Since Office 365 was released Microsoft have set a new tone for IT Services for Small Businesses. Small Businesses with Office 365 can now benefit from many functionalities and applications all under one single offer.
When considering Office 365, business that currently manage their emails and exchange in house need to answer one important question: Should email be moved to Office 365 or keep the Exchange server in house?
Each option has many pros and cons – here is our guide to help you decided which is the best solution for your business.
Advantages of on-premise Exchange
- Keep full control of your hardware and email platform.
- More flexibility, as long as both the Exchange Server and other application servers are hosted on the same local network, it’s easier to interconnect them with other IT resources.
- Your data integrity is managed by you and your data is always on premise.
Disadvantages of on-premise Exchange
- Since you are in control of your data, you can lose it.
- You will need to maintain the hardware Exchange is on which requires budget and resources.
- Security remains a major concern, you need to ensure you are protected against possible threats.
Advantages of Exchange Online
- You get the same features but you only purchase email accounts for the number of users you have so you can easily increase/decrease your licences.
- Pricing flexibility of monthly or annual payments
- Reduced risk of losing your email data as Microsoft guarantee against disasters.
- Always up to date with the latest enhancements and means you do not need to install updates etc.
- You or your IT team do not have full administrative control
- Migration can be a hassle
- Rolling back to an on premise solution is uncertain
If you are a small business with 5 users or less, we would certainly recommend that Office 365 would be the best option going forward as it negates the need for a server and is the most cost effective solution.
If you are a larger business this is where consideration needs to take place before making a decision.
- Consider the total cost of ownership for both solutions over the period of 5 Years.
- If you don’t have hardware to run an on-premise solution then this will need to be considered for your budget
- Look at running costs of hardware as well
- You will need to consider compatibility with your existing software and whether it will work with Exchange 2016
- You need to consider your data size
- Data Backup
- Connectivity – consider your broadband speeds and what would happen if you internet connection goes down.
As you can see there are several things that need to be discussed before determining the right version of Exchange for your business. Unfortunately there is no one answer as it varies depending on your business. We would advise that you seek advice for your IT support provider to run through all the scenarios with you.
If you would like advice on whats best for your business please contact us on 01392 824 022