Cloud solutions are gaining in popularity and an increasing number of companies are exploring the merits of such a solution. Whether its cloud messaging, desktop in the cloud or cloud based applications, the thought of eliminating the need for hardware refreshes, software license renewals and reducing support costs is extremely attractive. Internet bandwidth has dramatically improved over recent years and the culmination of a very healthy number of Internet Service Providers has meant that the monthly costs have been reduced.
So by all accounts, it seems that hosting your messaging services (for example) is the next logical and strategic addition to the company IT roadmap. But is it as simple as that? The obvious answer, as it is for most things IT, is “no”. The seemingly abundant access to Internet connectivity has brought with it an equally abundant amount of Cloud Service Providers, most of which are resident in the United Kingdom (UK) or United States of America (USA). And therein may lie some pitfalls as questions like; where will my critical corporate data be physically housed; and how will this data jurisdiction impact my business and my clients.
Why should you care about where your data is? If you are an IT Manager or hold a senior position in your organization, you have a responsibility to ensure that your data is stored in a jurisdiction (in most cases this refers to your country) that has data protection laws at least as strong as your current jurisdiction, or that it is legal for your data to exist outside of your own jurisdiction. As an example, South Africans opting for a USA based Cloud Messaging solution must be aware of the USA Patriot Act:
◦ Firstly, USA law enforcement agencies can access your hosted data in the USA if they consider it ‘relevant’ to their investigations. This is much easier to meet than the usual ‘probable cause’ test.
◦ Secondly, if your hosted data in the USA is accessed by the USA law enforcement agencies, the data holder (the USA based Cloud Messaging solution provider) is not permitted to tell you (the South African data owner) that their data has been accessed, even if the cloud service supplier is contractually bound to advise them.
While the USA and UK based service providers have had the advantage of being first to market with the various flavours of Cloud solutions due to their advanced Internet infrastructure, this by no means takes anything away from the professional and functionality rich features of our South African based Cloud Service Providers.
Integr8’s South African based MailG8 offering is a tried and tested service within the Managed Services stable. MailG8 is a Cloud Messaging platform that has is being used by many organisations, dating back as much as 10 years. Clients enjoy a fully featured Email platform together with value-added services such as Email Security, Email Archiving and Email Branding.