Gartner argues cloud email is still immature – but gaining traction

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The cloud email market remains relatively immature with Microsoft ahead of Google in enterprise adoption, according to the latest figures from analyst house Gartner.

According to email server domain records of almost 40,000 public companies worldwide, only 8.5% of firms polled use Microsoft, compared to 4.7% on Google’s mail, with the remainder using on-premises, hybrid, hosted, or private cloud email systems.

Gartner also argues a trend of industries using different vendors; regulated industries such as utilities, energy, and aerospace are likeliest to be Microsoft shops, while media, publishing and advertising companies are more Gmail-friendly.

Nikos Drakos, research vice president at Gartner, argues that while it is still early days in cloud email adoption, growth is not slow. “Companies considering cloud email should question assumptions that public cloud email is not appropriate in their region, size, or industry,” he said. “Our findings suggest that many varied organisations are already using cloud email, and the number is growing rapidly.”

Gartner also found that wealthier organisations were more likely to use Microsoft; the Redmond giant has more of an 80% share of companies using cloud email with revenue in excess of $10 billion (£6.95bn).

This correlates with a study from BetterCloud, published in July last year, which argued a “clear trend” for larger organisations to run Office 365 as a cloud collaboration suite as opposed to Google Apps. For smaller businesses, the study argued, Google Apps was a more likely choice as it could be rolled out in one weekend, as opposed to Microsoft Office rollouts which were more of a hybrid deployment.

One anomaly in the Gartner study was that, in industries such as travel and hospitality, the highest revenue firms were more likely to be on a cloud email solution.

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