Ten big issues for e-mail - including marketing
As electronic communication vehicles such as e-mail, instant messaging, and web conferencing continue to grow, companies increasingly need a secure and low-cost infrastructure to tackle new challenges, according to information technology researcher, META Group.
According to Matt Cain, vice president for META Group's technology research arm, during the next few years e-mail is set to become more and more important to businesses, also becoming more deeply entrenched, more valuable, and therefore more critical to the well-being of every company.
"By 2007, e-mail priorities will have changed dramatically from existing concerns such as spam blockage and policy enforcement, instead focusing on stability and security," predicts Cain.
In META Group's opinion, the 'Top Ten' list of issues affecting e-mail that will need to be addressed in the coming years, in order of their importance, comprises:
- Stability: Organisations will upgrade infrastructures to bring system reliability as close to 100% as possible during business hours.
- Security and hygiene: Spam will not go away but will instead be controlled by a variety of filtering techniques. Vendors will bundle multiple e-mail hygiene services together to handle denial-of-service attacks, mail loops, virus and spam protection, harvest-attack abatement, content blocking, and policy management.
- Centralisation: The centralisation movement, coupled with an emphasis on stability and hygiene, will lead organisations to apply data centre operational disciplines to e-mail.
- Encrypted e-mail: By 2007, a combination of simplified public/private key distribution and rigid policy enforcement will largely resolve the problems behind the issue of e-mail encryption.
- Records retention: Organisations will increasingly use a mixture of client/server and gateway-based policy enforcement tools, all of which will be centred on adherence to governmental/corporate records management and archival requirements.
- Mailbox overload: The end-user mailbox overload issue will be alleviated to some degree by filters and tools which will help prioritise and categorise incoming messages.
- Mobility: IT groups will continue to be challenged to provide e-mail services to a diverse, growing range of mobile devices including pagers, mobile phones, and PDAs.
- Upgrades: Microsoft is now expected to deliver an SQL-based version of its corporate Exchange Server software, representing a major change from the current Web Store database.
- Right-sizing: Organisations will develop a better grasp of e-mail economics by 2007, and will actively drive down costs by means of centralisation and standardisation.
- Knowledge management: Knowledge management services for e-mail will help users identify in-house expertise, discover existing relevant research, and formulate best practices in work processes.