Will IM replace e-mail?

While businesses and consumers are warming to the idea of instant messaging as an effective communications tool they are still certain it will never overthrow e-mail. silicon.com surveyed 1,000 readers and a staggering 52 per cent of those said they believe IM is faster and more efficient than e-mail--but only 3.4 per cent thought it would eventually replace e-mail altogether.

In recent years e-mail has become regarded as a bit of a thorn in the side of companies. As e-mail has become bogged down in spam and undermined by virus attacks users have increasingly been looking to use alternative forms of communication. And because of the costs associated with repairing the tattered image of e-mail many companies have encouraged that search. Only 10 per cent of respondents believe e-mail is better than IM. However, the reasons why 76 per cent of respondents say they believe IM complements but will never replace e-mail are manifold.

Most notable is the fact that 27 per cent of respondents believe IM is impractical for conducting business--often because of perceived security issues and a lack of accountability and recordable audit trails in consumer IM packages. With e-mail already accounting for an increased chunk of the IT budget companies will be loathe to start investing in corporate IM packages. Another reason IM may never replace e-mail is because 22.4 per cent of respondents see it as a "time wasting menace in the office". That's not to say e-mail isn't, but with one such distraction in the office some employers feel they are already losing too much of their staff's time without allowing access to IM as well.

View: Article @ zdnet.com

News source: ZDNet

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