Will email in the workplace be dead by 2020?
I am going to make a sweeping statement and predict that email will follow traditional post and fax services and will become obsolete over the next few years. Gone will be the daily battle against bulging inboxes that you never seem to get to the end of in a working day.
My prediction is that a new communication channel will replace email by 2020. In fact, there are already signs that businesses are starting to move away from email as a primary form of digital communication. The use of text messaging and direct messaging through Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and LinkedIn, to name but a few, is on the increase. Many of the younger generation currently entering the workplace don’t have personal email addresses and if they do they look at them very rarely preferring to use other means of digital communication.
Friends never send me email anymore. They almost always send me a text or a direct message through WhatsApp or Facebook. Many businesses are starting to use tools like Slack to create group discussions and are using email far less. Slack creates a public archive of discussions which is easily searchable. Everyone sees what you are talking about and can add comments. Slack is one good attempt to try and gather business intelligence into one private portal.
Email has become a real black hole. People either do not respond or take forever to do so. A discussion turns into multiple threads with multiple people and no one can make any sense of it anymore. Spam filters have become too aggressive. We spend hours per week trying to get rid of unimportant messages.
At Brigantia, we are currently testing internally a cloud-based encrypted secure group messaging and collaboration application. An on-premise version is also available for corporates and enterprise clients. The application has already massively cut the internal email clutter and is allowing all members of the team to keep pace with colleagues and projects. The number crunchers at Brigantia already tell me they think this application has boosted productivity by about 25% which is quite something given our team was already highly productive! Secure Voice is currently being added to the existing voice messaging service already in the application and once that is live, and we have finished our internal testing we are planning to distribute this application through our partner channel as part of our cybersecurity offering. The opportunities for this application are huge given all the concerns around cyberattacks and criminal activities.