Some 55 per cent of enterprises will have adopted cloud email and collaboration services (CECS) by 2020, according to analyst firm Gartner.
"We expect CECS to become the dominant provisioning model for the next generation of communication and collaboration technologies," said Tom Austin, vice president of Gartner.
"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," he added.
Austin said there were three reasons for the relatively slow move to CECS.
First, organisations want to the squeeze the maximum value from their existing investments in email.
Second, many IT managers are so preoccupied with trying to support business growth that moving to CECS is not widely seen as a priority.
Finally, the business case for moving to CECS is not particularly compelling at present but is likely to get stronger over time.
"CECS will make more sense for an enterprise as the cost of procuring it continues to fall," said Austin.