Businesses the world over are suffering the disruptive and costly effects of 'spam' - the curse of unsolicited e-mail adverts. But hope may be on the horizon, according to a white paper from IDC, which claims that at least one anti-spam product can deliver an effective solution along with a quick return on investment.
According to the white paper, Holding Back the Flood: How Spam Can Cripple Enterprise Productivity, the anti-spam product from BrightMail has shown that it can pay for itself within just a few months of implementation.
Written by IDC analysts Robert Mahowald and Karen Moser, the paper provides a quantitative and qualitative analysis of three enterprise customers' experiences with the BrightMail anti-spam solution.
But far from being a simple advert for BrightMail, the paper outlines the full results and feedback provided by its users at Terra Lycos, Cypress Semiconductor, and a large (unnamed) US-based telecommunications manufacturer.
However, the quantitative analysis of the implementation and functionality of the anti-spam system did reveal ongoing technology-related savings, productivity benefits, and business process enhancements.
The analysts also found that trust in corporate integrity, increased job satisfaction, and better IT staff performance were among the benefits of using the product.
Six month ROI
"Spam is hitting enterprises hard, slowing productivity by putting increased burdens on bandwidth, storage, and IT staffing resources," said IDC research manager, Robert Mahowald. "Our research found that these firms achieved almost immediate cost savings, and repaid their initial investments in less than six months."
According to IDC, spam has outpaced person-to-person e-mail in terms of growth during the past two years, and has become widely accepted as a 'critical problem'.
The paper's authors say that the combination of rising volumes and offensive content could arguably threaten the viability of e-mail as a business communication tool, and introduces potential liability when enterprises fail to protect employees from pornography and other offensive content.
On average, says IDC, the three sample enterprise clients achieved an average gain of almost 400% ROI when they implemented BrightMail Anti-Spam, having their initial investments returned within the first six months on average.
IDC's white paper concludes that a good anti-spam implementation can return significant value to any business that uses e-mail.