• United States

What’s important in managing IM

Nov 11, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Survey reveals what IM management issues are at the top of the list

We have just completed a survey asking people who are or would be involved in the management of enterprise instant messaging systems what they consider to be the most critical issues in managing these systems.

Here’s a summary of the results:

* Identifying potential security breaches is the most critical factor in enterprise IM management. Among larger organizations (more than 1,000 e-mail users), 66% of respondents indicated that identifying these security problems is considered “extremely” important, and another 21% consider it very important. Although identifying potential security problems is also important for smaller organizations, they don’t place quite as much importance on it.

* Proving the value of IM usage to upper management is a more important priority for larger organizations than for smaller ones. A full 68% of respondents in larger organizations consider this aspect of IM management to be very or extremely important, while only 52% of respondents in smaller organizations see it this way. This is not surprising, given that technology systems are typically easier to justify and implement in smaller organizations than in larger ones.

* Larger organizations are much more focused on doing accurate planning for IM use. The survey found that 62% of respondents in large organizations believe more accurate planning is very or extremely important, while only 39% of respondents in smaller organizations believe this.

There are two key takeaways from this research, one for enterprise IM vendors and one for current or potential enterprise IM users.

For vendors: Potential customers are extremely concerned about security and potential security breaches in their IM infrastructure. We saw that 87% of large organizations believe security is very or extremely important, while 71% of smaller organizations believe security is this important. Although namespace control and auditing/logging capability are also important functions for vendors to address in enterprise IM products, security is going to be the critical decision factor for many potential customers.

For enterprises: It’s critical to get IM use under control, either by replacing consumer-grade clients with enterprise-grade systems, or by implementing enterprise-grade capabilities on top of an existing consumer-grade infrastructure. Our IM tracking surveys indicate that consumer-grade IM clients are still far and away the most commonly used IM systems in the enterprise, which can create potential security problems of various types, such as entry points for viruses or worms.