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Email Dead at 40? The Rise of the Social Enterprise

As the original technology of enterprise communication, it’s almost unreal to think that email is quickly becoming obsolete.This year marked the 40th anniversary since the first email was sent, and predictions have been flying that the rise of the social enterprise threatens to tamp its use out of existence.

For those in disbelief, I invite you to read this article on Gigaom Email in the enterprise: entering its twighlight at 40? by Miguel Valdes Faura, CEO and co-founder of BonitaSoft. In it, Faura reports that Atos Origin taking the next three years to transform into a “zero email company.” Atos CEO, Thierry Breton believes that email contributes to “information pollution,” which interferes with management’s workflow.

Faura’s article is a good read with interesting comments. Most of them support continued email use, except for one, which mentioned the nightmare role emails play in situations of e-discovery. Someone who has heard of website archiving and social media archiving, perhaps?

My thoughts on email are: I’m watching what kids and young adults are doing. They’re the wave of the next workforce after all, and their communications consist of tweets, instant messaging and Facebook. Using these networks they participate in conversations as a stream of updates. Eventually, they will step into the workforce with a completely different world view. While I do think email will hang around, it will be reduced to a smaller role, and in some cases I see it being replaced altogether, especially for workflow (e.g. business process automation, CRM, etc.), which will benefit from actionable content and social technologies such as, in our case, Jira and Chatter.

And, for those who argue about tracking and the security of social enterprise use, cloud collaborations, and intranets, I invite you to join our social media archiving Webinar today: December 8, at 9:00 a.m. PST.

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