While inboxes may cost just $5, the total cost of cloud email, according to Forrester, is $11.33 per user per month for a 15,000-person company and $9.45 for a 45,000-person company. This is significantly less expensive than the cost of on-premise email, which runs to $17.83 per user per month for 15,000-person companies, and $13.32 for 45,000-person companies. (These calculations do not include email archiving and smartphone support).
"Unless you're a 50,000-person company with a highly centralized email platform or you run hardware and software until it's old and crusty and a decade behind the times, you will find email in the cloud cheaper than email on-premises," Schadler writes. "And it always will be. Even advances in storage techniques and declining license costs won't make on-premises email cheaper than cloud email."
Price isn't the only consideration, of course. IT professionals in many cases are still wary of moving mission-critical applications such as email outside their firewalls because of security concerns, and have complained about limited functionality in cloud-based tools.
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