Gartner Says By End of 2014 at Least 10 Per Cent of Enterprise Email Seats Will Be Based on a Cloud or Software-as-a-Service Model

Analysts Discuss Collaboration in the Cloud at Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit 2011, 21-22 September, in London
(PresseBox) (Stamford, Conn., ) By the end of 2014, penetration of cloud email and collaboration services (CECS) will stand at 10 per cent and will have passed the "tipping point" with broad-scale adoption under way, according to Gartner, Inc.

Although Gartner said that the time is right for some organisations - particularly smaller ones and those in industries with long underserved populations such as retail, hospitality and manufacturing - to move at least some users to CECS during the next two years, analysts warned that readiness varies by service provider and urged caution.

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

Consequently, Gartner is lowering its short-term projected adoption rate for CECS. Analysts predict that most organisations will not begin the move to CECS until 2014 when growth in the market will take off, before leveling off in 2020 as it exceeds 55 per cent.

Gartner has pushed out the point at which it believes that 10 per cent of the enterprise market will use cloud-based or software-as-a-service (SaaS) email from year-end 2012 to year-end 2014. Analysts said organisations are moving more slowly than anticipated for three primary reasons.

"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," Mr Austin said.

While most organisations that have adopted CECS appear to have moved everyone to CECS, closer investigation reveals that they often retain small, dedicated, on-premises systems to maintain greater control over the content created and consumed by C-level executives - whose communications are almost always subject to legal and regulatory scrutiny at semi-regular intervals.

"There are several reasons why organisations might not want to be ahead of the curve on CECS, not least the perception that early adopters pay a premium in terms of acquisition cost, and that by waiting the organisation can avoid paying an 'early adopter premium,'" said Mr Austin. "However, cloud-based collaboration services appear to be forward priced and, while we do expect the cost of CECS to follow a cost-learning curve, the motive for much of the investment in CECS appears to be cost reduction. Thus, if CECS otherwise makes sense for an organisation, it would be far better off proceeding now, while requiring that the CECS supplier guarantees to continue to reduce prices as prices in general fall in the market."

Additional information is available in the Gartner report "The Cloud Email and Collaboration Services Market, 2011 Update" at

Gartner analysts will further discuss cloud collaboration at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit 2011, 21-22 September, in London. For more information about the Summit, please visit Additional information around the event will be shared on Twitter at using #GartnerPCC.

The media can register for the Summit by contacting Laurence Goasduff at Gartner on + 44 (0) 1784 267 195 or at

About the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit 2011

Social media and a new generation of technologies born on the web are changing the way business is conducted. IT and business leaders must rethink how their employees work together internally and how they engage with the outside world. At the Summit, Gartner analysts will help delegates gain a better understanding of the social media phenomenon, develop strategies for tapping the intelligence of the "collective," establish and sustain teams that deliver results, and stimulate innovation and learning.


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