Hang up the phone and stop scheduling meetings — 80 percent of businesspeople prefer email communication, according to a survey by META Group, Inc.
“These findings reveal a major tipping point in the evolution of communications,” said Matt Cain, META Group senior vice president and an expert on email and collaboration strategies. “While we had suspected that email was becoming more popular than the phone, we were surprised by the magnitude of the ratio of those choosing email over the phone. Clearly, email best suits a changing business climate characterized by geographically distributed workgroups, extreme mobility, the need for rapid information dissemination, and a desire for reusable business records.”
Conducted online among 387 organizations, the survey also found that nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents believe being without email would present more of a hardship than being without phone service.
|Reasons For Preferring E-mail Over Phone for Business|
|Can communicate with multiple parties easily||83%|
|Paper trail is created||78%|
|Can communicate more quickly||40%|
|Easier for global communications||25%|
|More targeted, less socializing||22%|
|Source: META Group, Inc.|
Cain cites inbox overflow as a reason why some professionals still prefer phone calls to the written word. “Users are struggling to keep up with rising tide of message volume, with some users receiving over 200 messages per day and spending several hours daily managing their inbox. Clearly, something has to give,” said Cain.
|Reasons For Preferring Phone Over E-mail for Business|
|Easier to respond while traveling||76%|
|Can communicate more quickly||48%|
|Tone of the message is clear||48%|
|Too much email already||29%|
|No paper trail||25%|
|Source: META Group, Inc.|
Despite the preference for typing over talking, the report revealed that more than half of all adults in the 35 largest U.S. markets have a cell phone. Additionally, META Group also found that the number of faxed pages has dropped 50 percent during the last five years, and over 90 percent of Global 2000 knowledge workers are expected to have instant messaging service by 2007.
According to the survey, 38 percent of the North American respondents said they saw their email volume increase by more than 50 percent since 2001; 30 percent saw email growth of 26 to 50 percent; 32 percent saw email volume increase by less than 25 percent. Interestingly, 52 percent of survey respondents indicated that their internal email volume increased by more than 50 percent since 2001.
E-mail research from LEGATO/Osterman also found that 79 percent of IT professionals use the communication app for mission-critical business operations such as recording approvals and transactions; 35 percent have lost emails due to a technical fault, virus or related problem; more than 50 percent of organizations have suffered monetary loss or business interruption due to email downtime; and 24 percent have been involved in disputes with customers or suppliers over email-based issues.
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