posted this on August 5, 2015, 09:58
Finding the Right Mix: Why Outsource Your Email Filtering?
Line graph of costs
In-house with 2x redundancy VS SaaS
The high speed internet infrastructure, quest for IT resource optimization and escalating operation and maintenance cost of keeping digital resources up are leading to a cost effective and technologically efficient business solutions with computing resources available on demand and consumption pattern on pay per use basis. The flexibility of scaling up or down the IT resource pool for dynamic services and reduced CAPEX & OPEX for IT industry makes it a viable solution. This is the phenomenon in which computing resources are treated as a utility. The concept is not totally new but the evolution of ICT with reliable broadband infrastructure has made it pragmatic now. This paper discusses the concept of Cloud Computing, proposed cloud models and services options, economic opportunities and challenges.
Objectives & Benefits
As times evolve so does technology, putting companies in a place where they have to constantly invest in new infrastructure and technologies not only to function properly but to be able to plan their future growth and support their internal processes and operations. Software as a service (SaaS) has become a standard which allows companies to outsource the hassle of finding a vendor, planning and implementing, managing the implementation projects, and balancing the sustainability, scalability, availability of the software or hardware.
Is SaaS right for your company?
The short answer is yes, SaaS provides a platform in which companies can look for the best service providers who are specialized and certified on a specific piece of software. Such companies focus on providing their employees the necessary training and tools including legacy expertise, for them to be able to do seamless implementations for third party clients. Therefore, when outsourcing email filtering services there are many factors which should be taken into account, such as security redundancy, cost efficiency and scalability.
When attacks are imminent companies struggle to keep their information and servers safe. Most of the times companies which are attacked see their email servers being the first in line to be targeted. Some other times companies don’t even have the time to react to attacks. When using a third party email filtering system, the risk of outsiders attacking servers directly on the company’s farm is almost non-existent. Email threats are cut down at the source leaving only clean communications to go through the company’s servers.
Cloud Secured Connections
Learning to trust the cloud has been a challenge for many companies throughout the years, first by relying on fast and dependable internet connections to access the information stored in the cloud, then by ensuring that the exchange of information is reliable and that there’s not an external factor affecting the connection or listening to the exchanges. Such cases are managed from the source by companies which use SSL connections as well as 128bit encryption methods for the information to be transferred to where it belongs.
Redundancy & High Availability
Making sure that company information is always protected is never a luxury. Companies take special attention into making sure that down time, system crashes and outsider threats are minimized. At the same time, investing in high availability and redundancy systems can become quite a large expense and affect negatively the company’s cash flow, especially if there’s a specific High Availability level that the company is looking to achieve. Companies are in the business of conducting their operations successfully, not on the business of creating data-centers which are highly available and redundant.
Vendor Ownership of Resources
In the past, the idea of a company implementing a solution always came in hand with a level of investment that had to be made on infrastructure, project implementation, customization and repetitive fine-tuning. In contrast we have SaaS, which provides a way of acquiring the same products but without the investment and overhead of a full implementation.
Projection of investment
When a company takes into account the many different factors which make a solution possible they focus primarily on the benefit they will reap in the future, that thought alone makes the investment decision easier and sometimes overshadows the fact that investment in infrastructure is high in the beginning and it becomes obsolete over a short period of time. In order for a company to invest their resources in a cost effective manner they will have to look into alternatives such as SaaS which is a pay-as-you go service and it’s never over or under estimated.
Scenario 1 Small Company with mobile users
- 450 users on the first year and adjusting growth by a 5% for the next 5 years
- Company has 24X7 support and on-call staff
- The first year the company invests in appliances, backup, disaster recovery and high availability infrastructure as well as personnel for implementation
- Licensing and renewal fees after the first year
- Constant management and update of spam definitions
The number of users, offices, and operations in general should not be directly correlated to a hike on investment. Meaning, if the company grows or adds more personnel there shouldn’t be an investment accompanied with growth as far as infrastructure goes. SaaS provides a mean to avoid growing investment and planning investments in infrastructure for every step of the company’s growth.
Boston University is currently using spam filtering systems hosted in the cloud. The decision of moving their spam filtering on a SaaS basis was the fact that in-house solutions used up too much physical space and were constantly demanding the support and configuration of in-house engineers. Since Boston University moved their Spam Filtering solution to a SaaS environment they have been able to maximize productivity of their email servers as well as they have been able to provide a UI to the end users for them to manage their spam settings on a customized basis.
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