Disadvantages of In-House Email Solutions

2009-06-03by Matt Ahl

Outsourced email hosting is secure, reliable and cost effective


A secure and reliable email solution is vital for any form of business today, whether your business is an SME (small and medium enterprises) or large enterprise level. An inadequate email hosting solution, especially for an SME business, can make or break your business’s external and internal messaging and can ultimately risk your reputation as well as sales. This article aims to briefly explain what in-house email is, what its downsides are and what the alternative to an in-house email solution is.

What is in-house email “hosting”?

In short, in-house email is having physical on-site emails which means that your business sets up and manages your own email servers. An email server is a computer within a network that basically works as your virtual post office. Popular and most used email servers are Microsoft Exchange Server, Novell GroupWise and IBM Lotus Domino.

What are the downsides of having in-house emails?

A long lived myth is that in-house email is believed to be a much cheaper solution than outsourced exchange email hosting. There is some truth in the fact that in-house email servers can give your business emails some flexibility and control since you are not paying for storage. However in fact having in-house email servers is actually very costly. Your email servers need software and hardware upgrades, and you need to hire staff to maintain and support the email servers 24/7/365. Maintaining and updating security software leaves your business with the sole responsibility of backing up emails and making sure that you store the backed-up data in a separate and safe location. This is very costly and both time and labour intensive.

In-house and on-site email servers require on-call maintenance and need to have all the latest anti-virus subscriptions and security update upgrades installed. Internet is still very much like the wild-west where outlaws hijacking steam trains has been replaced by viruses and trojans hijacking computers. You will also need to purchase a new email server approximately every 5 years.

Investments in staff, server hardware, server software licensing, exchange enterprise software and Blackberry server software is a factor you need to consider when going for in-house email solutions. Did you know that in-house email maintenance alone makes up about two-thirds of a SME’s total messaging costs?

What is the alternative to an in-house email solution?

The alternative to having in-house and on-site email servers is to outsource your email servers to an email hosting provider. If your business aims to invest in other areas rather than a large IT budget or hiring technical staff to implement and maintain an entire in-house email server infrastructure, email hosting outsourcing is the ideal solution.

Outsourcing your emails to an email hosting provider obviously means you no longer need to have the physical-in-house, on-site email servers. Choosing a reliable email hosting provider comes with high reliability, performance, installation of the latest antivirus, hardware and software upgrades plus administration and support 24/7/365. To summarise email hosting outsourcing: the email hosting provider owns and is responsible for the data centre, network, devices, operating system and application infrastructure components.

One of the most reliable and secure email hosting companies on the market has to be Rackspace. Their email hosting services recognise your businesses messaging needs and their email hosting solutions ensure your emails are available and secure 24/7/365, with total collaboration and mobile compatibility so your business can always be connected. Rackspace customer service, named “Fanatical Support”, has won several customer service awards.

Further reading:

For more information on Rackspace UK visit their section on email hosting to find out more about their services. For a definition of email hosting visit this Wikipedia article. If you are looking for more information on email hosting then Host Review has several useful guides you can read.


news Buffer

Matt Ahl

Matt writes articles on web hosting and email hosting in particular.

View Matt Ahl`s profile for more

Leave a Comment