Email addiction: Why the enterprise can't break free
Forget new (and better) technologies, email is as entrenched in the business world as it's ever been.
Kids these days don't use email -- digital market research company comScore found that use of Web-based email dropped 31% among 12- to 17-year-olds and 34% among 18- to 24-year-olds in the period between December 2010 and December 2011.
And consumers are off email as well. The Radicati Group, which tracks use of email and other messaging media, projects the number of consumer emails will decrease by 3% to 4% each year between 2012 and 2016 (see chart).
Then again, there was a reason Breton came in for so much derision: Email in the enterprise isn't going anywhere. Or more precisely, it isn't going anywhere but up. Radicati is projecting the number of business emails to increase by 13% every single year between now and 2016.
For enterprise employees, that means more time spent in the inbox, not only on PCs and laptops but now on tablets and smartphones, wading through newsletters, social media notifications and unfiltered spam in search of the mail they truly need to do their jobs, to say nothing of the time spent filing, archiving and retrieving those messages.
For IT, that means more screams from users about storage limits being too low (especially when Google lets them keep everything), as well as worries about security, archiving, retention, ediscovery, deletion and syncing mail between mobile devices. And then there's the cost: In 2010, Gartner estimated associated email costs of $192 per user per year.
Why do we subject ourselves to this madness? Because for all its aggravations, email works. "It's still an efficient way of communicating, almost in real time," says Phil Bertolini, CIO of Michigan's Oakland County, who's responsible for 10,000 email boxes.
"It does what it's designed to do quite well, which is allow us to securely communicate on a one-to-one or one-to-few basis," says Rob Koplowitz, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
Simply put, we may hate email, but we can't work without it. But if enterprise email volume is going to boom the way Radicati's numbers indicate, something's going to have to change, CIOs and messaging experts agree. Email is going to have to get more sophisticated and, at the same time, easier to use. And the people doing the using, who often make life harder for themselves, need to evolve, too.
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Desktop Apps White Papers | Webcasts