Collaboration

The increasing use of IM in the office


According to the latest industry report from Gartner, 95% of all corporate employees will be using instant messaging (IM) as a primary form of communication by the year 2013.

Sales of enterprise-class IM systems, on the other hand, will surge from the current $267 million in 2005 to more than $688 million in 2010.

Says David Mario Smith, an analyst at Gartner:

We saw IM start as a social phenomenon. Now it's crept into the enterprise.

Understandably, the rise of the IM in the office is a development that has both CIOs and IT managers paying some serious attention to. Chief among the concerns, obviously, is the increased potential of viruses and malware infestations, as well as risk of serious security breaches.

There is also a risk of falling afoul of regulatory and compliance guidelines or laws due to the external hosted nature of consumer IM.

This has resulted in 25% of large companies biting the bullet and abandoning (or banning) all consumer-based IM products in favor of enterprise versions such as IBM's Lotus Sametime and Microsoft's Live Communications Server.

Gartner predicts that almost all large companies will be using enterprise-class IM systems before the end of the decade.

On the other side of the fence, some companies are turning to security software from vendors such as FaceTime, Akonix, and Symantec that allows staff to use AIM or MSN without putting the network at risk.

You can read more about this topic from the Baseline article here.

IM anecdotes or shenanigans to share? Join the discussion.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

8 comments
Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

My wife works from home and has to use some form of IM to stay in communications with her coworkers. Her company has used Sametime and now uses Microsoft Communicator over secure lines to stay in touch. Unfortunately, in both applications she has run into the issue that neither of them allows enough people in the messaging group. With MSC in particular, once that limit has been reached, people are randomly ejected from the group and they have to log in again, forcing someone else to be ejected. This obviously causes problems when they are working on an issue.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

We've been running Spark for a few months for half a dozen of us in IT support. I have the client installed but personally don't have a use for it. I'm not aware of any plans to expand IM tools to the rest of the company, or requests to do so.

Absolutely
Absolutely

IM use required in my department. No further comment.

LockOutGirl
LockOutGirl

Our company uses IM (MSN to be precise) for internal communication. It does come in very handy for a quick question, or to gauge whether someone is at work or at their desk. Or if I'm on the phone with someone and need to ask my boss a question without putting that person on hold, I simply message him. I find it invaluable in many situations.

jhuybers
jhuybers

We use various IM programs usually with some form of encryption depending on who it is we are communicating with and the nature of the information.

paulmah
paulmah

IM anecdotes or shenanigans to share?

TomZnaper
TomZnaper

IM has become a mission critical application in our org. Email is still king, but IM is a close second.

JamesRL
JamesRL

We use IM to keep our support people in various support centres in touch with each other. We use Sametime, which is secure. All others are banned. James

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