With email being a primary mode of formal and official communication around the world, an important question that should be asked is that how and where will users store their data. As data storage evolved and modes of storage cross conventional limitations, innovations in Information technology has taken thing to the next level. People have stopped using their desktops for storing their email and prefer to have webmail storage which allows them to access their mail from any location at any time without dependence on any hardware. This article discusses the factors which may influence a users decision in using webmail for storing email.
Mobile devices have a lesser capacity to store as compared to our desktops and laptops. Mobile devices are used more for storing entertainment material like movies, games and music rather than emails and office work. Hence, people using mobile devices are more likely to keep their emails on their mail server rather than downloading them
As hardware prices reduce, so does the price of disk space. Both physical hard disk drives and even virtual storage space costs lesser and lesser day by day. Due to economies of scale, online storage space works out far cheaper (per GB) as compared to a hard disk. This encourages email users to outsource their email storage to an online solution rather than to have the headache of managing and storing the emails on their local computer.
A major reason why people will not download mails on their phones or computers is because of lack of accessibility. We all want a single location for managing our mail and documents. Earlier people would use multiple devices to download their mail and were virtually locked in to that device to manage their emailing. This meant that any hardware failure would lead to work disruption. Similarly backups were also tougher to make on a specific device. Your entire online life depended on that one device. If you bought a new device or upgraded it, you would need to carefully migrate your data. Today’s world is platform independent. You are not locked in to one type of device or one specific device. With web mail and online storage you can access your mails from any device. Your mail client only becomes a viewing tool and not a storage tool. It doesnt matter how you access your mail when it is online. You can use a laptop, desktop, mobile phone or even a browser enabled device to see your mails.
Another important feature after storage is singularity of your customization and profile. Many of us have our email signature stored with our email clients. If we use our mobile phone, we have to reset our email signature. If we use a separate webmail client, we need to reconfigure our entire signature and email preferences all over again. With webmail, any device you are on will have the same settings as other devices which access your mail. You don’t need to bother about the consistency of your email preferences or personal customization to your profile or email interface as it is always consistent.