E-Mail Beats The Phone In Business Communication

It's too early to fully understand the changing dynamics of business communication or the impact instant messaging will have on workplace correspondence

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

March 5, 2003

2 Min Read

Cost of ownership for E-mail use is estimated at $10 to $20 per user per month, although that cost is expected to decline as servers become more scalable, management tools improve, and bandwidth prices become more reasonable, providing companies with the chance to centralize users to reduce costs.

It's too early to fully understand the changing dynamics of business communication or the impact instant messaging will have on workplace correspondence, says Matt Cain, Meta Group's senior VP, but it's clear that in the long term, companies will increasingly depend on one vendor for both their E-mail and instant-messaging needs.

E-MAIL BACKING CHART
For now, though, company personnel consider E-mail more valuable than telephone communication. Of 387 business-technology professionals surveyed by Meta Group in late April, 80% prefer

E-mail to phone for their daily business communication. The magnitude of the preference for E-mail indicates a tipping point in the evolution of business communication, Cain says.

Less than a third of respondents cite increased productivity and the ability to put messages in proper context as the reasons they favor E-mail for their daily business correspondence. Instead, response flexibility and the ability to communicate with multiple parties easily are more important; nearly 85% of survey participants say both factors make them partial to E-mail. Almost equally as important is E-mail's ability to generate a paper trail--that paper trail is the reason four in five respondents favor E-mail communication over phone in the workplace. A quarter of respondents say E-mail has made international communication easier. This will surely increase as companies continue to take advantage of global business opportunities.

What would you change about your company's E-mail system if you had the chance? Let us know at the address below.

Roma Nowak
Managing Editor, Online
[email protected]


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