Does IM Have Business Value?
by Bob Bellman
Posted 1/30/2004; Published 8/2003
Instant messaging is on the march in the business world. According to Osterman Research, 91 percent of North American enterprises, including government organizations, will be using some level of IM by the end of 2003. The Radicati Group projects growth from 33 million corporate users this year to 140 million in 2007. IDC forecasts 200 million corporate IM users by 2006.
What’s the attraction? Do we really need another way to communicate? We already have telephones (wired and wireless), voice mail, email, fax, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. Isn’t that enough? Or does IM offer real business value that the other modes don’t?
In fact, according to IM vendors and early adopters, IM offers a unique combination of convenience, speed and productivity. Presence, the most novel feature of IM, lets users know in advance who’s available to chat and who’s not. Near-real-time message delivery makes IM more interactive than email. And since users can exchange text messages with multiple correspondents while working on other tasks, IM makes them more productive. Together, these features help business users work faster, smarter and more efficiently. On the downside, they also expose companies and their networks to substantial risks.
About the author:
Bob Bellman is president of Brook Trail Research, specializing in new technology introduction and education.
This article is reproduced by special arrangement with our partner, Business Communications Review.
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