May 19, 2015

Email is dead - long live email

Ville Tawaststjerna

Solution Manager Collaboration and Productivity Solutions, Tieto

A recent article in Wall Street Journal, including an interview with the Harmon.ie CEO, caught my eye because of the strong presence of common sense radiating from the text.

The key message in the article was that email will continue to exist, no matter what alternative tools there are. Even though email has been declared dead so many times that no one can remember. And still it's alive and kicking.

I started thinking how I'm using email in relation to other electronic collaboration tools available and actually noticed a change. I consider emails as something 'official which require archiving' nowadays.

In practice, form and context of email collaboration has been changing slowly towards more serious and formal communication as different social tools have earned their position in casual communication.

Traditional corporate email -system has at least the following advantages over current social tools:

  • Established operating models - You can trust that all participants know how the email-game is played.
  • Filing system, a.k.a folders - Group things as you would with printed papers. Easy and familiar.
  • Search - As all your correspondence is in one context-relevant place, and you probably can narrow your search- target to a one folder, you find your stuff.

As social tools are very convenient, we use them. But as they lack the established business way-of-working, we don't dare to use them when things really matter. 

Things change however. We learn and solutions develop. We learn to use different tools in all channels. We learn to trust, that data relevant to me can be found no matter what the tool. Technology vendors introduce new cloud based solution stacks enabling data and process access from anywhere.

Key stakeholders enabling the learning process and change are the ones deciding how collaboration tools are acquired and used. As renewing current contracts as-is is not an option, now is a prime time to evaluate the whole collaboration stack structure and procurement model. And to start planning how email is used for the next decade...

At Tieto, we are experts in using collaboration tools. Contact me if you want to learn from our experiences and mistakes!

Harmon.ie CEO Says Email, Social Tools Should Complement One Another

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