Gartner predicts the end of traditional email as cloud-based communication rises

News by Dan Raywood

The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market for email is expected to grow significantly in the next three years according to Gartner.

The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market for email is expected to grow significantly in the next three years according to Gartner.


It claimed that the market will grow to 20 per cent by 2012. Gartner's ‘email SaaS threatens third-party vendors' report warned that traditional third-party product vendors will be hit in four areas affecting applications.


It claimed that applications that are core to running premises-based email will be affected, as SaaS deployment will provide all core level two and three help desk duties, supply all required services for redundancy and recovery, provide all reporting options, perform all version upgrade functions and protect the perimeter with its own spam and virus filters.


Gartner also claimed that as most SaaS vendors offer archive and encryption services, applications that extend the core services of the email platform will be hit. Client-side applications will also be affected as the present paradigm is for rich clients to access SaaS resources.


Finally, applications needed for SaaS implementation will be hit as the SaaS model will create some new demands for third-party tools as companies look for tools, that help them perform single seat management and provisioning of premises-based and SaaS services.


Gartner research vice president Matt Cain, said: “To a certain extent, this winnowing of opportunities for third parties in the email market has been under way ever since Microsoft's Exchange 2007 incorporated features such as virus and spam blocking, voice mail and disaster recovery, which had previously been addressed only by third parties.


“In many ways, email is the ‘litmus test' for the SaaS model, disrupting a pre-existing set on on-premises-related businesses. We can expect similar third-party dynamics to occur in adjacent collaboration spaces, such as instant messaging and virtual workspaces.”


However Fortify claimed that Gartner's predictions may be wide of the mark, as companies will realise the IT security implications of email outsourcing.


Rob Rachwald, Fortify's director of marketing, said: “There is nothing intrinsically wrong with SaaS-driven email, but companies need to be very careful to verify the service they are using has the required security technology and processes to meet regulatory compliance issues, as well as the infrastructure required to meet the needs of any organisation.


"There is also the issue of whether a firm's security can be enhanced to extend its protective envelope around the SaaS-driven email service, and perhaps interface with the service provider's IT security systems at an API level.”




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