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IM further embraced by enterprise firms

Sep 30, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Survey shows IM use rising quickly in enterprise companies

We’re just wrapping up our fifth semi-annual tracking survey of the enterprise instant messaging market and have found some interesting trends.

In looking at the data, going back to summer 2001:

* Instant messaging use continues to increase. In 2001, 63% of enterprises had some instant messaging use, and 8% of e-mail users were also instant messaging users. Now, 90% of enterprises are using instant messaging to some extent and the percentage of e-mail users that also use instant messaging has increased to 22%. However, most use of instant messaging in the enterprises continues to be “unofficial,” with most instant messaging users employing consumer-grade instant messaging clients and the three major commercial networks: AOL, MSN and Yahoo.

* Instant messaging use for business applications continues to increase. In 2001, 21% of enterprises were using instant messaging for business applications, while that number has jumped to 44% today.

* IT support for instant messaging is building. Back in 2001, only about 22% of IT organizations supported instant messaging within their enterprise, while 17% opposed it. In our most recent survey, IT support for instant messaging has increased to nearly 40% of IT organizations, while opposition to it has also increased, but at a slower rate. Not surprisingly, the percentage of IT organizations that has not considered the impact of instant messaging in their infrastructure has fallen from 19% in 2001 to only 9% today.

* More enterprises understand the value of instant messaging. Two years ago, 52% of enterprises believed that instant messaging would very likely or definitely aid communication with their remote employees; that percentage has increased to 69% today. Similarly, the percentage of enterprises that believed that instant messaging could reduce telephone costs has grown from 36% in 2001 to 45% today.

Clearly, instant messaging use in the enterprise is growing, although not at the meteoric rate of adoption that some had expected a few years ago.

However, we anticipate that enterprise instant messaging use will continue to grow at a steady pace during the next several years. For more information on our most recent instant messaging survey, you can view highlights at: