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September 21, 2011

One-in-ten enterprise email seats will be cloud-based by 2014: Gartner

CECS to become dominant provisioning model for next generation of communication, predicts research firm

By CBR Staff Writer

Penetration of cloud email and collaboration services (CECS) will stand at 10% by the end of 2014,
according to IT research firm Gartner.

Gartner added that CECS will have passed the "tipping point" with broad-scale adoption under way in three years.

Gartner said that though the time is right for some enterprises — particularly smaller ones — to move at least some users to CECS during the next two years. However, the company warned that the transition readiness varies by service provider and urged caution.

Gartner vice-president Tom Austin said, "Ultimately, we expect CECS to become the dominant provisioning model for the next generation of communication and collaboration technologies used in enterprises."

"However, it is not dominant today, it will not be the only model, and it will take a decade or more for the transition to play out. Right now, the list of reasons to move to CECS is long, as is the list of reasons to avoid it," Austin added.

Gartner has also lowered its short-term projected adoption rate for CECS as it predicts that most enterprises will not begin the move to CECS until 2014 when growth in the market will take off, before levelling off in 2020 as it exceeds 55%.

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The company listed out three reasons for the sluggishness.

"The first is asset inertia. Organisations seek to extract maximum value from their investments in email and switching early can be like trading in a 2-year-old, low-mileage automobile. Secondly, senior IT managers are much more focused on strategic initiatives that help them to grow or transform their enterprise’s business and moving to cloud-based or SaaS email services is generally viewed as a cost-saving move rather than a strategic initiative. Finally, the practical realities of the vendors’ CECS offerings, when examined up close, are sometimes less compelling than the glossy stories they tell," Austin said.

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