒ a maximum-security archiving appliance with server grade hardware. However, an appliance is a one-time investment. Contrary to on-premise solutions that are sold per capacity, cloud solutions are sold per mailbox, which is why they typically have a lower initial cost and can bring substantial cost benefits.
On the other hand, cloud solutions are often presented as a lot more affordable, which can be somewhat misleading. If your company has a high employee turnover rate, having to archive legacy mailboxes and constantly add new users might raise your monthly bills over time (15-20% of all company mailboxes are inactive!). In other words, you’ll have to constantly allocate budget to maintain the cloud, which could cause the low initial costs to accumulate. You are not likely to encounter such unpredictability of costs with an appliance. Still, if you are not in a position to spend a lot of money on the initial costs that an on-premise solution requires, the cloud might be just right for you.
5. Staff and Overhead
Organizations using on-prem systems need to possess at least some IT infrastructure and staff, which requires additional financial resources. Moreover, they need to conduct hardware refreshes and renew hardware and software maintenance contracts (although some providers made sure this process is as cost-efficient and smooth as possible).
With cloud archiving, your organization won’t have to appoint IT personnel who would be in charge of setting up, managing and overseeing the solution. The cloud is managed by third-party professionals who take care of everything for you. Finally, not having an actual appliance will allow your firm to save power and reduce overhead.
To sum up, the dilemma of on-premises vs. cloud-based archiving solutions is not one that can be resolved easily. It requires a holistic approach that focuses on various aspects unique to your organization ‒ people, retention policies, turnover and budget concerns.
To learn how Jatheon can assist you with choosing and implementing an archiving solution, contact us or schedule your personal demo.