What is the future of email given the proliferation of other forms of electronic communication?
Graeme McInnes, Tivoli product manager, suggests email may well be dead within ten years as today’s teens move into the workforce.
“If you look at the early technology adopters — teenagers — you get a very good picture of the trends that are coming,” he says.
Instant messaging (IM), says McInnes, combines voice, video and text, making it a far richer medium than email. He confesses to using IM far more often than email and says that’s the norm within IBM, both in New Zealand and globally.
“You also have to wonder what sort of devices will be used in ten years’ time. I doubt very much that it will be PCs. The BlackBerry device is a good example of the future.”
Rather than sounding the death knell for email, McInnes says it’s merely that people are changing the way they work and business has to adapt.
The answer, says McInnes, is content management by stealth and Tivoli has products to help. He defines content management — often confused with information lifecycle management — as looking inside stored data.
“Partners can use Tivoli tools to solve current problems in the knowledge that the system won’t have to be replaced in three years because it’s outdated.”
For instance, the Public Records Act requires that government and local body agencies have to be able to manage all electronic records. That means the systems must be able to handle any form of electronic message, says McInnes.
“How do you define text? Even partners in Invercargill should be out knocking on the door of their council asking what they have in place for this.”
However, he warns it can be difficult to sell content management in the small to medium market. “Compliance isn’t really an effective sales tool. SME buying is driven by reduction of cost and complexity.”