IDC researchers suggest that instant messaging (IM) is set to overtake email as the preferred form of business communication by the second half of 2010.
The research, sponsored by Nortel, found that this is because hyperconnected individuals are becoming 'addicted to the instant gratification of IM and text messaging'.
The research white paper 'The Hyper-connected: Here They Come' is based on a global study involved some 2,400 working adults in 17 countries. It focused on quantifying the state of today's connectedness, tracking its acceptance and use across devices and applications as well as determining the pace of its growth and impact on the enterprise.
The research found that 16 percent of the global information workforce is already "hyper-connected," and another 36 percent will soon be joining them. It said that hyper-connectivity varies by industry, from nine percent of respondents from health care to 25 percent in high tech industries and 21 percent in finance industries.
Go here for the full article in NZ CIO magazine.
For me, at work, I use IM to understand the availability of people I work with, their presence, utilise it to send a quick message, communicate with them while they are in a meeting, or as an interface with Unified Communications i.e. Voice.
At home, I use it to ‘chat’ with friends, send them interesting urls, the odd file etc. I’m not sure IM will overtake email, but used in combination I find them highly effective.
The thing that concerns me at times about the use of IM and email is the ability for people to hide behind their screen. The tone and manner of emails/IM’s can be mis-understood (or indeed interpreted correctly :-)) and this leads to some interesting conversations/situations. I think the workforce is becoming more and more relucatant to pick up the phone and have a conversation or have a decent face to face meeting! It will be interesting to see what 2010 brings ;-)