29 Oct Is Enterprise Messaging set to dethrone Email?
Futurists have been predicting the end of email for some time. Yet it has clung on tenaciously. Disruptive technologies and new collaboration methods have changed enterprise IT technology stacks and your typical work day beyond recognition since email started ruling enterprise communication. But email still rules the roost as the dominant communication mechanism for the enterprise, the lubricant for adding value, through which the business of getting things done happens.
Messaging however has been the fastest growing online behavior from 2010 to 2015, and has now bypassed social networks. In the next three years it will add a billion new users! Clearly messaging is winning because it’s intuitive. It sparks responses. It enables collaboration naturally. It just works. Is it possible that enterprise email has met its match? That finally enterprise messaging will be the one to replace email as the communication medium of choice?
The 3B USD valuation of Slack a leading Enterprise messaging tool seems to think there is definitely something to this hypothesis. We at InfoTech Consulting are firmly on the side of messaging for these reasons:
- Email is not productive: Things need to be done. You shoot off an email, and then nothing. This happens with so many people that eventually you use emails to have a documentary record but start relying on phone calls to push things. This is an inelegant solution that cannot scale. Plus email is such a choke point for communication that between spam and information only emails urgent ones requiring action often get noticed later than they should be.
- True mobility is here: Our lives were becoming digital. That’s not new. But they are overwhelmingly becoming mobile. The sheer computing power of new mobiles allows them to manage multiple file formats and media with ease. 3G and LTE networks allow for data transfer at unheard of speeds even making video conferencing over mobile possible. The mobiles themselves have morphed into 5 inch plus screens allowing for them to be legitimate enterprise devices.
- Agility is the killer behavior for organizations: Ambiguity and uncertainty are the new normal. Disruptive technologies do not happen and become mature like they used to. Now they disrupt and stay disruptive. Virtualization morphs to SDDC morphs to hyperconvergence and so on. In this new era of volatility the organizations that react fastest and adapt quickest are the organizations that win. Using email to collaborate on projects that launch new products and services is not an overhead that can be afforded anymore. Not of something more productive is available.
Enterprise messaging enables rapid communication allowing for organizations to be more productive. You get an email you wait and see. You get a message and you tend to respond esp as participants in the messaging chain can see when you were online. Messaging is secure and easy to use and requires little or no helpdesk or IT support. Searching messaging is quick, powerful and efficient. As teams now work on projects with freelancers and temp employees or alliance partners in the digital age to respond quickly, messaging is quick to set up to enable a project. Email simply does not work in this scenario.
Enterprise messaging has ways to go because the marketplace is fractured, email is an unproductive addiction, and no enterprise messaging apps despite their promise has yet reached critical mass. But we feel when the productivity elements are so clear and impactful, the new age where messaging passes email, as the dominant collaborating mechanism is not too far away. A few innovations and success stories later this age will be upon us. Do not be afraid of using enterprise messaging as an alternative to managing projects. The rewards are there already.