A new snail mail?

The IT industry is never short on grandiose claims of what the next big trend is, or what will turn into the next killer app, or which currently scorching technology will soon fall by the wayside. Just about everyday on our IT newswire there seems to be one, and it’s easy to discount 99 per cent of them, having seen that most of the prognostications never turn into fact.

One that I saw recently, however, jumped out at me as having a chance. The threory put forth was that e-mail would eventually be usurped within the enterprise by the variety of social networking and relatively robust Web-based collaborative tools that are forging a path through the business world.

With e-mail such a core piece of communications technology today, it seems hard to imagine it being replaced any time soon. But when you look at the trend happening around so-called Web 2.0 apps, and how in many ways they offer a more nimble and real-time way of getting ideas across and responding to others’ input, it looks like there’s a chance it could become preferable to e-mail.

Don’t expect to be uninstalling your Outlook anytime soon…but remember that business is addicted to speed, and if these new platforms can offer a decided advantage in that department, don’t be surprised if e-mail becomes the new “snail mail”.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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