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Editor’s Note: Cloudy with a Chance of E-mail

Lafe Low

The promise and potential of cloud computing for such services as storage, application hosting and e-mail persists. Forward-thinking companies continue to grapple with the realities of moving to the cloud. For every benefit comes a concern, for every answer a question.

There are myriad considerations to resolve before actually pulling the plug on local storage and local hosting. Is cloud-based e-mail secure? How will I control access? Will I have access to e-mail archives? What happens if the hosting provider goes out of business or suffers a catastrophic failure? What’s my back-up plan?

As you examine the potential pitfalls, don’t forget to ask yourself why you’re doing this. Examine the business realities and reasons for moving to the cloud. What is the business value? Are you saving a significant amount of expense? Are you simplifying and streamlining processes? What is the business reason for moving e-mail to the cloud? Answer these fundamental questions first, and the answers to your other questions will be easier to come by.

Over the coming months, we’ll be addressing the proper procedures, security issues, access control processes and anything else you’ll need to know to successfully move corporate services like e-mail to the cloud.

Clouds in the Forecast

In the meantime, do you have a cloud story to tell? It can be a challenge covering nascent technologies like cloud services. Few have ventured that far and those who have are often reluctant to discuss their efforts—successful or otherwise. If your organization has moved storage, e-mail or line-of-business applications to the cloud, and you can discuss the results, the challenges and what you’ve learned, please let me know. We’d love to talk to you for a future story on the TechNet site.

Any time you have comments about the content on TechNet, please send us your feedback. Sign up for our LinkedIn group, send us an e-mail at tnmag@microsoft.com or e-mail me. I look forward to hearing from you, and hearing about your successes and your challenges.

Lafe Low
Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine. Contact him at  llow@1105med.