Gartner: Gmail is a Viable Cloud Email Alternative to Microsoft Exchange

Google’s cloud based Gmail email service has been declared as a viable alternative to Microsoft Exchange for enterprise users by notable research firm Gartner.

Gartner said that after 5 years of launch, Gmail has turned out to a viable option for commercial, enterprise users and continues to give stiff competition to Microsoft Exchange.

The research firm said that Google’s Gmail, part of its Google Apps offering for business users, is the only viable competitor of Microsoft Exchange. Gartner said that other enterprise email services like Novell GroupWise and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino have lost market share while some of the older ones have closed down.

“The road to its enterprise enlightenment has been long and bumpy, but Gmail should now be considered a mainstream cloud email supplier," said Matthew Cain, research vice president at Gartner.

"While Gmail's enterprise email market share currently hovers around 1 percent, it has close to half of the market for enterprise cloud email. While cloud email is still in its infancy, at 3 percent to 4 percent of the overall enterprise email market, we expect it to be a growth industry, reaching 20 percent of the market by year-end 2016, and 55 percent by year-end 2020." he added.

The company also said that in order to grow, Google would need to make Gmail for transparent for enterprise users in terms of security, continuity and compliance.