Software-as-a-Service as the only option? Think again

Opinion by Dan Raywood

This week's announcements by Apple about cloud developments is likely to encourage many board-level executives to consider the cloud for other services.

This week's announcements by Apple about cloud developments is likely to encourage many board-level executives to consider the cloud for other services.

However it may be worth considering keeping business-critical applications such as email where you can see them, according to Sam Cece CEO of StrongMail.

Talking to SC Magazine, Cece said that while it is up to every business to decide the best option for them, it is important to make a decision from a strategic position on whether to do email in-house or outsource it.

Cece said: “From an outsourcing perspective, you pay cost per use fees, so how important is email to your business? Data security is an issue and when it is on-premise you can be your own email service provider. You can have integration with the firewall and analytics, you can do that when it is outsourced, but the servers are not dedicated to yourself.”

Asked if he felt that if email services being in-house and within your own perimeter was a safer option, Cece agreed; saying that ‘the closer you are, the more secure you feel'.

“Customers take the metrics in-house and are able to do additional programs that they cannot do in an outsourced model. Being behind a firewall is a key driver, not just from a data security perspective, but that data is intellectual property that can be used as a competitive weapon and you would not want competitors to see that,” he said.

He said that the decision on whether or not to outsource goes back to the business. Those who choose not to outsource say that email is important and want it in-house, as they want it dedicated, close and want 100 per cent control.

He said: “Email has been around for 25 years and it is full of good and bad things and as you now have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, they are all new and there is no new data security model. Our vision is to combine that into a single platform and treat it like email.”

There is some truth in what Cece says, after all it makes sense to have something within your perimeter if you want control of it. With ‘deperimiterisation' now a key area for businesses, it may be that even with the strongest controls, your boundary is penetrated legitimately on a constant basis.

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