Just Enough On-Site: IT Strategy for the New Information Age

We’re on the verge of a New Information Age. The old one has been around for thirty years or more, and it’s legacy is not all that wonderful. There’s been an explosion in the volume of data produced, sent and stored on servers, desktops and laptops around the world. Companies have tried to manage by keeping pace, adding servers, amassing file stores and updating PCs every few months.

Email, not surprisingly, has been at the heart of this digital big bang, with 97% of written business communication based on email, and some 84% of corporate IP being held in email systems. For IT Directors and managers of corporate email systems, then, the Information Age has resulted in a complex and costly IT infrastructure, accompanied by huge levels of risk, given the critical value of the information held in these systems.

The New Information Age is characterized by CIOs who want to do more, but manage less IT on-premise. They are looking to augment core applications on-site with services from cloud vendors that can remove the cost, complexity and risk from managing email systems.

At Mimecast, we talk about this IT Strategy as ‘Just Enough On-Site’, with customers keeping control of their Exchange server while Mimecast provides 100% continuity guarantee, bottomless email archiving, eDiscovery, compliance and the most robust data security in the industry, delivered from the cloud.

Most industry analysts predict that there will be wholesale IT migration to the cloud within ten to fifteen years. For the next five to ten, though, we think most businesses will adopt ‘Just Enough On-Site. Why? Because the majority of IT Directors want to run core applications themselves, often because they want the performance advantages of local infrastructure, or because there are not yet sufficiently mature hosted alternatives. Plus they may want to sweat their existing assets for longer.

Gradual adoption of cloud services makes even greater sense when those services actually make on-premise systems work better. Email is a case in point. Microsoft’s Exchange 2010 offers substantial benefits in terms of performance and high availability, but to leverage all of its new capabilities CIOs need to be committed to significant IT infrastructure investment.

In reality, most are already embracing Just Enough On-Site, and are looking to run fewer boxes, not more. The Just Enough On-Site path to Exchange 2010 works with the organization running its own Exchange system, sized according to the business’s appetite for additional servers and storage, and connected to the Mimecast cloud for long term storage, search, security services and high availability.