CIO survey: Collaboration tools will displace email


A survey by IT staffing company, Robert Half Technology of 1400 CIOs across the United States found that more than half are predicting that real-time collaboration technologies such as Jive and SharePoint will surpass email as the chief form of internal communications in the next 5 years.

That's a surprising finding in my view because in spite of my coverage of Enterprise 2.0 technologies over the last several years, it always felt like that companies were slow to adopt enterprise collaboration. As it turns out, however, if this survey is any indication, CIOs completely get enterprise social software and they see it having a huge impact on internal communications in the short term.

In fact, when asked "In the next 5 years, do you think real-time workplace communication tools--for example, instant messaging, SharePoint, Yammer, etc.--will be more or less popular than email among employees?" 54 percent responded that it would be much more popular or somewhat more popular than email.

It broke down to 13 percent saying much more popular and 41 percent saying somewhat more popular. So only a small percentage are extremely optimistic, but the fact that 54 percent overall believed that email was becoming less popular was certainly telling.

John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology wasn't quite ready to bury email, but he acknowledge that the influence of real-time tools is undeniable. "Although email remains an important communication tool, the increased use of real-time technologies affects the IT environment," Reed said.

While Reed was looking at it from an employability standpoint, the survey certainly suggests that employers will be looking for people who understand enterprise social technologies moving forward.

For more information:
- see the Robert Half Technology press release

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