Email is important to business, and it is both the most commonly used application as well as being the one that is most familiar to employees. It is the medium that is most used for internal communications as well as between companies and their clients.
That email would ever be replaced by an alternative solution is really unthinkable. It is ubiquitous and its international standards are all but set in stone. It does what it does very well, but it does have many associated problems. For instance there are many management and compliance issues such as email retention and discovery.
Email does what it does best very well. It is very easy to use and accepted internationally. However there are some areas of communication where email might not be the best answer; there might be other tools which are better. It is probably better to use these alternative tools, for instance social collaboration tools, rather than to try and use email for tasks for which it is not ideally suited.
Most people use email as their default tool and it is using it that occupies most of their work time. Communication has become increasingly important to business and will become increasingly so in the future as enterprise becomes increasingly collaborative.
As business becomes more social, then it will become necessary to adopt tools which are fit for purpose. The more that employees become social, the more valuable being social gets. As the network increases in size, the more useful the network becomes, which in turn leads to it growing even larger; effectively it is akin to the snowball growing in size as it rolls down the hill.
Social email increases the rate of this growth, and this is clearly shown by the various ways in how email services have evolved.
For instance, rather than individual strings of text most of us now view our email as managed conversations which also make use of forums and blogs; email attachments have developed into social file sharing; email contact lists have given way to networks and social profiles packed with detailed individual data; social calendars are taking the place of individual schedules thus enabling dynamic scheduling that is unrestricted by organisational boundaries; and we are seeing the convergence and integration of individual communication methods into unified communication environments.
Of course, the change is both cultural and technical. Social networking has had an impact on society that, at the outset, was largely unanticipated; this was facilitated by tools such as Facebook, but it also required a cultural need for it to succeed as it has. It is now spinning off to enterprise in a similar manner. The genie is out of the bottle and there is no way in which it can be put back.
This is a guest post by Adam a new Londoner, who has interests in recruitment, all things techie, a passion for travel and a love of fashion. He blogs about recruitment, travel and IT/technology as well as latest trends in men and women fashion. If you want Adam to write you specific content, feel free to massage me on Twitter (@NewburyNewbie).