Is email’s popularity a matter of efficacy, or just familiarity?
A study finding email remains the most important digital tool for American workers reveals significant obstacles to the adoption of collaborative applications necessary to compete in 2015 and beyond.
Email’s roots go back to the early 1960s, more than a half-century ago. Its business adoption began in the early 1990s, hampered by confusing and incompatible technologies, along with the usual legal and security concerns that accompany any new technology into the workplace. Once it took root, it was easily seen as a better communication tool than inter-office memos, faxes and voicemail.
According to the Pew Study, Technology’s Impact on Workers, email remains “very important” to 61 percent of workers. The Internet takes second place with 54 percent of workers calling it “very important.” Landlines are more important than mobile phones (35 percent and 24 percent, respectively). Social networking sites (such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn) are important to a scant 4 percent of workers.