Email management lacks innovation, businesses turn to cloud

SolarWinds released survey results highlighting the growing challenge organizations face managing email in an increasingly complex environment where BYOx, mobility and other disruptive technologies impact sysadmins’ ability to reduce downtime and prevent disruptions to business.

The survey also revealed that adding to the challenge is a lack innovation to help organizations better address this oft-neglected business critical application, and, as a result, more will ultimately shift the burden to hosted services providers.

The survey yielded responses from 162 IT practitioners, managers and directors with email management responsibilities in the U.S. and Canada from public and private sector mid-size and enterprise organizations.

Though email is a mature technology, it is growing more difficult for businesses to manage and thus requires significant resources. This increase in email management complexity has been especially impacted by the increasing adoption of BYOx and other disruptive technologies.

  • 87 percent of respondents said the mass adoption of smart devices, such smartphones and tablets, have increased the amount of email sent and received
  • BYOx and mobility tied as the top technology forces driving email management complexity higher
  • 42 percent of respondents said they manage environments with more than 5,000 mailboxes
  • 49 percent of organizations with more than 5,000 mailboxes have six or more employees managing email, while 61 percent of companies with more than 50,000 mailboxes employ 10 or more employees to manage email
  • While 74 percent of organizations use only a single email application, 26 percent use at least two email applications, with 10 percent of those using three or more.

Despite the importance of email in day-to-day business operations and the increasing complexity surrounding it, innovation to help organizations simplify and automate its management has been neglected by the IT industry.

  • Only 15 percent of respondents said they currently use a single tool for managing email, with 53 percent needing three or more tools to adequately manage it
  • The Exchange Management Console and Exchange Management Shell are still the most common email management tools in use by businesses today.

In response to increasing email management complexity, more organizations plan to move their email to the cloud, which will shift the burden of management to hosted services providers.

  • 74 percent of organizations currently host email on premise, while 14 percent use only cloud-based email and 12 percent use a combination of both
  • 37 percent of respondents think their companies will switch to cloud-based corporate email over the next three years, resulting in the number of companies using cloud-based email nearly doubling in that period
  • Higher education and healthcare organizations are currently the top users of cloud-based email.
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