Email is an application that is vital to business operations.  It’s been around a while and it’s not going away.  Despite email being one of the most important applications in the enterprise, there has been little innovation (with the exceptions of DAGs and SaaS/hosted solutions) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of email availability—even as factors contributing to email management complexity have increased.



Is email really that hard to manage?

SolarWinds conducted an Email Management Survey (ending in March 2014) of 162 US and Canadian IT professionals with email management responsibilities.  The survey found that on average, 46% of companies have more than 2 FTEs (full time equivalents) dedicated to managing email.  In organizations with greater than 5,000 mailboxes, 49% employ 6 or more FTEs to manage email.  In addition, the survey found that 53% of time spent managing email is related to monitoring the email application.  For large organizations, that is a lot of people devoted to identifying and responding to problems related to a single process.  Financially speaking, 3 or more FTEs translates from a few to several hundred thousand dollars a year that could be spent on other IT projects that focus on the company’s competitive advantage.


Why is email so hard to manage?

Managing email is complex for several reasons. For example,  according to the survey, the prevalence of smart devices has increased the load on email services.  Respondents also believe that BYOx and mobility initiatives (like telecommuters) contribute to the complexity of email management.


In addition, administrators are more often using multiple tools to manage email applications. The survey revealed that 53% of respondents use 3 or more tools to manage email.  Many of these tools require scripting and assimilation of outputs into meaningful views using spreadsheets or PowerPoint charts. 


What are companies doing to reduce email management complexity?

SaaS providers and application hosting providers are attractive alternatives to on-premise application environments because cloud providers take on and hide much of the complexity. Today, the majority of organizations surveyed (74%) have not transitioned to cloud technology. However, 37% of respondents believe that within 3 years, their organization will transition to a SaaS-based application, and another 22% believe their company will make the move in the next 5 years.


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Click here to download a PDF of this infographic.


What can organizations do in the meantime to reduce the amount of time and money spent managing email?


Check out the SolarWinds Email Management Survey presentation on slideshare.