• United States

E-mail use way up, survey shows

Apr 22, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Survey results on e-mail use

We recently undertook a vendor-sponsored study to understand how e-mail is currently used and how e-mail use and storage have grown. As you might expect, e-mail use is up drastically – a fact that has several repercussions.

We found that nearly half of our 285 respondents receive more than 50 messages on a typical workday, and about one in six e-mail users receives more than 100 messages daily.

About 52% of a typical user’s e-mail is sent and received within an organization.

E-mail volume has increased substantially during the past two years, as 38% of organizations have seen their e-mail volume grow more than 50% and an additional 30% have seen growth of between 26% and 50%.

There has been a substantial corresponding increase in e-mail storage requirements, with 55% of organizations seeing e-mail storage grow more than 50% during the past two years, and nearly 10% of organizations experiencing e-mail storage growth of more than 200%.

E-mail is used as written confirmation of approvals, orders and other business documents at 79% of organizations. Interestingly, 24% of organizations have been involved in some sort of a dispute with a customer or supplier over an e-mail-based issue. Further, one half of organizations have experienced business interruption or monetary loss because of e-mail system downtime, and more than one in three e-mail users has lost e-mail due to technical problems, hardware damage, virus attacks or other problems.

In more than 40% of organizations, e-mail maintenance – determining what e-mail content is important to keep, store and so forth – is handled by end users, although there tends to be an overlap of e-mail maintenance activities between end users and IT staff members.

The fact that more than 40% of e-mail maintenance is handled by end users is one of the most alarming results of this survey. Most e-mail users tend to be focused on their primary job responsibilities, not on the long-term regulatory or knowledge management requirements of the greater organization.