Today, 89 percent of small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) utilize faxing in their day-to-day operations. This number is expected to rise, with analysts predicting fax usage to increase by 25 percent in the next two years among large and SMBs.
It’s a prediction that emphasizes the critical role of faxing, which is why businesses are assessing their hosting approach to faxing. While several companies support hybrid fax services, many are opting to adopt an on-premise or cloud faxing service, which is why on-premise vs. cloud faxing services is a topic of frequent debate.
Benefits of Cloud Faxing Services
Moving to a cloud faxing service offers several advantages, including:
- Scalability: Companies can modify their plan with a simple request to their service provider and without disrupting their cloud faxing service, which contrasts with the extensive planning and investment of upgrading an on-premise fax service. Deployment is also seamless.
- Compliance: Transferring the responsibility of your servers to a cloud service provider allows your company to ensure faxes comply with leading regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI DSS, through extensive data encryption.
- Price: Paying a monthly fee for a scalable and compliant cloud faxing service, for many companies, is considered an advantage. This cost is also predictable and only changes when modifying your service plan to accommodate your growth.
- Resources: The requirement of minimal company resources is another contrasting advantage of cloud faxing services. By entrusting a service provider to manage and maintain your servers, and receiving 24/7 support for any issues stemming from your service, your IT department can focus on other tasks.
- SLA: Providing high-availability is a significant benefit of cloud faxing services. Many Service Level Agreements (SLAs) include a 99.9 percent uptime assurance, as well as geographic redundancy to ensure that downtimes are non-existent. This level of redundancy is often difficult for SMBs to achieve.
- Tools: Incorporating tools into on-premise faxing services requires time, resources and skill. Choosing a cloud faxing service provides your company access to a range of tools that expedite processes. Examples of features include MFP support, email to fax, web fax and more.
Drawbacks of Cloud Faxing Services
Adopting cloud faxing services also features some drawbacks, including:
- Fees: Business models vary among companies, which is why the monthly subscription cost of cloud faxing services may deviate from your organization’s model and preferred monthly expenses. In almost all cases, however, the price outweighs the up-front cost of on-premise faxing services.
- Control: Preferences differ among businesses, which is why some may prefer to be self-reliant in managing their faxing service and disaster recovery strategy. In many instances, however, the care by cloud faxing service providers often alleviates the extensive resource and time demands of on-premise systems.
Advantages of On-Premise Faxing Services
Integrating an on-premise faxing service offers a few benefits, including:
- Control: For companies that desire complete control of their data, servers, software and infrastructure, the freedom provided by an on-premise faxing service is preferred. Overseeing your on-premise faxing services, however, does require additional resources and an experienced IT team.
- Fees: For businesses that must exercise cost control, the absence of a cloud service’s monthly subscription fee sustains the goal of minimizing operating expenses. An on-premise faxing service, however, does mandate an initial investment to establish an infrastructure and purchase equipment.
Disadvantages of On-Premise Faxing Services
Incorporating an on-premise faxing service features several drawbacks as well, including:
- Rigidity: For companies experiencing substantial growth, especially SMBs, the lack of flexibility fixed on-premise faxing services provide is a severe disadvantage. Accommodating your organization’s growth requires a significant financial investment to upgrade your infrastructure.
- Compliance: For businesses operating in healthcare, finance and other markets with strict regulations, on-premise faxing services place the responsibility of compliance with your internal IT department, which can pose security and financial risks based on your team’s expertise. Encryption is also more difficult with this service.
- Price: For organizations with limited capital, the high up-front cost of on-premise faxing services often eliminates it as an option. The fact that your company may outgrow its infrastructure, as well as increase its power needs after such a substantial investment, is another risk of on-premise faxing services.
- Resources: Companies with minimal resources and small IT departments, may find that the needs of on-premise faxing services often exceed their capabilities. Daily management, as well as routine maintenance and sudden outages, can demand the full attention of IT professionals, leading to decreased responses in other areas.
- SLA: If you trust your on-premise faxing services for day-to-day operations, the uptime of your servers is critical. Many on-premise faxing services often feature limited fail-over systems, which degrades the reliability of your service in the event of an outage.
- Capacity: Organizations transmitting a significant amount of information through their on-premise faxing services may realize that the limited inbound and outbound capacity of the infrastructure can lead to delays and inefficiencies, which can impact relationships with clients.
Deliver the Benefits of Cloud Faxing to Your Company With Softlinx
For many businesses, the choice between on-premise vs. cloud faxing services relies on several factors, from resources and expenses to company growth and IT expertise. In many instances, however, large and SMBs benefit from the flexibility, security, reliability and convenience of our cloud faxing services at Softlinx.