Sunday, 22nd January 2012
How many times have we heard that email is on its last legs? It’s just, like … so yesterday. Everyone hates it, it’s the bane of our working lives, the spammers have highjacked it and besides, we’re all using social media now – right?
An article in last week’s UK edition of The Week magazine (subscription only), stated that more than 107 trillion emails are sent every year but its grip on our lives is loosening. It went on to report the decline of email use among young people (email is dead says Mark Zuckerberg as he launches his Facebook Messenger service!) and its loss of favour in the workplace where, as Maija Palmer (Technology correspondent for FT.com) reports, “… a number of companies have been quietly moving away from using email as the primary way of communicating within the company”.
Whether you take the somewhat radical view of Thierry Breton, chief executive of Atos, who announced that he would ban the use of email in his company by 2014, or a more relaxed approach, the prolific use of email in organisations is a tiger that needs to be tamed. But is it really dying?
As usual, a quick search on Google for the apocalyptic terms “end of email” (allintitle: "end of email" restricted to the past month) reveals the usual varying points of view – from "Will 2012 be the end of email?" (assumption = yes) to "2012 is not the end of email"!
Let’s be clear here; it isn’t the possession of an email address that’s the bone of contention (after all, we need one of those for signing up to any of the plethora of social media services), rather, it’s using an email client (e.g. MS Outlook) as the primary means of communicating that’s the issue. Well, is easy to see why this is still the case.
Compared to other modern communication systems, email has been around for a long time (the first ARPANET email message was sent in 1971) so it has a long(ish) pedigree and as a result is deeply entrenched in our digitally communicative pysche. Added to this is the ease of setting up an email address with a dedicated client.
As John Naughton, writing in the Guardian Comment is free says, “Organisational addiction to email has long since passed the point of dysfunctionality and now borders on the pathological, with employees sending messages to colleagues in nearby cubicles, people covering their backs by cc-ing everyone else and managers carpet-bombing subordinates with attachments”.
The real problem, in other words, is not that email is dying but that it's out of control.
Document the value chain, and transform the way you think about, manage and report on your product portfolio and your information service contributions to your organisation goals.
Focus on Value Chain
Director of Research Robin Neidorf describes the benefits of a Consulting Pilot on Value Chain, to tailor this process to your needs and environment:
View on Vimeo
Consulting Pilot on Value Chain
Our proven processes, resources and guidance will help your team make the shift from transaction centre to strategic asset.
Designed around the most common challenges and pain points for time- and resource-strapped information teams
Supercharge remote productivity and value
Holistic content portfolio management
Future-proof your information service
A tailored overview of our research and active discussion with your Jinfo analyst.
Measure your starting point to articulate your strengths and set priorities for future improvements. Assessments gauge risk, capacity, value and more.
Read case studies, and start the conversation:
Connect your team with the practical tools, original research and expertise to build and support information strategy in your organisation.
A Jinfo Subscription gives access to all Content (articles, reports, webinars) and Community.