Don’t expect the demise of email at work soon

Don’t expect the demise of email at work soon, despite the rise of social networks that provide more immediate communications.

Email remains critical to business, says Alan Lepofsky, principal analyst at Constellation Research, in his report on the State of Collaboration 2015.

The reason is simple, he states. Email is still the common denominator for communications across organisations.

“While social networks provide excellent platforms for sharing information with colleagues and even external parties, the biggest hurdle they face is that no two social networks talk to each other. So if company A uses social platform A and company B uses social platform B, guess how the two organisations communicate with each other? Email.”

Lepofsky notes last year, the three main vendors – Microsoft, Google and IBM – all made major upgrades to their email products.

He advises users to watch out for improvements using analytics to filter information displayed and features that provide more actionable responses and deeper integration with other critical enterprise business tools.

As he points out in his report, analytics can help people focus on what matters and aid them in decision making.

Due to the ever increasing number of information sources that people are exposed to, including in email, it’s next to impossible for anyone to properly process all the available inputs when making decisions, he states.

“Instead of leaving out or missing important information, what if the software could help us determine what we should be working on and what we shouldn’t? What if it could determine which things will have the greatest impact on the organisation, and which will be a waste of time?”

As to Amazon’s foray into email with the launch last week of WorkMail ( a secure managed email and calendaring solution) he does not see in the short term that it will make any significant impact in the market share of the three main vendors.

“Amazon's possible longer term play is reduced cost, similar to what they do with AWS (its cloud computing business unit),” he states.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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