Friday, December 3, 2010

Will emails die soon?

According to experts, email is dying and the time is not so far when social media will replace it as the dominant form of communication not only in our individual lives but also in the world of business. Well, with the increased use of text, instant messaging, VoIP, and now microstreaming solutions like Twitter and Facebook, it seems that email is having a tough time, but does it really indicate a slow death of email?

Research firm Gartner would answer 'Yes' to the question. According to its recent prediction, social networking services, coupled with changing demographics and work styles will surpass email as the main form of communication in businesses by 2014. It says that around 20 percent of employees will switch to social networks from email as their business communications' hub. While this is just a prediction, it has got strong support from a wide range of capabilities that have emerged in communications, enabling richer interactions among people.

It's true that features of technologies like persistent chat rooms, and instant messaging offer real benefits that can't be supported by email communication. There are people who say that email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet, logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, whether we are sitting at a desk or on a mobile phone, we are always connected. This feeling of ever connectedness that services like instant messaging, Twitter and Facebook offer can be the key factor for email losing its ground (if it ever happens).

No doubt that newer ways of communication have brought a lot of possibilities, but a new communications medium doesn't necessarily replace the old one. Although micro-blogging on platforms like Twitter and Facebook are reshaping both individual and enterprise communications, it won't put an end to email services, it doesn't need to. Today, the distinction between email and social networks is likely to be eroded with email taking on many social attributes, while social networks developing richer email capabilities. Vendors like Microsoft and IBM are going to add links to internal and external social networks from within e-mail clients and servers, making services such as contacts, calendars and tasks shareable across email and social networks.

From an enterprise perspective, email is not just a mere form of communication and collaboration; there is something more to it. Corporate email also means 'filing systems', 'corporate memory' and the likes. These are the functions we simply can't perform with tools like Facebook, Twitter, or SMS.
Consider this; email is very good at things that seem like spam: sending unsolicited and perhaps unwanted messages to people that are unknown aside from their email address. The basic protocols of store-and-forwarding of email means that email can be filtered into spam folders, but it basically has to be delivered.

At this point, it is better to get active using email and adding it to the mix when new things come along. This will surely make a strong integrated approach. Email is alive.

Source : SiliconIndia

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